O’Reilly Auto Parts 500


FORT WORTH, Texas (August 10, 2018) –
While many in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex continue to snooze away in their cozy beds, Texas Motor Speedway's operations crew is already hard at work preparing for the upcoming NASCAR tripleheader weekend in November.

Beginning at 5 a.m. everyday, and outfitted with miner's headlamps and a seemingly endless stack of paper, the operations team is installing new stickers for each and every one of Texas Motor Speedway's 112,000-plus grandstand seats.

"The typical life on vinyl for a project like this is anywhere from seven to 10 years. And the last time this was done was about 10 years ago," said Bryan Vandiver, the speedway's vice president of operations and development. "We just want to ensure that fans are able to find their seat number and row number as easily as possible and be able to enjoy the overall experience while they're here."

But why is the team starting this two hours before sunrise?

"The temperatures. Our biggest break between races is between the June (IndyCar weekend) and the November (NASCAR weekend), so we decided this was the best time to tackle a project of this size. Unfortunately, we've had temperatures spiking up around 114 degrees some weeks," Vandiver said of the re-stickering project, which began nearly three weeks ago. "That was really rough on the guys. We started out going from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., but it was just too hot. Then we moved from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., but that wasn't working. We ended up with where we are now, going from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m., and just working straight through because that was easiest on the guys."

Vandiver's re-stickering team is typically comprised of as few as six and as many as 20, depending on the priority of other projects that need to be tackled throughout the speedway's 1,400-acre property. With 66 rows of 20 seats in each section of the grandstands, Vandiver estimates it takes roughly two hours for a single team member to cover a 1,320-seat section. That puts even more emphasis on the team's efficiency.

"I'm envious of their spirit because they get up here everyday and do the same thing over and over again. They have a good attitude. And by the time they leave here they're still in good spirits, joking around with each other. They just have a general enthusiasm for what they do here at Texas Motor Speedway," Vandiver said. "It's early, but I've seen a huge boost in productivity since the change to 5 a.m. It's very tedious and stressful work, but I admire the positive energy they bring everyday."

One of the biggest smiles in the group can be found on the face of Abi Alvarez, who manages the speedway's on-site sign shop. Alvarez spends the first part of his morning re-stickering the seats with the rest of the team before making his way back to his shop to begin printing off stickers for the next day. Over the course of the six-week project, Alvarez estimates he'll print and help install nearly 150,000 stickers.

"We do everything in-house, so if something happens, we just go back to the sign shop, fix it and then keep going. Everything is done here, so that really helps," Alvarez said. "Doing all this, it's not that bad. It's fun. You know you're doing something good for the speedway and making it look better for the fans so they can enjoy the race."

After all, getting started that early does have its benefits.

"I get to watch the sunrise everyday," Alvarez said. "You can't complain about that."

About the author

The Texas Motor Speedway Media Relations Department is located on the 6th floor of The Speedway Club outside of Turn 1 of the speedway. 

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