This morning we boarded the bus and headed out to our first venue visit of the 2015 Symposium Don Schumacher Racing the largest team on the NHRA circuit. Upon entering the Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Facility you are immediately greeted by two race cars flanking each side of the entrance to welcome you. In most cases two race cars in a lobby would be the main focal and conversation point, but not in this lobby. After taking in the race cars your eye is drawn to the glittering trophies that line the space above the front desk of the facility. However, after a quick glance you are immediately aware of trophies lining every available space including shelves leading up the staircase.
Once we were able to take in the sheer number of trophies that have been earned we were ushered upstairs for a brief yet informative video on the inner workings of the racecars produced at DSR. For someone with no knowledge of the mechanics behind racing the video was especially interesting. Following the video our hosts for the day shared a brief presentation concerning the business side of DSR. One particular figure that stood out to me was that in one race early in the season the diesel just to get the DSR team to California to participate in the race is near $45,000 all in hope of a $50,000 prize. Our hosts made it clear that the income generated by DSR was not in prize money but through other business ventures such as partnerships, and selling of equipment made on site.
Next, came the behind the scenes look at DSR. A trip to the production floor allowed for an up close look at the making of parts for NHRA cars as well as seeing where the engines are tested and even a sneak peek into the vast amount of shipping that takes place for such a large production.
The facility tour and information we received at Don Schumacher Racing was informative but the hosts are what made the tour extraordinary. The employees who hosted our tour were open to questions and provided advice on how they had achieved their dream jobs in the sports administration sector. Our first stop set the bar high for what promises to be an unforgettable week.
–Amanda Jewell, student in the Master of Science in Recreation and Sport Administration with a concentration in Sport Media and Branding