July 1 , 2021 The Beacon • 11
Local man enjoying life in the IndyCar circuit
By Jen Jones
Ridgewood graduate Colin Davis never thought about working in the IndyCar Series when he was growing up — or even after he graduated in 2010 . When he was ready to leave the Army , one of his friends said they should attend NAS- CAR Technical Institute in Mooresville , North Carolina .
Davis came back to Ohio and worked for a year , then met his friends , Matt Ridgway and Jason Andersen , in North Carolina . “ I followed these guys into racing . When I was a kid , I thought racing was boring . I definitely never thought I ’ d be working for a racing team , especially a big one like Team Penske ,” he said .
Davis started working for Team Penske in
Barry Cantrell , Motorsport Images
Colin Davis watches a race as he waits for a pit stop . He is a front-end mechanic and fueler for Team Penske in the IndyCar series .
May 2019 . The driver he worked with , Simon Pagenaud , won the first two races , and the entire team was invited to the White House .
“ I never dreamed I would be invited to the White House . We got a tour and then got to meet President Trump . Standing in the Oval Office was very cool . I never thought in a million years I would ever be doing such a thing ,” Davis said .
Davis is a front-end mechanic and a fueler for the # 3 IndyCar driven by Scott McLaughlin . “ He ’ s a really cool guy . He always talks about the crew when he ’ s being interviewed and makes sure we know he appreciates us . I feel very fortunate to be on his team ,” he said .
A front-end mechanic is responsible for everything in the front end of the car such as steering , brakes and the driver ’ s safety harness .
“ I feel more responsibility working on the car . If I don ’ t get a bolt tightened , it may come loose , and the driver could be hurt or even killed . If I mess up fueling during a pit stop , it might cost us a place or two in the race , but no one will get hurt ,” Davis said . “ It is
always interesting and fun to work on the cars . I never watched racing , but I don ’ t watch many sports . I don ’ t like to be on the sidelines . I want to be part of the action . I enjoyed football and baseball in school , but I don ’ t like to watch them .
“ It really puts my job in perspective when fans come up and want to meet us or take pictures . They actually pay to see what I get to do every day . And it ’ s pretty neat to get interviewed . The workload is the hardest part , I think , not that the work itself is hard . For every track we go to , the car has a different set-up , and sometimes , we only have a few days to get it ready for the next place . We use the same chassis and just build the car onto it .
“ We spent three weeks in Indianapolis getting ready for the Indy 500 . We had lots of 12- to 13-hour days . Team Penske has four full-time cars , and during the season , we stay with the same driver . In the off-season we ’ ll work on other cars too .”
Davis has a personal message he wanted to share . “ Hey Red , no matter what happens in this world , just know that I ’ m always going to love you and deeply appreciate everything you have done for me over the last 10 years . Your beautiful soul deserves everything you ever want . I ’ m only as good as the company around me , and I certainly wouldn ’ t be where I am today without Matt and Jason pulling me into racing ,” he said .
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