You've had it happen to you. Everyone does. You hear a song or even think about a song and you can't get it out of your head for days.
The most recent case was the song "Working for the Weekend" by the band Loverboy (I had to look that up). It's a catchy tune, but the songs that stay with me are generally the ones where I mess with the lyrics. It drives the wife nuts when I do that, but I haven't learned. Anyway, I like to change the words to "Everybody's working ON the weekend." With those words, it could well become the anthem of the race team crewmember. As you look at the calendar, you realize it's a long time before there is such thing as an off-weekend or the kind of weekend Loverboy is singing about.
We wrote about the dedication to the task a few months back. Now, we are face-to-face with another season coming into full song. Some teams already have two months of travel and toil behind them. They are the long-haul guys who live and/or race in areas where the climate allows year-round action. It certainly doesn't mean those who don't are working any less. Theoretically, they have a little more time to get the job done right, but they aren't necessarily hitting a time clock at 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. In fact, there are those out there who are working extra hours at their steady jobs in order to accumulate the vacation time needed to hit the road. Deals are being made with working partners. Sometimes, hunters need the support of racers to keep production levels at a point where management is happy. When your buddy wants to go hunting, you'll stay at the shop and keep the lines moving, knowing he'll do the same for you when race season arrives.
It's one of the biggest eye-openers a new racer faces. It wasn't that long ago (but it was before Loverboy had its hit song) that I found out firsthand just how much work is involved in maintaining a race car. I still haven't discovered how much work it is to maintain a competitive race car. This is the type of sport where the work will yield the results, maybe not in the time frame you'd like to see them, but they'll be there. I've read about guys racing more than 20 years before their first track championship. Many of the First Win candidates in our Racin' Around section didn't snag them in the first season, but they didn't quit. The results will come, but only through hard work, and that means working on the weekends. While the people in the grandstands can leave an hour before race time for a Saturday-night show, you can bet most crewmembers have an eight-hour day done before the first green flag falls.
Working on the weekends is necessary. We just need to thank those who do for giving us the quality of racing we enjoy.-Larry Jewett
Weekend WorkHere's a little sample of some of the work that's being done on a Saturday night. Of course, there were many more Saturday nights inside a race shop that led to working on this weekend. It's Saturday night, January 25, 2003, at East Bay Raceway Park near Tampa, Florida. It's the halfway break in the 100-lap Modified feature. No one is standing around because there's only so much time to do so much. Working on the weekend: It's a way of life.