Tom Volk, a 1975 Wittenberg University graduate and owner of Toledo, Ohio-based TRV Motorsport, will be one of the drivers in the "Rolex 24 At Daytona" while his daughter Amy, a Wittenberg University freshman, will be a key member of his crew. They have worked together in past races, but never before has Amy played such an integral role ó for the first time in a 24-hour race she will be the pit crew strategist, handling timing and scoring responsibilities for a 20-member team of drivers and crew members.
"I can pretty much guarantee no other 19-year-olds will be out there doing that (Amyís job), and there may be only one or two other females who are involved in that capacity with other teams," said Tom, who owns six businesses in four states.
TRV Motorsports has been in existence since 1989, competing in SCCA Regional Racing, SCCA National Racing, Trans-Am Championship Racing and World Sports Car Racing. In recent years, the Volks have turned their attention full-time to the challenges of endurance racing in the Grand American Road Racing series, and they have competed in the Daytona race the last four years. Last year, the team finished seventh in the SR class at Daytona en route to a 14th place finish (out of 85 teams) in the overall series, which includes stops throughout the United States and Canada.
Amy has been involved with her fatherís racing teams in some capacity for as long as she can remember, and her brother, David, a Heidelberg College senior, also works as a member of the crew. She started out doing food preparation for the crew, no small task considering that the endurance races donít simply involve the actual competition but as many days of additional behind-the-scenes efforts before and after as well.
As the pit crew strategist, Amy will be calling a lot of important shots during the competition. She must keep track of pit stops, keep a schedule for pit crew workers and drivers, note any problems with the car, and time everything for maximum efficiency. The 24-hour race at historic Daytona International Speedway is "insane," but Amy, who will be a part of the racing team for the first time since last summer due to school commitments, says she hasnít found anything that provides such exhilaration.
"I love it Ö being involved in auto racing is what I enjoy doing best," said Amy, who is a 2000 graduate of Blissfield High School in the Toledo suburb of Blissfield, Mich. and is majoring in management at Wittenberg. "Itís a thrill. There are 20 other people on the team, so itís an enormous job getting everything together. One of the coolest things Iíve ever experienced is when the checkered flag goes down."
Amyís contributions to her fatherís pit crew havenít gone unnoticed outside of their team, either. Lyn St. James, the first female driver to finish an Indianapolis 500, has talked about including Amy on her pit crew at some point.
Tom Volk owns six businesses, five of which are in the automotive industry. Along with TRV Motorsports, Ohio Belting and Transmission is based in Toledo; Supreme Distribution is located in Chicago; Specialty Sales and Racer Parts Wholesale are headquartered in Indianapolis and Brookside Farm, where the family raises horses, is located near their home in Blissfield, Mich. He is racing in the "Rolex 24 At Daytona" this year with a veteran team comprised of Indy Racing star Jeret Schroeder, Barry Waddell and John Mirro, and the team is involved in a fund-raiser for Racing for Kids, a charity that hooks up celebrity drivers with childrenís hospitals.
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