Been a while since I posted anything....frankly it has been an extremely busy three weeks and finally able to catch my breath and reflect on the past three weekends at Mid-Ohio.
Let's start off with the IndyCar weekend.....First thing....Thank You All for an outstanding job all weekend. We were dealt with a very difficult situation all weekend with the Net....it was a pain from Thursday afternoon all the way through the checker on Sunday. I do commend each and everyone of you for remaining patient, understanding and mostly being the true professionals you are. I know there was a lot of frustration but everyone worked through the problem and everyone from myself, Mid-Ohio and IndyCar applaud your efforts....it wasn't fair to you and wasn't your fault. I'll get in to this more a little later. Other than the Net, overall the rest of the weekend went well. I wish I was able to spend time on station with you during the weekend but that proved impossible. I want to thank Lou Beal, Chuck Tucker, Matt Moritz, Bill Crowe, Amy and Gianna Armitage for having my back while I was dealing with the Net issues all weekend. All in all it as a successful weekend.
Cincinnati's Double Regional was up next and this was the first time all year we had to beg, borrow and steal to be able to cover minimums. I was a little disappointed with the result, but I understand the amount of time many of you have given over the past 7 out of 8 weekend we have had events. We were able to manage to get the staffing from a little help from start and a SIT. All in all it was a fun weekend and again the work was very good. We still were suffering through some Net issues but discovered some of the issues and tried to fix them. Unfortunately, some of the fixes didn't pan out. While the net was better it was far from where it should be but better than IndyCar.
NASCAR X'finity ends our three week stretch and 7 of 8 weekend journey this summer. Again everyone did very well even though we tended to get a little lazy on our calls on Friday but improved dramatically on Saturday. Flagging was very good. We did have a couple of major incidents with Trans-Am on Saturday but those involved did a great job with the calls. The weather was hot, humid and rainy at times. Been a while since I remember it being that humid. We can safely say that we are some of the very few that have flagged a NASCAR race in the rain....it was entertaining especially at Turn 4 and 5. The Net was much better even though we stayed on the Analog channel....it ran a lot smoother than the previous two weeks but again not where it should be but life was a lot easier.
In regards to the radios.....I learned a lot about radios....more than I care to....there were issues on both sides that caused our problems. We did have a lot of interference from unregistered frequencies on Sunday and those on our frequency on Friday and Saturday.....it was truly a mess. Once we got to Cincinnati and got rid of the extra radio traffic, we did find some issues with our system such as radios pre programmed with a sleep mode, some equipment issues that were causing bleed over. We tried to remedy those but were not fully successful. While testing went on the following week, it was decided to use what we knew worked which what we did for NASCAR. It worked well.
What does the future bring for the Net at Mid-Ohio.....to be honest, I do not know. I have been spending a lot of time with management talking about a bunch of different options....and yes including a landline....we all understand the safety issue of having a proper communications system and Mid-Ohio now sees it as well but the other side of the coin is cost....what gets you the best bang for the buck....it is a delicate balance between the two. Be assured LEC is part of the process to give our opinions regarding the system to be put in place for the future. It is not an easy decision but we are giving our two cents worth and these discussions will be continuing in to the off season.
Finally, we have three events left in the season Put-In-Bay, Runoff Tests and OVR Fall Double Regional. Kevin Young is handling organizing PIB and looks to be staffed for the event. Bill Crowe and Erik Avendutti are co-chiefs for the test days while I am at COTA for WEC. Erik is also looking for additional help for NASA in a couple of weeks at Mid-Ohio (which is a pay day). Contact Erik at email@example.com if you are interested in helping or for more information.
Again....Thank You for everyone's dedication this year.....it truly means the world to me that you are coming to the track this year. I have had a blast all year and I hope you feel the same. We are getting close to the off season and I look forward to a little down time but also excited to see if I can put some new ideas in to practice to make next year even better.
Enjoy your break...see you soon