One of the advantages of living in the Town of Speedway is that we are close to a number of the INDYCAR race shops. The race shops are generally closed to the public; however, they do open their doors for certain special events. Earlier this month, two INDYCAR shops hosted members of Hoosier Auto Racing Fans (HARF). More about HARF later…
The first HARF shop tour was at Andretti Autosport on March 12. On the day of our visit, the team was finishing the process of loading their transporters for the Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park. The tour started in the lobby where there is an impressive display of trophies along with the car Michael Andretti drove to his last open-wheel victory. The size and scope of the shop was incredible. The entire shop area was spotless. Each crew member for each car had his own work area. There were also separate work stations for fabricators, painters, engineers, gearbox specialists, etc. Some of the tools and gadgets at their disposal were amazing.
The following weekend, Sarah Fisher Racing hosted members of HARF. As you might guess, since SFR is a one-car team competing in one series, compared to the multi-car and multi-series AA team, the SFR shop was much smaller; however it was no less impressive and it was just as clean. We learned that the crew’s primary focus is to get Ed Carpenter’s number 67 Dollar General car ready for the Indianapolis 500. The Indy 500 will be the team’s first race of the 2011 season since the team is concentrating its limited schedule on the oval races in the IZOD INDYCAR Series.
You can find more images from the tours here. Thanks to both of these teams for taking time out of their busy pre-season schedule to provide behind the scenes visits to the members of HARF.
HARF is one of the oldest racing fan clubs in America. It is dedicated to promoting better understanding of the sport of auto racing and better sportsmanship within the ranks of auto racing. It strives to do everything possible to improve the sport of auto racing. HARF’s biggest event is its Annual Banquet where drivers and others associated with racing are honored. The most prestigious annual award is the HARF Driver of the Year. This year’s winner was open-wheel ace Jon Stanbrough. The 2009 HARF Driver of the Year was Bryan Clausen, winner of the 2010 USAC National Drivers Championship which earned him a scholarship to compete on the 2011 oval schedule in Firestone Indy Lights.
Members of HARF receive discounts at a number of Indiana short-tracks (including Bloomington, Kokomo, Gas City, Lawrenceburg, and even Eldora which is in western Ohio) on certain nights throughout the season. HARF members are eligible to elect members to the HARF Hall-of-Fame. The list of inductees is a who’s who of auto racing including many with ties to the Indy 500 and IMS. A plaque listing the members of the HARF Hall of Fame is on display at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.
If you live in Indiana, attend races in Indiana, and want to support auto racing, consider joining HARF. Find more information at HARF online.