When did you get involved with F&C? When did you start? Who were your mentors? What track did you learn F&C at? Tell us your story!!!!
4/1/2020 05:14:43 pm
I learned flagging through super bikes and vintage bikes at Mid-Ohio. Then I got into cars and took the LEC flagging course with Shoe at Nelson ledges
4/1/2020 05:22:17 pm
I was a spectator for a long time. Never drove on the track. Found myself watching the flangers as much as the racing. I needed to do something desires drink all day! I decided I wanted to give it a try. I think I went to the tent in the infield and got some information. My first day on track was with Chuck Tucker. He taught me a lot that first day. Especially to keep my eyes on incoming cars as the Blue Flagger. The other great teacher was Tom Phillips! He really taught me how to Blue Flag. I have worked with most of the LEC Pros. Hand a ton of fun and made a lot of friends. Thank you all!
4/1/2020 05:35:32 pm
Got involved in 1987. I was invited by fellow SCCA member, and IMSA racer to be guest of Tech. Asked if I could work as a Flagger and got involved with LEC at MidOhio and their training with logbook. Our region would host the Brat Bash double regional there. Tracks I’ve worked: MidOhio, Gingerman, Grattan, Las Vegas, IMS, and last year flagged at Put-in-Bay. When I’m not Course Marshaling, I’m autocrossing, or working a rally. My wife (who was also a Flagger), youngest daughter, and I, flag at Indiana University’s Women’s and Men’s Little 500 bicycle races every year (unfortunately, this year’s races are canceled).
4/1/2020 05:41:56 pm
I started in Rallies, then moved to roadracingin B/S then GT4. I was at Nelson Ledges with friends. Car was broke and LEC was short handed & looking for volunteers. I was put under the mentorship of John Gaul in the back of the course. FF went off into the swamp and I had been put on the phones without much training. Mother jumped down my throat for using a CB word. I continued my association with them and that was 42 years ago. I started on corners, became a communicator, then captain and one day out of the blue, Sam moved me into Race Control. I tell people that's an oxymoron. I've been there ever since. I miss some of the people I've worked with over the years.
4/1/2020 06:36:58 pm
Mother Doug refers to is Tommie Benham. She would let you know in no uncertain terms of any mistakes.
Mary Lou Giudice
7/10/2020 10:19:26 am
I remember Tommie. She kept us all straight!
Rhea Seher Dods
4/1/2020 06:07:27 pm
1968. Motorsports involvement from age 5, as dad raced SCCA. First track was Laguna Seca. Second track Sonoma (Sears Point) and third, Thunderhill Raceway Park.
4/1/2020 06:30:55 pm
Back in the late 70s, I was working for Case Western Reserve University. Two grad students I was working with were talking about racing. They told me about LEC and invited me to be their guest at Mid-Ohio for IMSA races. I got hooked and haven’t missed more than five race weekends in Ohio.
4/1/2020 06:38:35 pm
I had always loved racing, but hadn’t participated in a long time due to an addiction problem. When I decided to stay sober, I looked for things to do that did not involve drinking. (A difficult task in Wisconsin.) So I decided to try out some SCCA events starting with the worker training in the spring. I immediately fell in love with it, being part of the action, the level of concentration necessary. But the best is the people. F&C people are the best around. They would give you the shirt of their backs, literally. Now, six years later I travel all over the country for Pro events with my new family.
4/1/2020 07:20:36 pm
2011 ALMS I got a white Porsche flag. I waved it various ways for different colored flags. That winter my mom made me flags. Over the years I learned the basics of flagging, mostly watching stations 4, 5, & 6. At age 16 I did the Spring seminar, and started doing copy in race control a bit when I was 17. After doing control for a few races before I was 18, I was finally able to flag. A week and a half I finally got out on track and flagged for real. SVRA was a terrific first weekend. Thank you to everyone who gave me things on the hill (including gloves, whistles, shirts, badges, pins and more) and everyone who encouraged me to branch out and do control before flagging.
4/1/2020 07:39:24 pm
Seems like a lifetime ago. I went through LEC School at the suggestion of Chuck Bailey back in 1990 - I was an SCCA member for just a year at time, and I was looking for my "spit." Yep. F&C.
4/1/2020 07:58:00 pm
Went to the '77 Indy500 mile race - hooked, started going to MidO that year and ever since.
4/1/2020 08:03:23 pm
I attended my first road race at Bridgehampton LI in July 1965. Returned as a spectator in 1966 and became acquainted with members of New York Region SCCA and Queens Sports Car Club who were camping with us. In 1966 I worked in Timing and Scoring because I was not 21 yet. Then in 1967, I was able to start working corners under flag marshals Bor Bristo from Northern New Jersey Region and George Requilme and Malcom Labatt Simon from New York Region. My main tracks were Bridgehampton and Lime Rock, but I also worked Bryar Motorsports Park, Watkins Glen, and the last of the Reading Road Races. I ended here so as not to bore everyone with over 50 years of stories.
4/1/2020 08:04:39 pm
I think with Beal being my maiden name, you know I was a little tyke going to the track. When I was 7, I started in Timing and Scoring because I couldn't flag. I stayed in T&S until the day I turned 18.
4/1/2020 08:17:21 pm
I got started in flagging after spectating Indy Cars at Mid-Ohio for several years (and got tired of paying to get in)! Don B and Duane H ran the school in September of 1986 and the rest is history. I have flagged SCCA, IMSA, CART, NASCAR, Grand Am, among others.
4/1/2020 08:39:28 pm
Well my first race to spectate was Can Am 1978 at Mid Ohio....I fell in love with the place. Have not missed at least one event a year since....most years many more.
4/1/2020 10:17:22 pm
My first experience working at Mid-Ohio, I believe was ’68 when I was almost 11. My brother took me to an IKF karting event he was running in, and I asked the teenager assigned to the electric pit horn switch if he wanted me to do that for him, and he gladly accepted! I did that a couple more times in ’68-69. At that time, the only two buildings that I recall were a guard shack that resembled a school bus stop shelter (or outhouse), and a single 2-story concrete block building for concessions, restrooms and tower.
4/1/2020 10:46:14 pm
One Sunday at church about 2005 Doug R asked me if I was interested in flagging a bike weekend at M-O. I said sure and showed up.(please do not hold Doug responsible for my actions concerning LEC the past 15 or so years).My father brought me out to M-O about 1961 or so. He had worked for Mr. Eckert before WW II and knew Les G from the the auto business in Mansfield. So one weekend day we drove around the grounds while the grading was going on.* Once I found out you could get that close to the track flagging , got in free and got fed, I was hooked. My mentors are everyone I've worked with. The only a**hole I've worked with is the one I see every morning in mirror. I've worked Nelson 2 or 3 times w/ Pinto Dave and Cindy ,Erik and the J&J Akron hooligans. C-ya soon God willing, Jack
4/2/2020 12:23:33 am
Been a fan of motorsports my whole life, watched the Indy 500 religiously. My eye was always drawn to the guy that waved the checkered flag. Fast forward a few decades and I’m living in Huntsville, Texas. We needed to park for Santa’s Wonderland or whatever they called it in College Station. The deputy at the gate said “they’re parking people in the speedway. Follow the crowd.” Speedway?! This is College Station, Texas! Wikipedia quickly introduced me to the Texas World Speedway. Their website said the track was still used! I was astonished but it hadn’t clicked yet. Around the same time, my wife was surfing the Circuit of the Americas website looking for tickets as a gift for me when she found the page asking for F&C volunteers for the 2014 MotoGP. I signed up, never imagining they’d take someone with no experience but they did. That led me to PCA, which led me to SCCA. Working at TWS one day during an SCCA event, I was paired with a guy named Chuck Nagel. He asked me a fateful question: “Would you be interested in being a Starter?” Uh, yeah. A few years later I received my National Starter license and work at COTA on the Start Team, privileged to work several pro races a year. The pinnacle was last year, standing behind Paul Blevins, that guy at Indy, as he waved green and checker at the first IndyCar race at COTA.
4/2/2020 07:33:27 am
Due to reliability issues of my FV, I spent a LOT of time standing on corners. While there I began flagging, and have continued to do so.
4/2/2020 08:05:04 am
I was hooked on racing at about 8 years old after reading a book called Speed Six, a book about LeMans. In 1975 I built a Lynx FV that I campaigned until 1980 when work wife and life got ion the way. I raced primarily at Waterford, but also at Mid Ohio, Grattan and Mosport. (I held the lap record at Mosport for 2 laps!) At that time I decided that if I ever returned to racing it would be as a flagger. Went to AutoRama in Detroit, saw the Waterford booth, talked to Lynn Burton, and started flagging in 2010. I have worked with great people, and learned a lot. (Some people disagree with that). Been to some awesome tracks and races since then.
David E. Richards
4/2/2020 08:18:23 am
1984. First went to Mid-Ohio in 1983. Didn't know flaggers were volunteers. Stopped by Station 1 during lunch break on an Indy Car Friday. The first person I talked to was Hank Roberts, T asked him about flagging and how to become involved.. He sent me to the infield and told me to look for look for a guy named Sam eating lunch from the trunk oh his SAAB. Mr. Oram sent me back to station 1, said to look for Don Bailey. The rest is history. People I gleaned knowledge and advice from were numerous. Sam Oram, Craig Rhine, Gene and Thelma, Chuck Cundiff, Don Bailey, Dick and Barb Coburn, Joe Bartzi, and all those other lovely folks from Canada.
4/2/2020 10:50:36 am
I have been involved in racing from preparing the dirt track surface in Swindon England when I was 13 years old. I raced speedway bikes for fun. Then one day, a corner worker did not show for a race event. So I was asked to step in. That led to learning how to be a speedway referee. Many years later that led me to California and an AMA national speedway ref. It was about 8 years ago, i visited Sonoma and spoke to a flagger in turn 2. He pointed to a fancy office block on the hill. He told me to go there. Later that day i did and within an hour i was hired and put on a schedule to learn the art. Within the first year, I was hosting paid speedway races then heading to Sonoma to do the large events as a Speedway Motorsports Inc. I also worked at Laguna Seca and tracks in Oregon and Washington. This was my full time job on the west coast, it is very different here in Ohio.
4/2/2020 11:06:02 am
I found myself at the IndyCar race in Toronto in the early 90's watching the flaggers more than the race. It was something I was interested in and life got in the way for a little bit until 2000 when I saw the LEC booth at Mid-O. Came out the next weekend for the SCCA OVR weekend and sat on the back of Phil Griffith's truck the 1st half of the day going through everything as cars were circulating. That afternoon got in the game and have loved every second of it. Learned a lot from many people early on Sue Beal, Tom Phillips, Bob and Judy Cowie, Dale Strimple, Jim Goff and most importantly Joe Hennies, who taught me how to bail. Have made many friends over the years and wouldn't trade it in for anything.
4/2/2020 02:19:03 pm
My Dad was an SCCA Mamber. He worked Grid at Laguna Seca & Sears Point from 1970 to 1982. My brothers and I were Track Brats.
4/3/2020 01:58:42 pm
I've always been a car guy. Started in high school with dirt tracks and drag strips. My freshman year of college our frat took a road trip to Watkins Glen for the Can Am and 6 hours of makes. Arriving very late on Friday night I had no idea what I was about to see or more accurately, hear. The warm up on Saturday morning before the Can Am qualifying meant that some 12 cylinder cars started up about7:30 am. Having never heard a Ferrari or Matra 12 cylinder alarm clock before was a real wake up call to road racing. Fully Hooked. That led to numerous trips to the Glen as a spectator. After leaving Kent State and moving for job near Youngstown, Susan got a job waitressing at the Brown Derby in Warren. Having been with me for the various trips to races and on recommendation of the Mahoning Valley folks, she made the fatal error. She bought me an SCCA membership for my birthday. "They said you can go to races right here at Nelson Ledges".
4/4/2020 09:27:17 pm
I was given a free ticket to a 1000 km Group C race (a week after Le Mans) at Brands Hatch. As I walked over the hill at Clearways corner I saw a car scream past and head into the right hander onto the start/finish straight. It slammed into the outside wall and the then pit wall, outside wall........leaving parts all over. Then all these weird guys in orange coveralls ran out and I thought - man they look like they are having more fun than Me!
4/6/2020 11:53:49 am
I have been a racing fan since the mid 60's and spectated at Mid Ohio in 1969 for the first time at a Can Am race. I saw my first Indy 500 in 1970. When I joined the Navy, I did manage to go to Riverside for a Can Am and a Trans Am, then one trip to Ontario Motor Speedway for the Ontario 500. I then shipped off to Japan, with a few trips off the coast of Vietnam.
4/9/2020 11:13:15 am
Grew up as a track brat at Nelson’s Ledges in the 70’s. When my father wasn’t racing, he worked tech, my mother worked grid, and I ran around the infield, playing in the mud with all the other track brats. It was inevitable that I would eventually end up on a corner.
4/9/2020 11:43:18 am
I spectated my first race back at VIR in 2002 with the Grand-Am 500. The racing bug bit me of being at a race track after that. In 2004, about a few weeks before I started my first year in college, I decided to get involved with SCCA at a National event. Chuck Stanley was my first flag chief,. I remember being at Turn 6, scared to death of blue flagging due to my inner perfectionism wanting to kick in, while wanting to hold the yellow flag instead. It didn't scare me off as I did my 1st pro race 2 months later at the Grand-Am 400 and finally got to learn and some decent blue flagging,
4/10/2020 01:33:36 am
I first went to Mid-Ohio in 1962 as a junior in high school. I attended races there until 1968 when I started working races in T&S. In June of 1982 I went to Detroit to work crowd control at the first Detroit GP. While there I watched an old guy from New York doing the blue flag. When I got back to Mid-Ohio I took the LEC school with Don Bailey as instructor.
4/10/2020 07:23:08 am
I took my F&C school at Nelson Ledges in May of 1986. By July, Sam had me at old T8 at Mid-Ohio on Sundays teaching new students. I was honored to have been chosen for the Rookie Award that year. Sorry Dale. Don Bailey and Joe Bartzi as well as Larry Pim were my mentors. Thank you! Special thanks to Suzy, Louie and Karie Beal for putting me up during the week days for a couple of years as I worked summers at MO. I left F&C following Sam's passing for 20 years. I returned in 2015 as a result of the reunion organized by Randy Holton. So many memories, good and bad. Thanks to all those who had a hand in making those memories.
4/10/2020 09:10:17 pm
I was a long time season ticket holder at Mid-Ohio. During the Grand Am race there In 2006 I encountered Mike and Joy Wright who were volunteering with SCCA. I mentioned that I'd always wanted to do that (Flagging) and Mike took me to the F&C recruiting tent and introduced me to Jeff K and Louie B. I started on my book the next club event but continued to use my season ticket for the pro events the rest of the year.
5/10/2020 10:18:04 am
It all started in May, 1980 when I was invited to go to Indianapolis to watch Tim Richmond try to qualify for the Indy 500. Tim being a local boy growing up in West Salem, Ohio, was the intro to CART and Indycar racing. We ventured to pit lane where we talked with Tim before he qualified. Setting in the stands across from pit lane watching all the teams preparing to go out for their 4 laps, and my attention was drawn to all the men in yellow shirts lined up and down pit lane, thinking some day I want to do that. I attended pole day for the next couple of years but never went to the race. Indy sparked my intrest in racing, so I went to Mid-Ohio to watch the Lumbermans races. After getting married my wife worked for K-Mart where she was able to get VIP passes to Mid-Ohio when CART raced there and Mario Andretti was sponsored by K-Mart. Looking thru the program for the CART race I saw an ad for Lake Erie Communications recruiting corner workers. In the spring of 2000 I finally got the nerve up to call the number in the ad and talked to Louie Beal who said there was s Flagging school in a couple weeks at Nelson Ledges at a drivers school. Phil Griffins was our instructor. There was 6-or 7 of us on Saturday for the class portion, only 4 of us returned on Sunday for the track side portion of the school. Since April of 2000 I have averaged 8-10 days per season beteen Nelson Ledges, Mid-Ohio. I have traveled to Baltimore and Cleveland for flagging races. May 2014 at Indianapolis for the being Granp Prix, I finally got to fulfill my dream of some day being an official at Indianapolis, but not wearing a yellow shirt but a white shirt as a corner worker.
Leave a Reply.
Lake Erie Communications
Since we are stuck bench racing for a while....might be fun to ask questions and see what answers we might get back.