When people think of a country-club racetrack like APEX Motor Club, they might think of rich folks lead-footing their upmarket sports cars for kicks. But the heartbeat of the still-developing complex is the staff.
According to co-founder Matt Williams, six of the track’s nine employees are local, and another relocated to Maricopa for the job. Four of them chatted with us about their typical day and how they landed their jobs.
Bandin graduated from Maricopa High School last spring and attends Park University in Gilbert to play baseball. His family moved to Maricopa when he was 7.
Foot-in-the-door moment: “I’ve liked cars since I was like 12. I got a job at the City Hall for an internship. I worked there with the economic development team. They had the grand opening for APEX, and I met Jason [Plotke] and Matt through photography there. I was brought out here a few times to take photos for them. Eventually, when they opened up, they offered me a job.”
Daily duties: “Lighting system, pit crew. The tower up there, we have a whole array of lights around the track. People know either it’s good, it’s green, something’s not wrong. And then red, something’s wrong, come in the pits. Then we have passing lights and debris lights to warn the drivers. The drivers don’t have radios or anything.”
Future: “Hopefully still be a part of this. I’m playing college baseball right now. If that doesn’t work out, I’ve got this to come back to.”
Current vehicle: “Dodge Charger. It’s for sale if you want to buy it.”
Track experience: “They take you for a ride, give you a hot lap. It’s pretty fun.”
A heavy-equipment operator by trade, Goheen moved to Maricopa in 2003 for the housing market. He started at APEX a year ago and calls the much-younger, fresh-out-of-high-school staff members “the amigos.”
Foot-in-the-door moment: “I started working with the heavy equipment on the construction side of things. And then the construction started slowing down, and [Track Manager] Gerry [Glenn] needed someone for the track purposes. So, I just stayed. The racing business is just learning as I go.”
Daily duties: “Keeping charge of the track, making sure the race conditions are nice. Out here we have future construction. I have a little hand in that, making the process go a little smooth, so the construction’s just a little easier to do once the big boys get here. [I check for] debris, dirt, just anything that’s not safe to run on. Making sure there’s no cracking in the curbs. We have a blower and shovels and brooms. I start before the sun comes up just because when you blow the track, you know the debris gonna go where it needs to go, so I get a good, early start. So, usually when the members get here, we can run the track.”
Future: “Ultimately, I would just like to retire here because it’s pretty easy work and it’s a great day at work any time I come here. I don’t need an alarm clock anymore. It’s like, ‘Oh, boy, you get to go make the world beautiful again.”
Track experience: “I’m a big fan of racing and going fast and beautiful cars, but I didn’t have any knowledge or background in that field.”
A 2019 graduate of MHS, Davis is a student at Grand Canyon University and an auto neophyte. She gained her previous customer-service experience at Barro’s Pizza. She has lived in Maricopa 18 years.
Foot-in-the-door moment: “I was friends with everyone who worked here through high school. Then they all started working here and told me about it. I showed up a couple of months ago. It was just kind of to say hi and talk to everyone. And then they offered me a position.”
Daily duties: “I work five days a week. I welcome people, so I’m the first person that they see when they come on. I don’t know exactly if there is a title for that. I’m a people person, so I didn’t have an issue with it. I actually really enjoy it. All the people on the staff are super-nice. I was really nervous when I first came on because I was like new to everything and I didn’t know anyone except the kids.”
Future: “I know they’re thinking of moving me to the pit lanes to be more involved with people.”
Current vehicle: “I drive a standard Chevy Prism. It’s not a nice car.”
Track experience: “I have been on it from the previous time I’d been here before I worked here.”
Operational support staff
A Maricopan since 2010, Marr joined the staff last spring after graduating from MHS.
Foot-in-the-door moment: “I grew up with cars and stuff. We used to drag race old muscle cars, and my parents have a body shop, so we rebuild and restore cars. About a year ago, I was sitting at school at lunch, one of my friends that works here gave me the opportunity to come work here. That’s how I got introduced to this. I love it. Couldn’t have asked for a better job right out of high school.”
Daily duties: “Helping run all the track stuff, but trackside. At the pit lane I’d help check tire pressure, run the safety lights, make sure everyone’s going out in the right group, all that fun stuff.”
Future: “Stay here, see how far I can move up until I can see how thing’s completely built out here and how far everything is accomplished.”
Current vehicle: Ford Fusion
Track experience: “During the interview, I got to go around. Gerry, my manager, took me around the track and showed me everything. So that was pretty cool.”
This story appears in the February issue of InMaricopa.