Every team in motorsports is handling their respective downtime differently. The vast majority have drastically reduced staff, furloughed people, or in some cases totally parked their stuff. Racing teams typically are not built for a life without racing so creativity has been employed wherever it can be. As we know, there are exceptions to ever rule and in professional racing that exception seems to be the NHRA’s Kalitta Motorsports. Why? They have no had to release any crew members and incredibly, the guys might be working harder now than they were on the car. We’re not kidding!
Connie Kalitta saw that his teams and their respective crews got reassigned to different departments of Kalitta Air to keep working. The drag racing machine shop is now making airplane parts, the drag racing mechanics are now fixing forklifts, tearing down jet engines, fabricating, and doing what they know how to do, use their hands. It’s a pretty amazing story and it’s proof again that Connie Kalitta is among the most interesting people in motorsports today.
I caught up with Chad Head who is the GM of the Kalitta Motorsports operation to talk about this scene and what the organization was doing to keep busy. Kalitta employs many thousands of people around the world and in fact, one maintenance facility in Michigan has 1,000 people working at it alone! Many of the crew guys are at that spot but others have been spread around to where they were needed.
This is a cool story and one of support and gumption. I think you’ll enjoy this.