Increasing specialization opens up dozens of new jobs
For a look at the many people who prepare cars for each race, here are some key job titles and brief descriptions of the duties for each position.
What jobs make up a typical NASCAR Nextel Cup race shop? According to Don Pearsall, president and CEO of RaceJobs.com, the answer is complicated. Pearsall's company, based in Cape Canaveral, Fla., bills itself as "the only full service international employment agency for professional motorsports," filling job openings for teams and placing job seekers in the industry.
Click here to see an example of a typical organizational chart for a two-team Nextel Cup shop in NASCAR.
Andy Papathanassiou is executive director of the North Carolina Motorsports Association, a trade association for the motorsports industry involved in public policy, business development, workforce development and networking. He said that as the sport has grown over the years, so has the need for personnel with specific skills and training.
"As with most professional sports today, specialization is used to try to gather every advantage over the competition," Papathanassiou said. "The positions on a typical race team are no different. All components of car construction, maintenance, performance and logistics are handled by specific areas.
"Big tracks, small tracks, heavy braking, aerodynamic objectives, driver comfort and cockpit safety are all the responsibilities of specific groups. The idea of one group dealing with all these areas is no different than the idea of someone playing both offense and defense on an NFL team. While it's possible, and was the way it used to be, the demands and responsibilities of each position today have long ago surpassed that option."
Keeping in mind that job titles and descriptions are typically very comprehensive, although different, at every race shop, here are some key job titles and very brief descriptions of the duties of each position:
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