With NASCAR races taking place across the country throughout the sport's 10-month season, everything a team needs to compete must be brought with it, sometimes from hundreds of miles away.
This is where team members like Mark Ellis come in. The 28-year-old drives the hauler for the No. 1 Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing. Although fans may be more familiar with the team's race car driver, Jamie McMurray, there would be nothing for him to race if Ellis did not get the cars where they need to go. The hauler carries the team's car as well as a back-up car, spare parts, uniforms and more. Ellis is also responsible for packing the hauler and said he makes a checklist so as not to forget anything.
Although the hallway of the trailer is only a couple of feet wide, Ellis said that he does not feel claustrophobic since he has been in racing his whole life and has gotten used to the often tight working quarters. The average of eight to 10 hours of driving per day to races, however, is another story.
"Driving long hours and working a long day, it can be a rough day," said Ellis.
A tight-knit team, he said, helps him make it through.
"The best part of it is the group of guys I get to work with and working with Jamie," he said. "They are by far the best group that I've worked with and just the positive morale around here and the uplifting, positive attitude that we keep week in and week out.