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  >How Can I Get Involved as a Official (worker)?


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Race Volunteer Specialties


How can I help?  Don't worry, there are lots of ways!

Motorsports is more than just driving, and there are a million-and-one ways to get involved. Running an event requires the talents of a wide variety of dedicated individuals. Our members enjoy serving in all types of exciting positions. The brief summary below is aimed at shaping your impression of what may fit your style and desire.  


Those wanting to lend a hand are welcomed with open arms, and are rewarded with adventure, camaraderie, and friendship. In addition to races held locally, Northwest Region's race officials (all volunteers are called officials in SCCA) help staff major professional events throughout the U.S. and Canada, and some have even traveled to Formula One races in Australia and Europe! And if you ever thought you might like to give racing a try, working races can give you valuable insights into driving, preparation, and the race tracks themselves. There are lots of jobs to do-- one of these might be for you:


If you are still unsure about which type of volunteer work you would like to do, just contact one of our Specialty Chiefs  Volunteers can register at any event even if they have no experience.  We will provide the basic training and pair you up with an experienced worker - over time you will grow into the position you like.  Of course if your first choice doesn't meet your expectations there are many more to choose from.  After the summaries below we have another section on how you can earn a Specialty License to work at race tracks across the USA. 




The Course Marshals main responsibility is the distribution of corner equipment and the maintenance of corner equipment, including fire extinguishing equipment between events.  In addition the Course Marshals may assist in clearing the track of disabled and stopped vehicles. Some of these cars may have a mechanical problem or they may simply have run out of gas and they need to be towed back to their paddock area.  Course Marshals may also assist in clean-up of the track during and after events in the event of fluid spills or other situations that may leave debris on the track surface. For more information on this Specialty contact Tom Masterson.


Photo: Emergency Trucks BremertonEMERGENCY SERVICES

Their main job is to respond to incidents on the track where the corner workers need assistance.  The activities include fire fighting, emergency medical assessment and extrication of trapped or injured drivers.  Emergency coordinates the retrieval of broken racecars off the track in a safe manner. Sometimes the cars only need to be flat towed and other times they need to be lifted off of tire walls or maybe even turned right side up. Emergency staff are trained to use the "Jaws of Life" and other driver extracting equipment. This is why firefighters and emergency medical technicians fit into this job perfectly, since they already know the ropes of extricating people from wrecked cars. For more information on this specialty please contact Northwest Region Chief: Kevin Needham



Standing on every corner of Photo: Blue Flagger (At Misson Raceway)every race track around the world are the 'people in white'. This specialty, commonly referred to as "corner workers", is actually made up of three subspecialties. Flagging, Communications, and Safety. The Flagging and Communications worker may actually participate in all three areas throughout a given day without ever leaving his or her station. Flaggers relay information to the drivers on course with a variety of different flags. Communicators use radios at each corner to call race control and advise them of any changes that will affect the drivers on the course. The third part of this specialty is Safety. Corner workers assigned to Safety go to an incident scene to provide a first response and communicate back to the corner what stopped cars may need in the way of assistance.  For more information on this Specialty contact  Dave Kentala.



Your first contacts at any event are the smiling workers of Registration. Prior to the weekend, we process the competitors’ entries in preparation for the Driver’s and Crew’s arrival, assign car numbers and race groups. At the track they make sure you have the proper credentials (photo ID., license) and have signed the waiver. While Registrars are usually most busy in the morning when they first open, they do not stay open all day long, so there is some time during the day to do other things, watch racing, help other Specialties or just relax. For more information on this Specialty please contact Northwest Region Chief: Sherri Masterson.



If you think the race track sometimes gets crowded, imagine what it is like where the cars park when they are not racing. Paddock is the group that is responsible for ensuring the safe and speedy passage of the race cars to the grid prior to their event, and from the track back to their paddock areas.  You could say that these are the folks who direct traffic-- For more information on this Specialty contact Ken Jones.



Photo: Pit Area (Portland)


Pit Marshals are responsible for enforcing rules of conduct as per the GCR, the purpose of which is the safety of ALL personnel in the Pit area. During the racing event, the PM's are there to ensure entry to and exit from the Pit area of competition cars in a safe manner and to oversee the safety of car crews. To sum up: traffic control, crew control and safety supervision. For more information on this Specialty contact Northwest Region Chief: Ray Mortensen



GRID Photo: Grid Area at Portland

Pre-grid's job is to make sure everyone is lined up in the proper order before they enter the track for qualifying and racing. This is where you get to meet race drivers up close and personal. It's also important that the driver is checked for safety gear and the car is safe to go out on course. This includes checking for items left in the car, hood pins latched and the driver in his safety equipment and seatbelts fastened.  The crews are an important part of the specialty too. Probably about 50% of the drivers have crew people to take care of them. Even though there may be crew members present, it is still the job of the grid workers to double check the driver. The driver has his session on the mind and may forget to put on gloves or latch the hood down. Grid is probably the best specialty at the track. Not only do you get to be with all the great cars, you do get to know the drivers, crew and families. For more information on this Specialty contact Northwest Region Chief: Scott Sesin


Photo: Drivers Services, one of those "extra" areas.RACE ADMINISTRATION

Race Control covers smaller subspecialties. It is a "catch all" specialty covering those people that assist in various tasks that are not in a "hot" area of the track. As an example, the track announcer falls into this category as well as the people who plan the "after hours" activities such as dinners and parties, Drivers Services, Trophies and Radio Tech are also in this specialty. These are all people needed to make a successful event. For more information on this Specialty contact Ken Jones.



There are two primary functions of tech. The first entails a complete visual inspection of all the safety equipment. This includes driver suits, helmets,seat belts, shoulder belts, roll cage, fire system,  and general integrity and race worthiness of the car. The second function is to impound cars at the end of a race to determine their legality with respect to the General Competition Rules and the specifications for their class. For more information on this specialty contact  Tom Masterson. Mike Lawler, or David Jackson



Racing noise may be music to a fans ears, but to the nearby landowner it may not be so pleasant. The sound output of the cars is recorded during practice, qualifying and the race to ensure compliance with a set level, usually 103 decibels. These readings are logged by car number and class every lap when the car is clear of traffic that could interfere with the reading. Weather readings, Temperature, Humidity, Wind Speed and Direction, Barometric Pressure and other weather conditions are also recorded regularly. Regular sound level meter calibrations are checked and recorded. Cars that exceed the maximum allowable level are reported to the operating Steward so that appropriate action can be taken to correct the problem and allow the car to return to the track. Cars that are close to the maximum level are advised so they may be adjusted, so that weather condition changes do not cause the sound level to exceed the maximum allowed level. This Specialty is looking for new members For more information on this specialty please contact: Tom Masterson


Photo: Starters tower, Nascar location at Pacific Raceways


The Starter communicates the Chief Steward's instructions to the drivers through a series of colored flags, beginning with the green flag to start the race. The Starter also uses other flags, including : blue, black, red, yellow, white, and of course, the flag every leading driver eagerly awaits, the checkered flag! For more information on this Specialty please contact  Chuck Huffington.



STEWARDSPhoto: Stewards at work at Bremerton

The Stewards are normally long term members of the club, and are very experienced officials. They are usually ex-drivers, and are responsible for the general conduct of a racing event in accordance with the "General Competition Rules". Stewards are the executive decision makers at an event, and have broad powers to assure the safety of an event and the legality of the race cars. Stewards hear and decide the outcome of protests, and may impose penalties as a result. Like other workers and officials, stewards have license grades that depend on their level of experience. The Chief Steward is the senior official at a race. For more information on this specialty please contact: Bob Grass.


Photo: New Timing & SCoring Building at BremertonTIMING & SCORING

Want to have the best viewing seat on the course, stay out of the weather and have first hand knowledge of whose who and whose winning, then, Timing and Scoring is for you  There is a special friendship among those in Timing and Scoring as they all work toward that common goal - to make a race a race. T&S times the cars during qualifying sessions, and track the running order during races. There are many jobs available in Timing & Scoring. For more information on this Specialty please contact  Timing & Scoring Chief Sherri Masterson




As you can see, there's lots to do, and your help would be appreciated. There are many other jobs available where assistance is needed like trophies, points keepers, newsletter, marketing and more. Find out who to contact for all the above jobs and more!



If you don't already have it, you will need to Get Acrobat Reader to read the entry forms, schedules and such that are available on this site.


     Lots of ways!

       Course Marshal

       Emergency Services

       Flagging & Communications





       Race Administration

       Scrutineer (Tech)

       Sound Control


       Timing & Scoring

       And still more










Have visited this page since 8/03/2004




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