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Banker, Brecher have behind-the-scenes IndyCar jobs

9.3.13 (via The Baltimore Sun) – Brad Banker grew up a sports fan outside Green Bay, Wis., but auto racing was not high on his list of passions. His father was a longtime employee of the Packers and Banker, who somehow became a fan of the rival Minnesota Vikings, wound up playing football and lacrosse at Moorhead State in Minnesota.

Banker taught for a year after getting his master’s, but went into commercial real estate to make a little more money. But it wasn't until Banker got his commercial trucking license and found a job working for Andretti Racing that he finally found his dream job.

Starting off driving the team’s haulers from stop to stop, Banker eventually got a part-time gig changing tires on pit road and wound up overseeing the team’s logistical issues for everything from corporate tents to Port-o-Johns. He still moonlights as a tire changer for Indy Car driver E.J. Viso.

“If they let me sit around and play with million-dollar cars, it’s pretty hard to go back to work in a school,” said Banker, who went to graduate school in order to become a teacher, coach and eventually a high school athletic director.

Banker, 33, has the kind of job that many race car fans would covet: being part of the week-to-week IndyCar Series caravan that crisscrosses the country – and the world – for one of the longest seasons in sports. Last week it was Sonoma, Calif., and this week it’s been the Grand Prix of Baltimore.

Though he arrived by airplane ahead of the haulers, which set up shop in the parking lot of Oriole Park on Thursday after driving cross country, Banker knows he and others have a busy week ahead in feeding the crews for five different drivers as well as many of the team’s four dozen sponsors and their guests.

It’s somewhat of a homecoming for Banker, who also spent a year managing apartments at UMES.

“It was interesting coming from Green Bay to a historically black college,” Banker said. “Coming from a little town in Wisconsin, you don’t really understand the scope of the world. Traveling around the world with Andretti Racing is also pretty interesting.”

Now settled in Indianapolis with his wife, Banker is only one of the key behind-the-scenes employees for the Andretti Racing team, which takes upwards of 150 people on the road each week. Feeding them alone costs $10,000 a week, according to Banker.


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