On the Road with Bart Creasman, Square D Racing

On the Road Again and Again and Again... CHARLOTTE, N.C., (June 1, 1999) - Road trips. We've all done one at some point in our lives. Perhaps one summer while in high school, or maybe with a bunch of college friends, you piled into a ...

On the Road with Bart Creasman, Square D Racing

On the Road Again and Again and Again...

CHARLOTTE, N.C., (June 1, 1999) - Road trips. We've all done one at some point in our lives. Perhaps one summer while in high school, or maybe with a bunch of college friends, you piled into a car and headed toward Somewhere, U.S.A. Bart Creasman knows all about road trips. As the driver of the Square D Racing Team transporter, road tripping is his job. Behind the wheel of his 500-horsepower Peterbilt rig, Creasman pulls a 53-foot-long trailer that hauls the Square D Chevrolets piloted by Kenny Wallace in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. "I go coast-to-coast, border-to-border," said Creasman. "I get to see it all." When Creasman says "coast-to-coast" and "border-to-border," he's not kidding. From the Andy Petree Racing shop in Flat Rock, N.C., the 39-year-old will drive to such locations as Fontana, Calif., Loudon, N.H., and Homestead, Fla., just to name a few. In all, there are 21 different venues on the Winston Cup circuit. And before Wallace can even log one mile on any one of those tracks, it's Creasman's job to log hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles to make sure the team's cars and equipment make it to each race. "A normal work week begins on Friday," said Creasman. "I'll arrive at the track by 6 o'clock, or whenever the schedule tells me to be there. I work at the track Friday, Saturday and Sunday, then drive back to the shop all night Sunday. Monday's an off-day. I come in Tuesday and Wednesday to prep the truck and get it ready for its next trip. By Thursday it's loaded and I'm on the road again. "There's not a lot of personal time. Already this year I've put 101 days on the road. Last year, I put 264 days in the truck. That's driving time spent on the road, away from the shop." Beginning with this weekend's race at Dover (Del.), time spent away from the shop will be commonplace for Creasman and his truck driving counterparts. From Dover, the circuit travels to Brooklyn, Mich., then to Pocono, Pa., before heading westward to Sonoma, Calif. Then it's back to the east coast with a stop in Daytona Beach, Fla., and then Loudon. A break comes with an off-weekend July 17-18 before returning to Pocono. Teams enjoy another off-weekend July 31-Aug. 1, but a stretch of 12 consecutive race weekends greets crews upon their return. "It used to be worse than that, if you can believe it," said Creasman. "Right after that first off-weekend, we'll go test at Indy (July 19-20), so that's another trip. But that's our last test. NASCAR gives you seven test dates, and that'll be our seventh. But before testing was regulated, you could go anywhere to test, anytime. It was common to put 80-90,000 miles on a truck in one year. Now, we'll log around 50-60,000 miles a year." Despite the grueling schedule and the time spent away from Cathy, his wife of four years, and their 8-month-old daughter, Madison Taylor, Creasman loves his job, which also consists of serving as Wallace's spotter during the race. "I wouldn't trade it for anything," said Creasman. "I tried it just one time. I got out of it (racing) for about three months and hauled produce. I got out there and I was listening to the race on the radio, and I said, 'This ain't for me.' I came back to racing." Creasman's return to racing was a literal homecoming. After serving in the Army from 1979 to 1984 in Bravo 95, a military police unit, Creasman returned home to Arden, N.C. "I had just gotten out of the service and was coming home from the airport when I drove by Dave Marcis' shop. I saw his big transporter there and said, 'I'm going to drive that truck.' I was unemployed at the time, so I got my truck driver's license and went to Dave's. He blew me off the first week, but the next week at Darlington (S.C.) he called and gave me the job." Since that time, Creasman has been a familiar face in the Winston Cup garage. He drove Marcis' rig for five-and-a-half years. He even enjoyed a stint as Marcis' crew chief from 1989 until midway through the 1991 season. "I was the only one left in the rotation, so I just fell into place. I did it for about three years. It was pretty good." From Marcis' team, Creasman left for Tri-Star Motorsports, where Bobby Hamilton secured Rookie of the Year honors in 1991. Three years later, he moved to Stavola Brothers Racing with Jeff Burton, who claimed the 1994 Rookie of the Year title. In 1995, Creasman joined Leo Jackson's Skoal team before re-upping with the Stavola outfit in 1996. When that team closed its doors last year due to lack of sponsorship, Creasman landed at the Petree camp, securing his current job. Square D Company is a market-leading supplier of electrical distribution, industrial control and automation products, systems and services. It is the flagship brand of the North American Division of Schneider Electric, headquartered in Paris, France. Schneider Electric is a global electrical industry leader with 1998 sales of approximately $8.7 billion.

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