When I was at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Sunday I talked to some of the crew members from David Gilliland’s No. 38 FreeCreditReport.com team. I wasn’t prepared to talk to them; I did it on a whim to see if they’d be willing to talk to me at all since A.) They were busy doing something and B.) They didn’t know me from Adam.
I was delighted when I found that not only were they totally fine about talking to me, after checking out my media credential, but they were also really cool, nice guys. Young, really cool, nice guys I might add. They were all under thirty and this fact kinda caught me off guard. I’m not sure what I was expecting but I wasn’t expecting them to be around my age. I suddenly thought “hey, these are guys my friends could date!” and in my head that brought everything back to reality for me. At the end of the day they’re just any other dude you’d see in a bar or event. Usually when I see drivers, crew members, and team PR people at the track, I always think of them being so “official.” Like they’re untouchable or something and you shouldn’t dare speak to them unless you have an “in.”
Jason, Ben, Greg, Bryce, Kyle and Tim were more than willing to answer my questions. I asked if they ever get hit on by groupies and Jason remembered how he’d seen three sets of women’s breasts on the glass of the garage at Daytona this year. I was shocked. What are those women thinking?? The guys are just going to drop everything and ask for their number? Weird.
I asked if they ever get to hang out with Gilliland. They see him mostly at the shop and sometimes he takes ’em out to dinner. The resounding response overall though was that he was a really nice guy.
As I was standing there, talking to these guys, a small crowd started to gather around us. Apparently everyone wanted to watch them “clean their nuts.” They needed to clean the inside of the nuts, that would later be glued to the tires, so that they’d run on and off the studs easier during tire changes. The process involved a drill and a really long bit of some sort.
If any of those nuts fell on the ground during the process they had to be tossed. It’s bad luck to put it on the car after it’s been on the ground, so a couple lucky kids got to have the undesirables as souvenirs.
If I get the chance to talk to them again, when they’re not busy, I’ll take the photo of them that I forgot get the first time!