Throughout the months and several The NASCAR Life posts, I have talked a lot about the downsides of living a NASCAR lifestyle. While hard work and dedication are necessities in the sport, there are a lot of perks. From free stuff to garage passes to travel, the life affords a lot of great opportunities
Starting from the top, the most obvious and perhaps one of the coolest opportunities available for family of crew members and team employees are the garage passes. As discussed in an earlier post, the garage is perhaps one of the worst places to watch a race. That being said, nothing compares to being in the middle of all the action. Watching pit stops up close and personal, seeing the fights, and hearing the crews is truly a unique experience. This very limited privilege is very cool. If ever given the chance to visit the pits I encourage you to take it.
Another cool perk is all the free stuff from the teams and sponsors. Part of going to work for any major team is a package of apparel and other goodies. Shirts, sweatshirts and polos labeled with the team’s logo and sponsor logos are commonly part of any crew members wardrobe. These items are worn at the shop, and on race day, but often teams give out far too many pieces of clothing. Every year I receive several excess sweatshirts and t-shirts from family within the sport. It works out for all involved. In addition to the clothing, many team employees receive discounts from sponsors. For instance, Roush employees get discounts on Ford vehicles and at Discount Tire. Ganassi employees get a discount at Target stores. The list goes on and on. While most of these things are very small, they are helpful and something most do not get at any regular job.
For some one of the big allures to a life in the sport is the travel component of the job. For some it eventually becomes very costly, as has been discussed in other posts. But if you have an understanding family, or none at all it can be a lot of fun. While not all of the locations on the circuit are glamorous or exciting, the trips west or to any major metro area can provide a lot of great opportunities for outings. Beyond that of course is the being able to go to the race every weekend. While it is very easy to get burnt on airports and hotels, the job provides a unique experience every week.
So while there are some downsides to working in the sport, there exists a lot of opportunities to have fun. In addition, the many perks that exist, much longer than the list I have made, make the job a little more appealing. While it is not for everyone, a NASCAR life can be a very good interesting change of pace.