Spotlight: NASCAR truck driver Dewayne "Ryder" Zirkle
The United Parcel Service team members began the task of unloading their car hauler in the garage area of the Auto Club Speedway. They carefully unloaded the #6 chocolate brown UPS Ford Fusion, entered by Roush Fenway Racing, with driver David Ragan's name on it and then proceeded to unload the literally tons of equipment needed to participate in the Auto Club 500. All of this happened because "Ryder" did his job in a very timely manner.
|No. 6 UPS truck|
Dewayne "Ryder" Zirkle is the primary hauler driver for the #6 UPS team. Since 2002 it's been his job to make sure the truck leaves the team's Concord-North Carolina headquarters on time and then makes an even more timely arrival at the next garage area on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' schedule.
This early part of the 2010 season was a little demanding for Zirkle and his race car hauling colleagues. He was in the midst of making NASCAR's annual west coast swing that includes stops in Fontana-California and Las Vegas-Nevada before he gets to see his North Carolina home again.
With a big smile on his face Zirkle commented on his job and said "the driving part is the most enjoyable because that's when we get to rest. You always say that once trucking gets into your blood it always will be there and it's just part of a job that we really enjoy. We're just constantly moving and seeing something different. You always meet new people along the way, especially when you're driving one of these things."
The North Carolina to California cross country trek took approximately 38 hours to complete. "That's because we've to it down to a science," Zirkle said. But he does admit that there's a little trepidation prior to these cross country runs adding "knowing that it's coming is almost like a dreaded thought but, once you get into the motion and get started, you find yourself looking forward to it."
When the checkered flag fell on last Sunday's Auto Club 500, the UPS team began the process of loading up their car hauler. Zirkle left Monday morning for Las Vegas. His team, like many of the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series teams, elected to remain out west. The Las Vegas Motor Speedway opened their garage area to accommodate the early arrival of the teams.
When the checkered flag falls on next Sunday's race in Las Vegas it will be time for Zirkle to once again take the UPS/Roush Fenway Racing car hauler to the freeway for another 35 to 40 hour run to North Carolina. Waiting for him at the end of this cross country trek will be some time at home for the first time in two weeks.
There's some good news coming for Zirkle as well as his colleagues. The third stop on the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule is Atlanta-Georgia which is considered a short run for a long haul trucker. Following the Atlanta race comes the best news of all: a weekend off.