Saturday, December 14, 2013

Life as a Racing Official

If you have ever been to a World of Outlaws Late Model series race and taken a walk through the pit area you’ve probably seen their truck parked in the pit area. The person who drives that truck from race track to race track is Tyler Bachman.

Bachman, 23, is an official for the series and has been around racing most of his life. He started working at Lernerville Speedway when he was 12 years old as a part of their cleanup crew. He eventually worked his way up to being an official at the track and has now been with the late model tour for three years.

Once Bachman arrives at the track and pulls the truck into the pit area he and the other officials get to work well before any racing is done at the track.

The truck itself acts as a command center for the series at event.

“We have to get the trailer set up first,” Bachman said. “There’s a computer and a printer in there for scoring purposes. We set it up at every race.”

From there the officials head out to the track to get it ready for the event.

“We set up the timing and scoring loops around the track that link to the computer for scoring purposes,” Bachman said. “Then we set up the announcing equipment and hang about 100 banners around the facility. I also will hand out decal packets to the drivers who are racing with us for the first time.”

Once everything is set up and ready to go Bachman communicates with the drivers throughout the night to keep the program running efficiently.

“Before qualifying I’ll go around and make sure the drivers know when are supposed to go out for qualifying,” Bachman said. “We try to keep the show running smooth for the fans.”
Once the racing gets going you can find Bachman in the infield by the fourth turn where he has many duties.

“I call the initial start,” Bachman said. “The leader has to start in the firing zone between two fuel jugs in turns three and four and I am there to make sure he does that.”

After a lap is completed the leader has the option to start anywhere between turns three and four, but Bachman remains in the infield to assist drivers who have an issue and pull over under caution.

“Sometimes their ear piece isn’t working or they have a problem with their transponder,” Bachman said. “They also could have sheet metal rubbing a tire or something like that. I’m there to take care of things like that.”
After the checkered flag waves it’s time to load up and head to the next track. The World of Outlaws Late Model series races in 21 states and parts of Canada. Traveling can be taxing at times for anyone who is a part of a racing series.
“Sometimes you drive all night to get to the next race,” Bachman said. “It is worth it though. I get to see so many race tracks that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to see if I wasn’t an official.”

Bachman really looks forward to visiting various tracks on the World of Outlaws schedule every season.

“I like Cedar Lake it is a great race track,” Bachman said. “There is an awesome atmosphere up there, the racing is great and the people you work with there are some of the best out there.”

Short track races are also near the top of his list.

“Short tracks provide great racing,” Bachman said. “I like going to Tyler County Speedway and places like that.”

Being an official on the tour can keep Bachman away from his home sometimes as long as a month, but he is comfortable with the people he travels with day in and day out.

“It’s like your second family,” Bachman said. “There are seven of us officials and the drivers that follow the tour. We have a great working relationship.”

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