Life In The Pits Isn’t So Bad…My NASCAR Experience
By Marcy S. Yaffe, VP of Trade, Tradebank International
It is a proven fact that barter opens new doors of opportunity; I have repeatedly experienced this first hand in the 26+ years I have been in the barter industry. Watching the Tradebank Chevrolet race in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup at Bristol Motor Speedway FROM THE PIT AND CREW AREA (!) last Sunday was clearly another extraordinary “barter experience”.
Sindo Mayor (Tradebank of Charlotte) and Ashby Green (Tradebank of Atlanta) met Tommy Baldwin, Jr. and Tommy III through a mutual friend and brokered a barter agreement between Tradebank and the Tommy Baldwin Racing Team to have Tradebank sponsor their #10 in the Sprint Cup.
Admittedly, I was not a prior race car fan. However, when you get the VIP treatment as a special guest of the team owners and you are a sponsor of their car, it’s easy to be converted. The first thing I noticed was the hospitality of everyone we met. Tommy Baldwin, Jr and III are incredible—true gentleman and a class act. Prior to the race, Dave Reuitmann was exceptionally generous with his time signing autographs, answering questions and posing for pictures. The crew was extremely polite and patient even when they had to say “excuse me Ma’am” a couple times when I was in their way as they prepared the car for the race. Even the track security was cordial when they yelled for me to “watch out”—I was right in front of the #99 car as they pushed it off the track to go “behind the wall” for repairs after it crashed. (The bad news, yes, I was in the way a couple times. The good news is, I was right in the heart of all the action so much so that I was in the way.)
I experienced too much on Sunday for me to be able relate it all here, but I will give you the overview. We were able to go inside the team crew trailer and see their diagnostic and mechanic’s tools, where and how they stored the spare parts and watch the car getting its pre-race adjustments in the pit. I filmed the car being pushed from the pits to the pre-race NASCAR inspections. I watched the opening ceremonies on the track with the media crews. I was with the Fox TV crew and missed the opportunity to be included when they took the picture with the Tradebank representatives, Dave Reuitimann, and Tommy Baldwin, III with “our” Tradebank car on the track prior to the race. (Can we Photoshop me in???)
We stayed in the pits during the entire race. Todd, Sindo, Becky, Barry and a couple other special Tradebank guests watched the majority of the race from the pit box. They were given special headphones which enabled them to hear the conversations between the driver and the crew chief during the race. I had too much exploring to do to stay in one spot. With ear plugs in place, I watched the race standing next to the opening where the cars enter and exit the track, from our pit box, and I wandered around observing the other team’s pit set ups, etc. The huge crew trailers are as impressive as the race cars. The precision and pace of the pit crews and engineers are masterful. It was almost as if they were performing surgery on the damaged cars right before me only at lightening speed. You always hear how loud the track is, and it’s true. The cars create their own rhythm as they go around the track. Each time the cars rounded the bend, I looked for #10 with Tradebank prominently displayed on every visible part of the car to ensure we were still racing. No crashes for us this race!
As the Tradebank team and the Tommy Baldwin Racing team work more closely together in the months ahead, I will return to the position I am most familiar with– barter and business. However, as you can see from the pictures, the “HOT pass” experience is truly remarkable. And, just think, if you sponsor a Tommy Baldwin Racing car in a future race you can have the same opportunity I did and help brand and market your business at the same time. For more information on sponsoring a car, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Tradebank go tradebank.com.