Monday, June 25, 2012

Yes, There's a Class for That


Walking into the NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, NC, it’s hard not to notice the wall of fame; a checkered flag mural with signatures from racing legends like Rusty Wallace, Bobby Allison and Michael Waltrip. After all, Mooresville is in the heart of NASCAR country.

And what better place to find the NASCAR Technical Institute?

I’m here to photograph the school for the Charlotte USA Economic Development Guide and have a good feeling of what I’m going see there. 

Students learn about engines, fabrication and aerodynamics. But there’s one class that catches me by surprise. Pit Crew.

On a rather warm and sunny afternoon, students gather in teams along the wall, waiting for their turn. Tires stand by their sides, at the ready. The countdown begins. “Go!” And out they come, each with his own job. Up goes the car, off come the tires, on go the new tires, down goes the car. Now to the other side. 

Rinse and repeat. 

For over an hour the students practice, alternating between teams and the two race cars. There aren’t any cars screaming into the pits, jockeying for position. But the pressure is still on. Time is of the essence. And each team is racing to reach the checkered flag before the other.