#10 Lycos Pontiac truck driver Jerry Hess had it easy last weekend when the NASCAR Winston Cup cars visited Rockingham - only 80 miles from the Tyler Jet Motorsports race shop in Harrisburg, N.C. This weekend Hess and co-driver Vic Maguire leave Tuesday to drive the 2,216-mile trip to Las Vegas for Sunday's race. Only the Fontana and Sears Point tracks in California are longer drives for the truck drivers who will drive about 22,000 miles to races in the 2000 season.
Jerry Hess, #10 Lycos Truck Driver:
"Rockingham is one of the shortest drives for us so that is easy. The hardest part is we only get one day to unload from Rockingham, load the new cars then head on to Vegas. We like to leave by lunchtime on Tuesday. If we can do that and drive straight through without any problems then we can get there by Thursday morning. That's good because we have to be out at the track before sunrise on Friday morning.
"We drive and sleep the whole way out. We have a lounge in the back of the cab. My co-driver Vic Maguire will drive for a couple of hours then I will drive for a couple of hours. We will stop after 10 to 12 hours to eat and get fuel or just to walk around a bit and go to the bathroom.
"If you have a good driver you are going with and feel comfortable with then it isn't bad at all. You can always go back in the cab and fall asleep. You can turn the radio speakers off in the back of the lounge so each of us can listen to whatever we want to on the radio. Whenever I go back there I just fall asleep. It's my third year doing this so it's becoming routine.
"They are making it harder on truck drivers each year with the races they are adding. Sure, the schedule is getting tight, but that is Ok, this is what I like to do. July is the worst time because we go from Pocono, to Sears Point to Daytona three weeks in a row. It would really be nice if we can get to Vegas early and have a little time to play".