The Air Force Reserve was represented at a recent Indy car race near St. Louis. As part of the special pre-event backstage program, members of the 932nd Airlift Wing met some Indy car teams behind the scenes, in the secured area on “pit row,” as mechanics prepped the amazing engines and inflated tires to the proper pressure at the “Gateway” track.
Col. Sharon Johnson, 932nd Airlift Wing Maintenance Group commander, met the crew of #18, the car driven by Sebastian Bourdais. She was recognized on stage with all the Indy drivers at the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 race Aug. 25 at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison. Johnson was an honored VIP and, along with the track owner, she helped kick off the second annual IndyCar race which was won by Will Power, who actually came in last place the year prior.
This year he won the 248-lap race around the four-turn, 1.25-mile Gateway Motorsports Park in his #12 Chevrolet car by 1.3117 seconds over second place finisher Alexander Rossi. The 932nd Airlift Wing, a 22nd Air Force unit in Illinois under the Air Force Reserve Command, was represented by maintenance, medical, public affairs staff and operations personnel.
Many civilians out in the crowd and Indy car teams behind the fence, thanked the reservists for serving by shaking hands or posing for pictures. Following the national anthem, in which 932nd Airlift Wing and 375th Air Mobility Wing Airmen joined together in the warm summer evening air to hold the large 60 foot American flag tight, the engines roared to life and revved up the night air with the sounds and smells of racing.