I wasn’t on the high school prom committee, but I knew several people who were. I heard horrific tales of hours spent planning the big dance at the end of the school year. Choosing the theme; selecting the venue; hiring caterers, valets and a photographer; decorating the ballroom…all for the entertainment of a few hundred people for a few hours. Now try and imagine planning and executing a multi-day event 38 times in 10 months. And your guest list will have approximately 42 performers, dozens of judges, hundreds of photographers and tens of THOUSANDS of attendees!
This is the challenge faced by David Hoots, NASCAR’s Race Director. For over 20 years, David has held this position, putting on every race since October 23, 1988. His team arrives to the track long before the checkered flag is dropped to ensure every detail of preparation is attended to with due respect. From directing the parking of team haulers to overseeing the emergency crews, David keeps things moving at maximum efficiency and precision. Coordinating with race series directors, track officials and the broadcast partners, he compiles the daily event schedules. Once the race begins, you’ll find David in the Race Control tower, where he monitors every aspect of the race, calling for caution flags, opening the pits and clocking driver speeds on pit road, always in constant communication with race officials and team crew chiefs to keep the race going as quickly, safely and fairly as possible.
Only through Hoots’ mastery of logistics could he do this job so successfully for over two decades. Utilizing strategic planning, time management and efficiency identification and implementation skills he honed in his 27-year career as a UPS driver, he is able to manage all the moving parts to ensure everyone is in the right place at the right time.
To learn more about David Hoots’ extensive responsibilities related to setting up, managing and breaking down NASCAR races each week, visit www.nascar.com/ups and watch the video. And be sure to keep coming back, as there will be more in the “Ideas That Changed NASCAR” series.