Joe Pontin, 24, joined AJ Foyt Racing this season as an IndyCar mechanic who is learning from the veterans on the team. This is the first in a series of four interviews with our twentysomethings this week. We asked Joe a few questions...
Q: What is your job at AJ Foyt Racing?
“My job at AJ Foyt Racing is a mechanic. On race weekends I attend the "stop sign” and spray the excess fuel (that splashes out) with the fire extinguisher.”
Q: How did you get started at your position?
“I’ve always dreamt of being on a motorsports team but never thought it could be achieved without experience. I saw an opportunity to apply for a position, and here I am, living the dream.”
Q: What is the greatest thrill of your job?
“Probably knowing who I work for. A.J. is a legend and I’m beyond grateful that I get to work for his team.”
Q: Tell us something that may surprise people about you.
“I’m allergic to alcoholic beverages. While everyone enjoys a beer, I’ll have a Coke.”
Q: What’s the biggest challenge of your job?
“I would have to say efficiency. Being a mechanic, it is very easy to go backwards on your work, so thinking ahead and knowing the next step is key.”
Q: How do you prepare for a race?
“I would prepare just as if it was any other day working with the team. Get good rest and do your best.”
Q: What’s your favorite track and why?
“Tough choice, but of all the tracks I’ve seen so far, I would have to say Barber Motorsports Park. The setting of the track is just beautiful and welcoming.”
Q: Is this your first month of May? If so, what are your expectations?
“This will be my first time and I look forward to it. I expect it to be a very good spectacle with long days and nights. Hopefully a fun experience.”
Q: Have you learned any tricks to make your job easier?
“A ton. Being a mechanic you learn a lot of “do’s” and “don’ts”. Even with prior experience I still learn something every day doing my job.”
Q: Do you have any hobbies outside of racing?
“I enjoy playing video games and restoring classic Toyotas.”