TEXAS – We’re just under three weeks away from the Bommarito Automotive Group 500! As race teams pull into World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois, they’ll be doing so in their team haulers.
These NTT IndyCar Series transporters or haulers serve as a team’s race shop or mobile office. They are vital to the at-track activity of every race team.
“If you look around, you can see we carry everything we need – gears and bolts,” said Ricardo Nault, the team manager for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. “If we were to crash the car we can put it all together with everything we have, between electronics and nuts and bolts and washers. We have everything we need to build a car from scratch here if it came to that. Hopefully, it doesn’t.”
Multiple haulers can attach to one another, giving teams more space and storage. These big rigs convert into high-tech workspaces, housing, and team headquarters.
“We have a little lounge here,” Nault said. “Our crew chief works up here. Our president works here, marketing people work there.”
There are also meeting areas utilized for driver debriefings, race strategy sessions, engineering meetings, and driver interviews.
“After we run on the track, we come in here with lead engineers and Mr. Rahal and we discuss our plan; drivers come back and tell us about the car,” Nault said.
And speaking of the car, the main vehicle and back-up both travel in these haulers. Those two cars—without engines—are worth about a million dollars together.
“This is where we carry both race cars. Right now, the back-up car is the only one in here,” Nault said. “We got a full car, equipment, and hopefully we don’t need it.”
The same guys who build the cars at the shop are the same ones who go on the road and do the pit stops and handle adjustments during the week.
You can’t tell from looking at the outside how much actually goes on inside each hauler. Things are very organized and these trailers house several activities and people throughout a race weekend.
“With everything we bring down the middle now—a timing stand, fuel rig, golf cart, wheel cart, tile to set the tile when we have a tent. We have a tent with us as well. Everything we need comes in these three transporters with us now,” Nault said.
When you come out to World Wide Technology Raceway on August 23 and 24, check out the infield. You'll know what all the activity happening in and out of the haulers.