Become a NASA Volunteer!
BE PART OF THE ACTION, and EARN FREE TRACK TIME!
Ever thought about what it might be like to work as an Official at a premier motorsports event? You know, one of those lucky dogs who is down in the pits directing traffic, or helping the drivers get organized on the grid, or maybe inspecting the cars and driver safety gear to make sure they are safe and comply with the rules? With NASA Great Lakes you can be part of the action while enjoying all of the excitement of America’s fastest growing motorsports organization. NASA Great Lakes is thrilled to offer our members the opportunity to join the NASA Event Team as Volunteer Officials!
The rest of this page is devoted to explaining who is eligible to Volunteer, what you can do, the benefits and rewards, how to sign up, and what happens at the track when you are a volunteer. So keep on reading to find out how you can become a NASA Official.
From the Volunteer Coordinator
For starters, we extend a huge THANK-YOU out to all of the Volunteers who helped us make the past season a big success. Largely because of all your help and excellent work, we are ready to embark on a truly MONSTER SEASON which any established NASA region would envy.
And as impressive as the BIG PICTURE may be, it’s still the small things our Volunteers do, that really make our events run so smoothly. Our drivers receive TONS of track time because our PIT and GRID volunteers keep the event rolling on schedule, our TECH volunteers keep the drivers compliant and safe. You will receive excellent TRAINING from our team of all GROUP LEADERS (many of whom are also excellent race car drivers). Prompt and accurate event results from our TIMING and SCORING crew keep drivers and their teams on top of their performance. And a SAFETY TEAM that is always prepared for any situation should it arise. And we can’t forget our DRIVER INFO and HOSPITALITY crew who keep everything organized, documented, and serve up some excellent picnic fare on Saturday evenings.
So, if you are new to NASA, and want to be where the action is, now you know. It’s not just on the racetrack!
Who can Volunteer?
Anyone and Everyone can volunteer at a NASA event. The only requirement is that you are at least 18 years of age. You also need to be a current NASA Member in order to receive credits towards track time. Register online for an event as an Official, click the drop down menu and choose where you would like to spend the weekend.
What can Volunteers do?
If you think about the whole process of organizing and running a motorsports event, our Volunteers fill nearly every role from Driver Info, Hospitality, Trophy Girls, Technical Inspections, Traffic Control, Grid Marshaling, Pit-Out and Pit-In Control, Timing and Scoring, Radio Communications, and Safety Crew.
Most assignments require an all-day commitment, which include breaks for rest and lunch, but plan on being outdoors and wear appropriate clothing to suit the weather conditions. Hats are highly recommended as is sunscreen and we provide bottled water for free to all participants, all day long.
If it’s your first time as a volunteer, you may be placed in our training program. During your first volunteering weekend, you may “shadow” an experienced NASA official who will teach you the assigned tasks and responsibilities in one or more areas. While participating in our training weekend, you will receive a Lanyard with an official badge, a Team shirt to wear for the weekend, lunch each day of volunteering, all the water you need to stay hydrated and our fabulous Saturday Night BBQ.
For a detailed list of the different Roles and Job Descriptions of Volunteer positions and Officials check out the third page of the Volunteer Sign-Up Form. This is also the form you need to fill out and email to the Volunteer Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org if you are serious about doing this.
What are the Benefits?
As a trained Official, our Volunteers earn credits to use towards future Track Time. A full days work will earn you one (1) credit. Once you have earned four (4) credits, you can redeem them for one 2-day Track Event at any NASA Great Lakes Region event. The coupons can be used for HPDE, TT or Race group registration prior to the event. (See more on redeeming coupons below)
Volunteer Credits are good for 2 years from date of issue and can be transferred to any entrant or driver you choose. They are good for all Great Lakes Region events. If you bring family members or friends who would like to help out, they can earn free track time for you as well. They just need to be NASA members.
In addition to earning Track Time, we provide you with a free lunch for each day you volunteer, all the water you need to stay hydrated and you are invited to join the entire NASA community for a free picnic dinner on Saturday evening. Sometimes we get very lucky and a sponsor springs for a catered dinner party too.
But, the absolute best benefit of being a Volunteer is becoming part of a wonderful group of fun loving, living on the edge, fully engaged, and sometimes very wacky car nuts who travel all over the country pursuing their out-of-control passion for Traction and Horsepower. It’s just the best!
How can I sign-up?
Signing up is very simple. Just choose the event in which you want to Volunteer, and go to the online Registration link for that event. Click on the box down near the bottom of the page for the number of days you wish to participate as a volunteer. Choose OFFICIAL and in the drop-down-box choose the area you would like to be assigned to. We do our best to give first choice but staffing requirements have last word on assignments. If you are not already signed in as a NASA Member, the system will take you through the membership process.
As the event date approaches, usually two weeks beforehand, we will contact you by email or phone to provide you with more detailed instructions about your status and assignment for the event.
If you plan on Volunteering at multiple events, please fill out the Volunteer Sign-Up Form so we can better accommodate your assignment preferences. Our Volunteering positions go very quickly so sign up for all events you will be attending.
What happens at the Track?
In case you haven’t heard, we get started pretty early in the day for our Track Events. Usually there are cars out on the racetrack by 8:00 am, so that means we need to open the track Gates between 6:00 and 7:00 am.
If you are working with the TECH crew inspecting HPDE or Race car compliance with the safety rules, or working in Driver Info, you will need to be ready to come in the gate when it opens. That means getting to the track and in the cue well before opening time.
Check your email and the Event Information web page in advance for last minute details, but generally we have all the Volunteers check-in at Driver Information at the time designated in your pre-event email. Here you can meet your Team Leader, pick-up your credentials and sort out any last minute questions or assignment changes. Volunteers meet before the event at Driver Info - located under the NASA Canopy.
Then you will be introduced to your Area Chief who will be your guide and show you your Official NASA area for the day. Timing & Scoring is usually in or near the Officials Tower and Observation building which is always located near the Start/Finish line. TECH is somewhere on the Paddock and easy to spot by the TECH signs and line of cars and traffic cones. GRID is near an entrance onto the track and also setup with traffic cones. PIT-OUT and PIT-IN are typically just inside pit wall from the front straightaway. PIT Marshals usually stay ‘In-the-Pits’ where vehicles are entering and leaving the racing circuit.
At the end of your weekend of Volunteering/Training you must remember to go to Driver Info to return your shirt and any equipment you used during the event. At this time, you will receive a CREDIT Box Card good towards Track Time. One coupon is issued for each full day of Volunteering. It is your responsibility to retain this Coupon for REDEMPTION. If you are curious about becoming a NASA Official or just want to hang out at the track for some good times, or want to get behind the scenes and learn how we pull these events off, contact the Volunteer Coordinator email@example.com. And bring a friend with you. It’s all about sharing the fun!
This is the fun part…getting Track Time…
The process is simple, just contact the Chief Registrar Jillian@nasagreatlakes.com as soon as you know which event you want to enter. You will redeem 4 coupons for a two day track event. Space available in the group or class you would like to enter will determine placement so please let us know as soon as possible. You will be relayed what is needed to get you registered. When your registration is complete you will receive a confirmation email.
That’s it. Just show up at the track ready to drive, and you’re good to go!
More Questions? Need more information?
NASA Great Lakes has a fantastic team in place to help answer any questions you may have about any NASA topic. Please use our continuously updated website to get the answers you need. If you prefer to contact one of our experts directly, please feel welcome. They are all here to help you get the most out of your NASA experience.