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Daytona Build-a-Bike


chisek
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  • Race Control

For those of you who attended Daytona, you know that Build-a-Bike was there also.  50 kids came in from the local Boys and Girls club and got new lime green bikes.  I walked over there during the middle of it and was amazed at how many kids and bikes there were!  A big thank you to Alyssa and Al for managing the program, and all the teams that helped a kid build their own bike.


 


While the program was a success, I still left a little disappointed.  There were over 550 drivers and crew at Daytona, yet we had a hard time getting the 50 volunteers needed to help the kids.  That's 9% of the drivers or 42% of the teams.  My staff told me they had to make three passes down pit road to get the volunteers they needed.  Many teams told us that "we're too busy".  Really?  From my vantage point in the tower I didn't see any team that was too busy to spare one person for 30 minutes.  You certainly were not too busy to get your FREE Optima battery.  Maybe you'd rather tell the kids next time you're too busy to give them a hand instead of one of us.


 


John told me to make BaB participation mandatory for all teams.  I told him I wouldn't have to because with so many teams and the good cause we were helping I would have no trouble getting the help.  I was wrong.  You should all know that after I heard of the low turnout I went and found Derrick and had him ADD one lap to every team that sent over a representative to help with the program - even if you were turned away because we had enough help by then.  I believe we gave a lap to less than 40 teams, because many teams sent two people.


 


VIR will be another BaB event.  I expect every team to send someone over for a few minutes to help an underprivileged child build their new bike.  It is charity however, and as such I will not penalize you for choosing to not help.  Maybe you have a thing against kids riding bikes, I don't know.  But if I see low participation again at VIR, those that do volunteer will again receive a bonus lap for helping out.


 


Anything else to add John?


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How about doing it the night before?


 


We only had 4 drivers and No pit crew. With our car getting bumped in the 1st 2 hours of the race and needed a wheel change , then having to check the front alighment we didnt have the manpower to do the event.


We planned on it, we even arranged our driving schedule so the person that had worked in a bike shop back in High School would be free for the 2nd bike time frame. But things didnt allow this to happen.


 


The night before when the garage closed we went to out eat and drank.. since there was nothing to do.  We would of been available to build a bike at that point.


 


Just my 2 cents

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Guest Mrs.B

Is it possible to have it the day before the race, during the day, and just allow for the track to stay open for longer so the teams still have time to do all their prep work?


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Remember, we're dealing with 8-9 year old kids!  Many can't be out at night.

OK so we build the bikes the night before with one group and get an inventory of assembled bikes.

Then on race day the 2nd group and build the remainder..  Or the kids can come in and just get the bike that were assembled the day before.

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I don't know if the people I sent to BaB had ever signed up with CC staff, but I know one I sent was looking for the yellow garages and I had to point him in the right direction, so I'm hoping he made it.. like posted above, during the race is kind of difficult, as car owner, I try not to get too far away from my car in case I need to make a decision about something, plus, I'm really the only person who knows anything about my car...  I'm the only one that works on it, so I'm the one who fixes it... When it came time to do the BaB and the CC volunteers came to our pit, I was caught off guard, because, and I will take the blame and just admit that I didn't realize it was already 12:30, one of my guys was off taking pictures and the other was visiting with our sponsors/supporters who came to the race...  That left us with me and my fuel guy, so we sent his son to the BaB.


 


I would agree that if we can figure out a time that is not dead smack in the middle of the race it would be easier to lend a hand...  I will not be running my own car at VIR, so I will be happy to come help out if I am not driving during that time or needed for a pit stop...


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My issue was 4 crew members servicing three cars. Yes bussy as hell. Then some one came and said it was manditory, so we sent a crew down and was short a crew member on our pit. I am all about helping kids, have some of my own, but thier must be a better way.


 


As for the "FREE BATTERY" you can have it. Our cars are set up with a quick change battery, Optimum does not have the size we use. So now I am forced to use a battery that dose not fit our cars and I have to BUY another as our back up. Not FREE to me. Pluse I have three batteries I cant use.


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Completely agree this should be mandatory just like in Portland. 5 lap penalty or $500 donation if you don't show up. It's a great program and with so many drivers, crew members, 30 minutes helping this program will warm your heart, help those kids, and won't hurt your race.

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Remember, we're dealing with 8-9 year old kids!  Many can't be out at night.

 

That's great and all, but we're dealing with an edurance race and staying manned in our pit stall in case our car comes in early with crash damage. Which happened about the time we would've sent someone over. Our team car had its own miserable mechanical issues they were doing their best to stay on top of.

I don't have a problem being told to go help volunteer for something. I do have a problem with it when I'm kinda busy with the whole reason I towed down to Daytona for at the moment. This would have been far far better scheduled the day before. You'd be ok even if many of the teams weren't there yet because of those that were there, they could spare more people because they're not trying to win a race.

 

edit: I don't mean for that to sound like I'm against what you're doing here. I would have thoroughly enjoyed helping a kid put a bike together. Or a few. It's just the stress of doing it during a race kills the fun factor. We have to stay suited up and on edge all race as it is.

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We only had drivers and no crew, thus we stayed in our pit for emergencies pit ins.  This was due to us being 12-16 hours from home base.


 


At VIR we will have a bunch of friends/family/crew, so we will definitely be lending a hand (or 2 or 3).


 


-Chris


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My issue was 4 crew members servicing three cars. Yes bussy as hell. Then some one came and said it was manditory, so we sent a crew down and was short a crew member on our pit. I am all about helping kids, have some of my own, but thier must be a better way.

 

As for the "FREE BATTERY" you can have it. Our cars are set up with a quick change battery, Optimum does not have the size we use. So now I am forced to use a battery that dose not fit our cars and I have to BUY another as our back up. Not FREE to me. Pluse I have three batteries I cant use.

 

We didnt get a battery. when we went to the trailer they were out of them. I would of though they had a list of the car type and counts of the numbers of cars to bring a proper inventory.

 

So maybe they will have them at Sebring.

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Mike, I definitely agree that this is sad. Our team did not send someone over, unfortunately, so we take part of the blame. We had a total of four people at the event, all drivers, 10 hours away from home. At the time when one of the ChumpCar staff came over to talk to us about it (about 5:00 PM), we had one person on the track and two people outside of the speedway running all over Daytona Beach, Port Orange, Deland and everywhere looking for parts to fix the car.  If we had sent someone over to BaB, we would literally have had no one at the pit wall or garage to help assist the driver in the case of any malfunctions, fueling issues, health emergency (I joke but this happened at VIR, I'm sure you remember), etc, etc. 


 


I understand the need to make this a requirement but some teams simply don't bring enough people to the races to spare any. At VIR our drivers already have to go retrieve/re-fill gas cans as soon as they come back from driving in order to be ready for the next pit stop. There's no time for smoke breaks, dinner breaks, snack breaks, nap breaks or anything else. It's all work all the time. We don't have the luxury of bringing 2-3 mechanics or others to help with pitting or maintenance.


 


If we have extra non-drivers at VIR (it's possible as it's a home race for us), we will definitely send one over but there's a chance that won't happen. It didn't in March. :/


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I love the fact that we're trying to support a good charity, but tend to agree that in the middle of the race is the wrong time to do it.  If this had been Saturday some time, I could have sent 6 people to help.  Instead, in the middle of the race, we struggled to find one (and honestly, I'm not sure we ever made it.. we too were having mechanical issues).

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This would have been far far better scheduled the day before. You'd be ok even if many of the teams weren't there yet because of those that were there, they could spare more people because they're not tryin to win a race.

 

Agreed, on tech day, I had 3 other drivers standing around and myself with nothing to do after about 4:30pm...   we didn't even stage our pit until Sunday morning...   now, I don't know if BaB can work out the logistics with the kids for races where the Friday tech schedule exists..

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The charity is great and all.....but I don't understand what that has to do with how many laps you completed during the race. This isn't Lemons, laps should not be added or subtracted to any team unless it is a scoring problem. Otherwise let's not call this racing, lets call it "speed parading with laps based on charity". 


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Guest Packard Goose

I heard the same things at Road America (not enough crew, etc) yet somehow, some way, they all managed to send at least 1 member from each team.


 


If the teams at Portland and Road America can swing it....


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Apologies from Flying Tigers for not sending someone. I intended to do so, but honestly thought you would have way more volunteers than you needed. It won't happen again, we will be there, I will be there.


 


That being said, it always amazes me how busy we stay, all day. Every race I go to I say I am going to spend some time wondering around and getting to know other teams or watch some racing from different vantage points, but I rarely get to. Our car is very reliable, but with only about 1:40 stints max before we run out of fuel, it seems we are re-suiting for the next pit stop every few minutes. If I can just get that flux capacitor thingy working, we won't need no stinking fuel!


 


Great event, Mike. We had a great time. Thank you.

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Like I tell my telemarketing callers who solicit me for charity...we pick our own charities, thank you; have a nice day.  I give plenty (amount and frequency) so shame on you for shaming people who choose to pick their charities of choice.  You're insulting us as if we give nothing to no one....you don't know me.  We're into racing so obviously we have more money than sense...make it monetary or before the race.


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Guest Packard Goose

Like I tell the people who come to my events and my track - you can do things our way, or you can pack up and go home.


 


Seriously Car54. Is it a beating to help out an underprivileged kids? These bikes aren't for your local soccer playing suburbanite kid riding mom and dad's 6-figure wages through private schools. They are for kids who otherwise wouldn't get a bike.


 


If you feel like you are being "shamed" then perhaps a little inward reflection is in order.


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