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
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!
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).
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.
Mother Doug refers to is Tommie Benham. She would let you know in no uncertain terms of any mistakes.
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.
Mentors were Esther Carlyle, and long time co chiefs of SFR Comm Crew.
Still officiating at all SFR Events and Pro Events at the tracks.
Hope everyone in our motorsports family stay well and safe.
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.
I joined LEC in 1978 and have my original LEC membership cards signed by then Chief Sam Oram. At that time, we had two-day LEC School with classroom on Saturday and on track with REAL race cars using us for turn-in markers. As there were no Regional Racing at Mid-Ohio at that time, schools were held at Nelson Ledges Road Course.
Our instructors were Rod Disbenitt (sp) and Judy Cowie. Rod did the station set up and flags and Judy was the phone trainer. One of the best communicators ever.
I remember that Sunday, my first day 3 feet off the track. OK, maybe that was 4 feet but in the old days, that’s where we worked. I was on blue flag at old station 11 at NL. Cars were flying by and it was raining lightly, and I had a lightweight clear vinyl rain suit on. Car came by and shot a stone or something off the track at me and hit me in the upper right chest area tearing a hole in the suit and scared the XXXX out of me. It felt like a bullet hit me. Don’t ask how I know that. Jude ask me if I was OK and I said I was but there was a hole in my suit.
I was Flag Chief and after Sam passed away, became one of the Directors along with Louie Beal and Dale Strimple. It took the three of us to fill his shoes.
Besides M-O and NL, I have worked Grattan in Michigan, Indianapolis Raceway Park near Indy, Summit Point and Watkins Glen. Also, several Runoffs at Road Atlanta before they started them moving around.
All that brought me to today. Never thought at that time I would become a Steward let alone the Executive Steward of the Great Lakes Division.
Ever since I have been in SCCA, I have met many wonderful friends and consider all of you family.
So, you see, there always is the next level.
Happy Racing and stay safe.
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.
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.
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.
Sam Orram was my mentor. I am forever grateful for his advice, guidance, and caring nature. He brought me up to race control to do copy, which led to Race Control communicator, which led to LEC director. My F&C days also led me to Champ Car/ CART, which gave me the opportunity to be part of the Observer team for about five or six years - that is when the travel for ovals started - Chicago, St. Louis, Fontanta, and then overseas.
I spent many, many weekends (every weekend from mid-April through the end of October) on corner stations with the likes of Dale Strimple, Erik Avendutti (ask him about that burning tire), the Cowies, Phil Griffith, Glen Miller (my cohort in race control for several years), and so many others over the years.
I have met the most amazing people and friends through F&C. And every year, there are more people joining our amazing family. I am eternally grateful to all of you.
Went to the '77 Indy500 mile race - hooked, started going to MidO that year and ever since.
Decided to volunteer in 2013 when I noticed, not so many on corners on Fridays. Spent a Dart Cart day with Jeff K at 5, day two I worked 12. Finished my days of club races that year
After that 1st Pro event was IndyGP and I've had wonderful Captains helping to build my skills ever since. And lotsa input from Bill A too.
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.
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.
My 18th birthday was my first day as an employee of Mid-Ohio in 1992. When the first school came around I was in it. My mentors were Joe Bartzi for flagging, Ken Kotyk was on point, communicating was either Mom (Susie) or Judy Cowie. We were working old 9 and 10 at Mid-Ohio. Joe had a problem with me because I was a weekday employee and a Beal, but he warmed up to me. Then I went to point with Ken, we were drivers right at the bridge. Our first session out, had a car spin and hit the tirewall right in front of us, wet grass and slick tires.I guess nothing has changed.
My first weekend after the school working old 5, I worked with Judy, Jim Goff and Dale Strimple. I have to say, that was the best experience and learned so much.
I did work rope tow for a few years. I loved riding in the back of the pickup trucks and doing hot tracks. That was the ultimate adrenaline rush.
Besides Mid-Ohio, I've only worked a couple other tracks, Nelson's and Carolina Motorsports Park. I only did copy at Put in Bay.
All the years being around LEC from being a kid to now, I would never have it any other way. The people I have met over the decades are all family.
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.
I have grown to love endurance racing, and have had the pleasure to flag the 24 hours of LeMans, 12 hours of Sebring, and the 24 hours of Daytona.
I have had the most fun and met the best people at the race track.
Play Safe! Joe
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.
In the early 80's a girl I worked with ran an FA car and they needed corner workers at IRP...so I went, started my SCCA logbook.... never completed ....life happened.
In the late 90's I was back doing a couple regionals. Then I stopped, don't recall why.
Then PIB happened....I worked the grid in 2017 and had a blast (thanks to Kathy, Doug and of course Tal)... LOVE this event but in 2018 I was taking care of Dad,
This past year before Vintage Cars Kevin reached out to me and asked "Can you put down your damn Volvo wrenches and come flag with me"... I did and did several events last year at Mid Ohio and a grid gig at IMS. I did Fridays last year, this year it will need to be different due to worker availability and the crammed schedule.
I joined LEC in the Fall... ready too get back to the track
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.
Then after racing WKA on a national level, college, getting married (the first time), spectating at many dozens of racing events in the Midwest, spending 4 years building a house about 30 minutes from the track; I was watching an IndyCar race after the 500 in ‘94, and saw the ad for the Mid-Ohio race. I just showed up at the track one Saturday about 10AM to get some information about F&C, and it happened to be an SCCA event. They directed me to the Honda Pavilion and said to ask for Sam Oram. Sam was conducting an LEC school that day, and immediately “enrolled” me, and I did both days. For the next 6 years I worked about 45-50 LEC days a year. I also occasionally traveled with Tom Phillis to other tracks like IRP, Gateway, and Daytona for the 24.
Sam was an awesome guy and I wish everyone could have had the opportunity to experience him. I really miss Sam, Sue and Lowell. Several years ago, having a house with a view of I-71, I kept seeing the transporters go by, and got the bug to come back out. Bill graciously welcomed me and was very accommodating to my now limited physical abilities. It also gave me an opportunity to do some Course work as well. I’ve enjoyed knowing all of you, and may try to help out again if and where I can. I’m quarantined right now with my “presumptive positive” son, but we are both symptom free now, and will be off quarantine Friday. Be careful and safe everyone!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
That led to to six years of intense race working. The region came first as they were the ones who fed this new addiction. "Just come out and you can work pits". That's nice but what do I do when its not the region's race? "Well, there's always flagging." More addiction.
LEC was a far different group then. There were lots of flaggers which meant time and people to work with newbs. It also meant a training log book. LEC in the mid70's was populated by Captains who worked almost every weekend. Some I remember, Harrington, Beal, Green, Bailey, those are some I reacall. Race control was Sam Oram and Tommie Benham with Bill having recently passed. Those were some days. LEC was the metric for flagging and communications having literally wrote the book. I often thought the log book was more an effort to make you work with a number of captains until one said, "I want him, her, them." I spent most of my weekends with John Gall and occasionally Don Bailey. Susan and Marilyn on comm. John and I on flags and response and with the numbers, safety points(remember those?). Many days with students.
One of which was Randy Holton. Well before pc's and email, you were sent post cards with your RSVP for events, which must be returned to get through registration. For the newbs and less proficient bule postcards for club events regionals and drivers schools etc. Red cards for pro events. It was a sort of graduation when you got your first red card in your packet. So many races, so many weekends. Steel Cities, Mahoning Valley, NeOhio, Western NY all held club events at Nelson. Mid Ohio was reserved for Nationals and pro events. Until the IMSA Camel GT series the road racing was only SCCA or F1 and Makes at the Glen. There was club every weekend and even at pro races there were restricted regionals to fill in for CanAm, F5000 or Trans Am. That lasted for a very busy six years until moving to CLE where I found a new diversion, Racing Sailing. Never stopped spectating however. Many Cleveland Grand Prix, many CART at MidOh. Fast Forward to '94 now the parent of two sons who were raised being dragged along to races we began spectating the Runnoffs at MidOh. A few years into our annual trip one son was dragged into the SCCA tent by Connie and told, "You're 14" you can do T&S in the tower."
20 years later, the second fatal error..... dragged out my old whites which sort of fit, tighter for sure, and drove out to Nelson to show Jason what club racing was like. Eye opener again......
"What do you mean I have to be a member to flag?"
I'm a life member of LEC.
The new SCCA but the same people. Just before being turned away, Dorthy Harrington said, He can flag. Give him a weekend membership. Off the wagon, addiction rekindled.
The looks though, showing up at a regional with whites sporting CanAm, Camel GT and Cumberland Nationals patches priceless.
The rest is history....
That's the " how did you get involved in LEC twice story".
The old saying, Fool me once....fool me twice, sort of fits but there's no shame. Its the people I've formed life long friendships with that makes SCCA and LEC special ( I can't separate the two ). Between the green and checker its buisiness. After the checker its fun time .
Its the camaraderie that gets me coming back.
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!
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.
Once I was a civilian again, I went back to spectating at Mid Ohio, with a couple of trips for F1, at Watkins Glen. It was fun, but it seemed as an enthusiast, I felt like I was missing a lot. Many of the cool facts were lost, until I got my copy of Autoweek.
In 1978, I went up to some of the LEC folks, and talked about getting involved. I wasn't totally sold on it, but I did have contact info. The start of 1979 was kind of ruff on me mentally, and knew that I had to do something new and interesting. A friend that I worked with, was into late model racing and asked me to come along to crew. It was fun, but I realized that I had no mechanical skills. I then dug out that info on LEC, and life started all over, again.
In May of 1979, I made the long drive to Nelson Ledges to take the LEC school. That school also was attended by Steve Carman and Colleen Dick (Snyder) who I still stay in touch with. Don Bailey and John Gall were our instructors. After a full Saturday of classroom, we all went over and hung around the campfire, and had a few beers. I was listening to some fantastic stories, so I guess you could say this was my first bench racing session.When we dispersed, John Gall, Sam Oram, and I were the last to go.
Sunday morning seemed to pop up fast and I was assigned to turn 13. It didn't take long before, I knew this was my calling! At lunch time, I went up to tell Sam Oram to go ahead and make one of those pewter mugs for exceptional attendance. I think that I worked almost every race at Nelson Ledges and Mid Ohio. That was a great year and the start of over 40 years, with some of the best people, that I've ever known. The spring of 1980, at the LEC Seminar, Steve Carman and I became co-Rookies of the Year.
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.
One weekend, my father said ‘go to the morning flag meeting, they’re gonna put you to work’. That put me with Don Harrington who ran me through the LEX school. Been flagging ever since.
I’ve been fortunate enough to de trained/mentored or just work with some of whom I consider the best flagger I’ve ever met - Strimple, Avenduti, Phill and Bob Griffith, Shoe, and so many more. I’ve had the opportunity to work races all over the Northeast, both pro and club level, and meet such interesting people.
These days I spend most of my track time in Race Control, where I still get to interact with many of those I came up with, whether they are still flagging, or moved on to other specialties such as Stewards, drivers, etc.
Racing has always been in my blood, and those who participated in it, at all levels, have always been part of my extended family. And probably will be for the rest of my days.
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,
I hadn't lost the bug since, even with a forced sabbatical from 2010 to 2016 due graduate school and career aspirations.
From 2004 to 2010 and to from 2017 to now, I have flag marshaled races for both cars and motorcycles in 3 countries (Australia, Canada, U.S.), I have been to 20 different tracks and well over countless events throughout that time.
I have had countless mentors, especially on a corner such as Mo and the late Sam Overstreet, Bill and Rachel Forman,Pete Romanowski, but also several of them while working Start such as Bruce Dover, the late James Buckberry, the late Shirley Wantland and my best friend Jamie Dzencelowcz.
With all of the mentoring and support throughout the years, I landed my first paid gig with Orange County Speedway in NC as their chief starter. Hopefully, i will get to be in the start stand a few times this year, once racing resumes.
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.
In 1982 I only flagged on Fridays of pro weekends because on Saturdays and Sundays I was either in the T&S tower or live charting for the track announcer. It was the same for 83, 84 & 85. In 86, 87 & 88 I started splitting time, flagging more than half the time. In 89 my time shifted to mostly F&C with some T&S. By the end of 90 I had flagged at the Detroit GP, Cleveland IndyCar, Phoenix GP, Nelson Ledges, & Mid-Ohio. I was now spending 50+ days per season at the track.
By the end of 2002 I had worked at 21 different race circuits. By 2020 the count is now 41. As of 2020 I have worked 158 IndyCar (CART, CCWS etc) weekends at 23 different circuits and 24 Runoffs weeks at 8 different circuits.
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.
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.
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.
Since we are stuck bench racing for a while....might be fun to ask questions and see what answers we might get back.