crew members need to feel the love too

The No. 38 Ford Fusion gets pushed through inspection at Infineon Raceway (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)On Sunday before the race I walked pit road taking the usual pictures and I found the pit boxes for the No. 28 and No. 38 Yates Racing teams.

I have to say that I’ve been thinking about the guys on pit crews a lot lately, mostly because you don’t hear much about them individually or even as a group. Drivers constantly talk about how it’s a team sport and they couldn’t do it without their guys but how much do we really know about the men on these teams? And how much do they know about their fans? Unless you’re on the crew for the most popular drivers it’s hard to know who’s rooting for you or if they are at all.

On television in pre-race shows they sometimes do profiles of this crew member or that one for some special or unique story, but it’s never a consistent study of who these guys are and how they feel about their teams chances each week. I suppose it would be really hard from a PR standpoint to control all of those voices but it would be refreshing to hear them.

So with that being said I took the chance to talk to the pit crew guys — that were there — from Travis Kvapil and David Gilliland’s teams. I asked them if they ever went online to their team website to see what their fans were saying. They all said that they don’t go online and some guessed that maybe the comments were negative.

I told them that they had a bunch of fans out there that supported them 100%. So the comments from these guys surprised me and got me thinking. Since these guys don’t have time to spend online searching for what people are saying, I think that if you’re a Gilliland, Kvapil or Yates Racing fan you should send a letter to the crew members. Don’t send it to Travis or David — send it to the guys on the team. Just to be clear I’m not saying you shouldn’t write to the drivers too, you totally should, but don’t forget about the other guys that make up the team.

Crew members from the No. 28 California Highway Patrol Ford Fusion team (from left to right): Tire Runner John Horn, Catchcan Bobby Grant, and Front Tire Changer Cory DeMarco.

Crew members from the No. 38 Ford Fusion team

Crew members from the No. 38 Ford Fusion team


  1. Fusion
    June 25, 2008 at 12:06 PM ·

    Thanks for the great article and reminder Valli, most people haven’t any idea what goes on behind the scenes and just how grueling it is in the garage.

    My husband worked for David’s dad on the pit crew for 10 years. I followed most of the circuit one year and I’m here to tell you folks, these boys work real hard. It is a hot, dirty, thankless, exhausting job that they love being part of.

    They have my love and respect; that much is certain!

    Cheers to the BOYS!

  2. June 25, 2008 at 4:41 PM ·

    Your articles were Fabulous just like you. :) Thanks again for remember Yates Racing. Glad you enjoyed the race at Sonoma.