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Freelance Crew To Assist Orleans Racing At Gateway

Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers Ram Tough 200

Gateway International Raceway, July 17, 2004

Source: Orleans Racing
Kimberly Meesters
Date: 07/16/2004

LAS VEGAS, July 16, 2004 – Orleans Racing has hired a pit crew from 5 Off 5 On, a professional pit-crew training program in North Carolina, to assist with Steve Park 's No. 62 Orleans Dodge in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Gateway International Raceway July 17.

The jackman, tire changers and tire carriers will be supplied by 5 Off 5 On, while the gasman and catch can will remain Orleans Racing team members. Each crew member from 5 Off 5 On is a graduate of the program who has worked in one of NASCAR's top three divisions.

“We are bringing a freelance group to St. Louis to give our guys the time they need to focus on being the championship-level team they have proven they can be,” General Manager Fritz Kroyer said. “Our team has dealt with a lot of personnel changes in the past few months. As a result, the guys have had to work more overtime than normal in the shop to get caught up. They have put so much emphasis on building trucks that they haven't been able to focus on their training. Every one of the guys on this team are capable of performing flawlessly, but they are exhausted mentally and physically.

“They have succeeded at building trucks that can win races. Steve has proven he can drive. Now the team is going to focus their energy on practicing race-winning stops.”

Orleans Racing is located in Las Vegas. With a two or three-hour time change plus significant travel time to get to each race, the team usually spends four or five days a week on the road and two or three days at the shop preparing the race trucks.

Orleans Racing's over-the-wall crew works out every morning for an hour and practices pit stops every evening for an hour and a half. They also practice changing tires on a stationary fixture twice daily and evaluate tapes after each race.

“The guys will continue their same workout routine,” Kroyer said, “but now they will be given more time to concentrate on that routine. We are working with a consultant now to review tapes and possibly spend some time in Las Vegas with the team.”

The crew members also have created a team captain position. They elected front-tire changer Harley Rauch , who has been with the team since it opened in 2000, for the job.

“Harley has been with this team since Day 1, and he never gives up,” Kroyer said. “He was chosen by his peers for the team captain position, and he will do a great job motivating the team.”
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