Arrow McLaren SP continues to share more about the individuals behind the race team, putting in the work to get the racecars ready for race day. Since joining Arrow McLaren SP, both Ryne Fager and Tim Lane have held multiple roles on the team including: transportation, managing tires and also part of the pit crew that goes over the wall.
Learn more about their roles as we prepare for racing Mid-Ohio this week.
Q: Tell us what your jobs are for Arrow McLaren SP? As the team knows, there are multiple things you both are responsible for.
Ryne Fager: My roles, for a weekly deal, I am a transportation specialist driving to most races AKA a ‘truckie.’ It depends on the race but sometimes I may drive a motorhome, depending on who is coming to the race. I’m also a tire guy, so that relates into the race weekend, prepping tires and making sure they are ready to go on the car. Back at the shop, that means I prep all the wheels, fix any damage, make sure sensors are all mounted properly, and make sure they are clean for the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet. Tim does the same for the No. 7 car to get ready to go for the race weekend. Once we get to the racetrack and the trucks are parked, I go into being the tire guy and the inside-rear tire changer on the No. 5 during pit stops doing the best I can on the inside-rear tire for Pato O’Ward and the rest of the team.
Tim Lane: My job at Arrow McLaren SP is first a transport driver getting the cars and pit equipment to the track safely. Once I am there, I am in charge of tires, setting pressures for race, practice and qualifying. During the race, I am the fueler for Felix Rosenqvist’s No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet.
Q: What led each of you towards a career in motorsport?
RF: I have loved racing my entire life – specifically INDYCAR. I also am into dirt tracks, growing up in Kokomo, Indiana, where we have a popular dirt track. I could always hear sprint cars there, which are pretty loud, going around every weekend from my house and it always got me excited.
My grandpa had the same seats for the Indy 500 for I don’t know how long, maybe 30-plus years. I remember being young, growing up, waiting for him to consider me old enough to think about taking me to my first race. When he did, it was a big deal to me.
I’ve always had friends in the sport where I’d tell them ‘Man, that looks really cool and fun’ by looking at it from the outside-in without knowing about the extra hours, prep work and everything. They pushed me to go for it. If I’m committing most of my life to something, I found that this is something I want to do.
TL: Well, I became a fan by just watching the sport on TV and following it. I had a CDL and was already a truck driver. So I figured if I already had a CDL and was a trucker driver, why not see if I can drive for something that I love to watch and try to participate in the sport? So that got me into the career, and after pursuing a few different teams, Arrow McLaren SP found me and finally gave me the chance to work for them.
After that, I’ve tried to learn as much as I can in the company to get me to where I’m at and now I am part of the pit crew.
Q: What have you enjoyed most about this season so far?
TL: Of course, you always enjoy having a good season. That’s one thing to have and feel good about. Another thing is everyone is clicking and having a good time. The drivers are happy, the team is happy and it is always fun when you win.
RF: Definitely getting our first win as a team with Pato and Arrow McLaren SP in Texas. Getting our second win in Detroit recently was awesome as well. I haven’t felt like a little kid having fun like I did when we were all waiting to jump into the fountain. Jumping into the fountain was one of the best days of my life. To see all of us, who are so serious and work so hard, let loose and really enjoy the fruits of our labor for a few moments in Detroit was amazing It was an incredible drive to see what Pato pulled off in Race Two that weekend. Winning my first two races is definitely what I’ve enjoyed most this season. I don’t know how you could have a greater feeling for something you work so hard for than what we’ve felt so far this season as a team.
Q: Do you each have a favorite story of traveling on the road with the transporters that you can share?
TL: I do look back I went to San Francisco, where I had never been until I got this job. It was fun to sight-see and go to the Golden Gate Bridge and go hiking on some historic trails which was exciting to me. That was definitely my favorite moment, I even bragged about to my wife after I did it.
RF: That’s a tough one. Driving across the country, 10 hours down the road at the time, not much happens but there are some positives to it. You run into fans a lot while on the road when you fuel the truck or grab a bite to eat. It surprises you how many people are excited about racing. It’s easy to forget that you were a fan not-too long ago, and that there are still fans out there. Seeing them get excited, asking questions about the team, how we are doing, where we are headed, are you optimistic – those are all questions we get asked on our way to next track. Sure, sometimes it is 3AM and we’ve been on the road, but we understand it is important to remember that these fans give us the opportunity to do what we do. It’s a good reminder that people appreciate what we do and look up to us to be at our best.
Q: What are a few things people should know about you outside of being a part of the team?
TL: First, I am a husband and father. When I’m not traveling and working, I like to spend time with my family. I also do woodworking, a hobby of mine that I enjoy dabbling with and I enjoy that.
Other than that, I am a typical guy that has hobbies and likes to enjoy my off time. If I’m not enjoying my off time, I’m probably doing something that is family or work related.
RF: I’m a family guy. When I get the opportunity, I like to travel up to my parents’ house to spend time with them and my grandma and be able to work outside on their property. Those are the things you miss when you are on the road…the people who have been beside you for so long and I can go a few months without seeing them when times are the busiest.
Also, I am kind of a homebody. I think that comes from being on the road. When I’m home, I really like to enjoy it and relax. Sometimes, I don’t have the choice because of the quick turnarounds that I need to sleep and do laundry before getting back out there.
When we have a break, I like to get out on the boat, wake surf and any water activities that I do with my friends. Living close to a lake, it makes it easy to get out on the water and have some fun. Video games are another thing I enjoy with my teammates to kick back and have some fun with the No. 5 crew.
Q: What track do you enjoy driving to the most?
RF: It’s kind of a double-edge sword for me. So, there are lot of parts of the country I couldn’t see before racing. I’ve been able to see a lot of neat places. A lot of times it is driving by and looking out the window. Portland is popular answer you’d get from truckies. You have to get through Indiana, Illinois, Nebraska first, but the second leg of the trip is when you start to get into Utah where the mountains pop up and the scenery changes. The last few hours of the drive in Oregon it gets hilly but very open and you’re like ‘Wow, that’s like Indiana with a lot more elevation.” Once you get through that, you get closer to the Columbia River and see the mountains and water start popping up. It’s one of the most beautiful things to be able to drive into that. Seeing Mt. St. Helen and Mt. Rainier, the evergreens and being able to wind through it all is super beautiful.
TL: You always have to enjoy going to Florida, being from Indiana. I mean, it is just something to leave the Midwest knowing that you’ll get to some sunshine in Florida is always nice. But if I have to pick as far as scenery goes, the travel to Portland, Oregon is a beautiful drive to me. Yes, it is a long drive, you do see some desert, but you get to see some hills, canyons, drive along some rivers, and then arrive in Oregon to see its beautiful landscapes. I feel like the West coast and Oregon coast is something a lot of people on East coast forget about. Then, when you think about it, Toronto is nice too because you get to experience a different country and drive into what I call a “super city.” Between the three, it’s hard to narrow one out.
Q: Do you have any advice for those trying to break into the sport?
RF: Be vocal about it. I did have an advantage with friends that worked in racing. Like anything, if it is something that you truly want to do, then you have to go for it. Find where race teams are, knock on the front door and let it be known that you are interested. Put your name across somebody’s desk and following up. It is a job that takes a lot of your life, but it is absolutely worth it if your heart is in it. If you have the passion for it, I would tell anybody to push for it. It is one of the most rewarding things you can experience, but you have to stay on top of it and keep pushing to get in the sport – just as hard as we do in racing. Show up at tracks, race shops to let people know to look for your name if they are hiring. If they say no, then come back in a couple months because in racing, day-to-day, you never know what’s going to happen and an opportunity be open on Tuesday when it wasn’t on Monday. Never stop, keep trying and fully commit.
TL: Well first off, I would if you want to get into motorsport, you should get more knowledge on it. Even though you aren’t in it, you can still gain knowledge on something that you are interested in. So, when you do get into it, you have some kind of background and footing to stand on. What I did was went to teams and asked if they needed somebody. You need to get your foot in the door the best way you can, and that might be starting from the bottom doing things like janitorial work and work your way up. Go to different races, talk to different people at the track, hand out resumes, start to get to know people on the crew. If you want to get into this, you have to go out and not give up. Don’t feel bad if it takes a year, be persistent and go for what you want. Talk to people, do your research, put your name out there and be invested. Never give up on something you really want to do.