Racing Beat

| May 03, 2005

The Goodyear Racing transporter leaves the UPS equipment staging area in Laredo, Texas to cross the border for the first-ever NASCAR race held outside the United States.

Mexican Convoy
The NASCAR Busch Series’ visit to Mexico City was historic in that it marked the first NASCAR points race ever held outside the United States, but it also created some new logistical obstacles for the teams. Getting teams to and from Mexico meant special document requirements, advance coordination between U.S. and Mexican officials, and security and staging for expedited border crossings.

UPS was put in charge of logistics support for the 80-lap road race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

UPS manifested and sealed all NASCAR and team equipment, coordinated international logistics and synchronized more than 80 team haulers, official trailers of technical scoring and template equipment, tires, emergency and safety vehicles and media trucks across the border in multiple convoys.

Equipment arrived at the UPS Logistics Center in Laredo, Texas, from all across the country, according to Tom Page, director of solutions and marketing for Latin America, UPS Supply Chain Solutions.

“Most of the Busch series teams will compete the weeks before and after the Mexico race, and NASCAR needs comprehensive knowledge of every detail on each of the shipments from coast to coast, as well as plans for exchanges of equipment in staging,” he says.

Following the rapid clearance, convoy groups crossed the World Trade Bridge to begin the approximate 20-hour nonstop trip to Mexico City. Each convoy had federal and private security escorts, as well as coordinated communications en route. UPS completed all procedures in reverse after the checkered flag at the Sunday race for reentry into the United States for the race the following weekend.

Normally, NASCAR teams – especially their transport drivers – don’t have to worry about dealing with the laws and logistics of a foreign government, but the Mexico 200 meant doing just that – and was yet another step forward in the globalization of the stock car sanctioning body.

Motorsports Greats Cited
Twelve legends of U.S. motorsports have been nominated for the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association’s Newsmaker of the Half-Century Award, the most important event of AARWBA’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.

The full AARWBA membership will now vote for one of the 12 as Newsmaker of the Half-Century, and their choice will be revealed at a public ceremony prior to the 89th running of the Indy 500 this month. Here’s a quick look at the nominees and their accomplishments:

Mario Andretti is regarded by many as one of the country’s most versatile drivers ever, with victories in the Indy 500, NASCAR’s Daytona 500 and Sebring 12 hours. He was the 1978 world Formula One champion. He retired in 1994 with four Indy Car championships and 52 race wins, earned over a record four decades, the last at a record 53-plus years old. He finished with Champ Car records for starts, poles and laps led, and he was voted Driver of the Quarter-Century in 1992.

Kenny Bernstein captured six NHRA drag racing titles, four in the Funny Car class and two in Top Fuel, but perhaps he is best known as “The King of Speed” after becoming the first driver to make a 300 mph quarter-mile pass in 1992. He retired after the 2002 season but returned in ’03 to sub for injured son Brandon, and won four times to bring his career total to 69 victories. He earned a reputation as a pioneer in the business of motorsports with 26 consecutive years of Budweiser sponsorship and other ventures. His teams also won the Indy 500 pole and NASCAR Cup and CART races.

Dale Earnhardt was a seven-time NASCAR Cup champion, tying Richard Petty’s record, and achieved legendary status as “The Intimidator.” He won 76 Cup races, including the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400, and earned more than $41 million in Cup prize money alone. The team he founded, DEI, has fielded winning cars for several drivers, including son Dale Earnhardt Jr. His death on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 was headline news around the world.

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