Drivers of NASCAR transporters pride themselves on being essential members of precision race teams.
Overlooking a vital component during loading can mean the difference between a checkered flag and a disappointing day at the track.
Racecar hauler Dean Mozingo says neither he nor backup driver Jimmy Parrott has ever left anything of great importance behind. With one exception.
Last year, the team haulers for the Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports’ team were assigned to the No. 5 car of Mark Martin and pulled into the Pilot in Jackson, Tenn., en route from a Las Vegas race to the team’s headquarters in Concord, N.C. With Mozingo in the sleeper, Parrott walked into the stop. Mozingo followed and Parrott got ready to roll. But he didn’t notice Mozingo’s tell-tale shoes, usually on the floor in front of the sleeper, were missing.
“I came back out and saw the truck was missing,” Mozingo says. “I asked a UPS driver if he had seen a big green truck hauling a racecar. He told me it had left.”
Without a cell phone or wallet, Mozingo borrowed a phone to tell the Tennessee state patrol to stop the truck. “Jimmy was about 65 miles down the road when the state troopers pulled him over,” Mozingo says.
The calendar packaged with this issue contains photos of Freightliner racecar haulers.