Coca-Cola 600 Pit Note # 9
Charlotte Motor Speedway Honors 50-Year Employees - cont.
David Suddreth also still loves what he does. He has many stories to tell about the drivers and many things he has seen and experienced throughout 50 years. He has the respect and admiration of those drivers.
"I always enjoyed joking with Dale Earnhardt Sr.," said Suddreth. "Over the years, so much has changed. We always have a lot of VIPs, as in the early days."
(The most unique challenge) - "It's the pit area. You get everyone sending letters, pictures saying I'm a friend of so-and-so. Keeping the people off pit wall and making sure everyone is safe. Checking credentials can be difficult, but you can usually tell who is supposed to be there and who isn't. Safety is the main thing."
(How he got started here) - "Well, they advertised. I think back then they paid around 95 cents or one dollar an hour. I was out here watching them work and everything when they built the track. They started me out up in the grandstand for the first race. I got to watch all the drivers come up in their early days."
(On the future) - "I want to work here as long as I can. I am 72 years old, and I want to keep going. Life is good. The people are good and the track has been good to me. Every year, there is something different when you come out here."
(Best memory) - "When a truck pulled up and asked me to sign for a million dollars. They asked me, ‘Are you going to sign for it?' and I said, ‘Heck no, I ain't going to sign for a million dollars.' Humpy Wheeler got on the radio and said to sign for it, you will be all right. Well, he was up there, and I was down here. I'm talking about a big pallet with one million dollars in one-dollar bills. We had some drivers sitting on top of the money and going through the garage and throwing out dollar bills. It was part of the show to turn that money over on the ground. Well, Earnhardt [Dale Sr.] picked up a couple of packs of that money and ran back to his motorhome with money I had signed for. They weren't supposed to open but two packs, and when I got back, they said, ‘You are five packs short.' I went to his motorhome, and he said, ‘I didn't get it.' He said, ‘Just go look under the bed and see if it's there.' I went back there, and there it was under the bed; I got it back. That was the best memory, I guess - of signing for a million dollars. But there are so many, so many. It's just an honor to be here and have this. It means so much. The people have been so great to work with."