It doesn't get much bigger...
It doesn't get much bigger than being a crewman for a NASCAR Nextel Cup team. Photo by Bob Lesieur
Every profession has its pinnacle, its top of the heap, cream of the crop, so to speak. Actors have their Broadway and Hollywood, country entertainers have Nashville, stock brokers have Wall Street, and racers have NASCAR. Let's face it, if you want to work where it will matter the most and make a more-than-decent living, you have to work in the upper echelon of racing. For stock cars, that is within NASCAR's top three series.
In any discipline, some desire to climb the ladder and work their way to the top, while others are content staying at home to work in familiar surroundings. But if you are the type who would like to try working in big-league racing, there is a place you can go for valuable assistance.
Racing employment agent Bob...
Racing employment agent Bob Hubner sits at his desk in the heart of stock car racing country at Charlotte's Lowe's Motor Speedway. He has helped hundreds of qualified persons realize their dreams of working in major-league racing. Photo by Larry Cothren
Bob Hubner of Race City Resumes is a racer himself, having been a part of professional stock car racing since 1993. He started helping racers with placement in race teams while still working in the engine departments of top NASCAR teams.
When he was laid off due to a team dissolving in 1999, he decided it would be a good time to expand his services. So he started a business to help existing race personnel, as well as newcomers, connect with race teams who were in need of qualified personnel. It has all worked out better than he could have imagined.
We spoke with Bob about what he does and how an interested person can somehow connect with a professional race team. The following are the results of our discussion.
"All kinds of different jobs are needed in professional racing. From the very visible crew chiefs and drivers to the support persons who not only wrench on the cars, but also the truck drivers, media specialists, accountants, secretaries, painters, you name it," says Bob.
There is a host of engineers...
There is a host of engineers who work behind the scenes and also travel with the teams to record data and provide critical information to the teams. The role of engineer is changing as NASCAR transitions to the Car of Tomorrow (COT). Photo by Bob Lesieur
It takes a lot of personnel to operate these large racing businesses, and some larger teams employ hundreds of workers. Finding employment with one of these teams is all about what you are interested in and have experience doing. Even if your experience level is low for some positions, employers have been known to take on ambitious applicants and train them. Dedication seems to be a big plus. You've got to really want to be in this circus.
The fact is that most jobs in racing involve a lot of hard work, long hours, and a high level of dedication to the team. It can be very difficult for a family man or woman who must be on the road 40-plus weeks of the year.
And don't be fooled-if you don't have the proper experience, you may not be wanted. Few teams have the time to train people for skilled jobs. They are interested in hiring those who have done the job before and are at, or very near, the top of the game in whatever it is the job calls for.
The most visible job in NASCAR...
The most visible job in NASCAR is the pit crew, but it does not represent the majority of jobs available. Long before a car gets to the racetrack, it must be built, painted, set up, tested, marketed, shown for sponsors, and driven across the country in some cases. It takes a large, varied assortment of workers to get all of that done. Photo by Kevin Thorne/Penny Holder
The positions available in the race shop are many and varied. They can be associated with welding, race car mechanics, being the car chief in charge of setting up the car, mechanical and aero engineering, paint and body, or being the manager of each department. All positions require you to be familiar with race cars and the processes involved with them. You have to want to build a career in racing, knowing the ups and downs.
The first thing every applicant needs is a good, strong resume. This document is the first thing a prospective employer will look at. It needs to tell your story in a concise but complete way and be no longer than one page.
This is the item that will either catch a team's eye or not. Bob does a great job of screening the resume before a team ever sees it. That way, both Bob and the employer can gauge how the person will fit in with the position. If you have not developed a resume, Bob can help with that, too.