2011 Summer Interns Final Blog

Thank you to our two summer interns, Donnie & Phil! You exceeded our expectations and wish you both the best of luck in all your future endeavors! – Pocono Raceway

 

Intern Phil

Now that Pocono Raceway’s two races are over, it is time to reflect on my time here as an intern at “The Tricky Triangle”.  It will be tough to put into words just how unique and exciting this experience has been, but I will try my best.

Coming into this internship, I knew very little about what went on with a NASCAR event. I’ve had many experiences in running events at recreation centers and arenas, but nothing to the extent of getting a behind the scenes look at how a major event is ran.  With my lack of knowledge of everything NASCAR, I took this as an opportunity to learn anything and everything there is about this unique sport.

Donnie (the other intern) and I were given four major and a few minor projects to work on during our time here at Pocono Raceway.  The four major projects were: planning and implementing three scavenger hunts for the fans during race weekend, and research, prepare, and present all of the NASCAR infield camping maps.  These projects gave us the opportunity to leave our mark here at Pocono Raceway.  They have never done anything like the scavenger hunts during race weekends in the past, so the pressure was definitely on to make them as successful as possible.

The first scavenger hunt we did, at the June race, was a very interesting experience.  We spent two months planning out this crazy, detailed scavenger hunt and it was all over in less than a half hour.  It was an intense half hour though.   Seeing all of the participants running around to all of the different vendors and doing all of the random tasks at each was very entertaining.  It was very rewarding to get positive feedback from the participants.  Donnie and I used that feedback to try and make the next scavenger hunt more fun, and possibly more challenging.

After recovering from my first race weekend experience, it was then time to get to work on the next project that we were assigned.  We were given the task of researching every single NASCAR track’s infield camping layout and amenities.  Doing this project gave me a chance to gain even more perspective of just how unique NASCAR is to the other major sports.  Each and every track has their own interesting layout.  Each one tries their best to accommodate their fans to the best of their ability.  For example, Indy has a golf course in their infield!  What’s up with that?!

After we prepared a presentation of every NASCAR track across the country, we then presented our findings to Brandon, Nick, and Kevin.  Based on our findings, we also came up with a couple of our own infield layouts for Pocono Raceway.  It was challenging for us because, with no background in NASCAR, we were basing our layouts solely on what we though would work and what the other tracks were doing.

After the research project, we then got to work on our next two projects.  Because we had such a good response to the first scavenger hunt, we thought it would be interesting to add an infield scavenger hunt to the mix for August’s race.  This time around, Donnie and I were given free reign for the Fan Fair Scavenger Hunt.  We came up with all of the clues, tasks, and vendors we thought would make this an even more successful and challenging experience for the fans than the first one in June.  Unfortunately, because of the races on Saturday being pushed to Sunday, the scavenger hunt was cancelled and we were not able to see our major project in action.  We were very disappointed we could not go through with it, but it was out of our hands, and it was just another valuable learning experience that I have had this summer.

Along with the major projects, we also helped prepare for a couple small events we ran for the fans.  We helped out with a charity car wash at the track, went to a Trenton Thunder game to promote the June race, held a viewing party in Wilkes-Barre, and were apart of Media Day with Clint Bowyer.  Each and every event we attended provided a different learning experience for me.

I would like to thank everyone I had the opportunity to work with this summer at Pocono Raceway.   I had a blast and learned a lot from, not only people like Kevin, Brandon, Nick, and Ben, but I also learned from the fans at each of the events we attended.  It was an amazing summer, and I look forward to seeing where this experience will take me in the future!

Phil
(Graduate Student – East Stroudsburg University) 

                                                                                                                               

 

Intern Donnie

As my final week of interning here at Pocono Raceway comes to a close, I want to share my thoughts and experiences of my time here with the Pocono Posse. In the three months, I have been apart of some pretty cool things. Both race weekends were intense and involved working long hours, but were the best experiences I’ve had here. As well as working the races, the other intern, Phil, and I planned multiple scavenger hunts and had a presentation on the camping here as well as coming up with ideas for future camping proposals. We also were lucky enough to be working around drivers throughout our time here, which is definitely one of the perks in working at Pocono Raceway.

Coming into this internship I wasn’t too sure on what to expect. I’ve never worked at a sports venue quite like this before and I have never been into NASCAR. However after seeing the sport from this perspective it is spectacular. The first race was pretty overwhelming and it was easy to be caught up in the moment. Everything happened so fast and it was over before we knew what hit us. The August race was a little more different though. It still flew by like the June race but we knew what to expect and we weren’t as caught up in the moment when we were around the drivers.

Phil and I had five major projects over the three months that we were interning here at “The Tricky Triangle!” We planned three scavenger hunts, one for the June race and two for the August race. We put a lot time and effort into coming up with a scavenger hunt that would be both fun and difficult for our fans. The first one was a success and went very well and we received a lot of complements on it. We also ran our first ever infield scavenger hunt this past weekend for the August race. . The final scavenger hunt was cancelled due to the inclement weather. This was upsetting because Phil and I worked hard on this one and thought it would be the most challenging of the three.

The next two projects that we were to work on were the most important ones. We were to research and compare all the other tracks that are in the NASCAR circuit to that of Pocono Raceway. We were to present this to track President Brandon Igdalsky, Nick Igdalsky, and Kevin Heaney. We presented pictures of each individual track as well as what their infield camping is like and what amenities they offer. We also were given the task to draw up maps for possible future infield renovations. Both of these projects gave us valuable experience in the designing and planning aspects of the sport industry.

Other then the projects we worked on, we also were involved with the Trenton Thunder promotion for the June race and Lucky’s Sportshouse where the raceway held a viewing party to promote the GoodSam RV Insurance 500. We were also involved in Clint Bowyer’s media ride along and promotion of the race. This internship has been a great experience for me to understand all the effort that goes into the two weekends that the track holds major events in NASCAR.

The past three months that I have been working here has gone by way to fast. I’ve learned a lot and it has been a great experience. I’d like to thank all the great people that I’ve met here at Pocono Raceway for helping me out with anything that I needed. I’d also like to thank Kevin Heaney and Brandon Igdalsky for giving me the opportunity to intern here for the summer. It was an awesome experience and it was such a work friendly atmosphere that it was easy to get things done and it was fun in the process. I would also like to thank “The Tricky Triangle” fans for coming out to our scavenger hunt and interacting with us. Overall, it has been the best experience I have had in the sport field thus far and I am grateful for getting the opportunity. I am sad that it is over but at the same time I am intrigued to see how this helps me in the sport industry for the future!

Donnie
(Undergrad – Misericordia University) 

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