October 24, 2010 07:29 PM by Sarah_Monson
On the CBS hit show Undercover Boss, NASCAR exec Steve Phelps goes under the hood of one of the most popular sports in the country. As the CMO, he wanted to see how his racing company runs. Will he succeed and cross the finish line a winner or crash and burn trying?
Phelps leaves his wife, four kids and giant New York mansion and heads undercover. He heads to North Carolina to train as a pit crew member and learn how to work a pit crew on an actual race track. He meets crew member Dion who shows â€œKevinâ€ the ropes.
Steve and the pit crew train in extreme heat to be able to handle the hot Daytona heat wearing fire suits on the track. Then they practice a pit stop with a real car. You have to move fast and be strong, and Steve has trouble keeping up.
Dion and Steve then have a heart to heart. Dion tells Stave that he was recruited to NASCAR because he was a minority, and that they were aiming for more diversity. Working a pit crew is basically like being a professional athlete, and he tells Steve that his job is super competitive and that once his body gives out, heâ€™ll lose his job. And Dion has a baby on the way. This makes Steve think that they need to give peopleÂ better sense of security in their job.
Next stop, the Daytona racetrack to work with Glen in facility operations. Steve and Glen head out to paint the black and white finish line and paint some signs on the racetrack. Glen tells Steve that his 11 year old son was diagnosed with Leukemia, and needs chemo every two weeks. Steve is touched by Glenâ€™s strength and composure during this tough time in his life.
The next day, Steve heads over to the track to work concessions with Cindy, Rachel and Tom â€“ the nicest hot dog vendors in the world. They are actually volunteers who sell concessions at the racetrack to raise money for Cindyâ€™s daughters cheerleading team.
They get to keep 10% of their proceeds (NASCAR takes 90%!!) to donate.
Steveâ€™s next job is with the NASCAR tire specialists during an actual race. He meets with Scott, David Reutimannâ€™s tire man. The men starting hauling tires and Scott gets to talking about how he never gets to see his family because of his busy racing schedule.
This sounds familiar to Steve, who is away from his family 4 days a week. Steve asks Scott what he would change about NASCAR, an Scott says that it’s not as family friendly for employees to share the thrill of the race with their families.
Finally, itâ€™s race time. Steve gets to help out on the track. While there, he witnesses a huge crash, that includes the car Dion works on.
Finally, Steve’s week undercover ends and he heads back to NASCAR headquarters and finally comes clean. One by one, Steve reveals his identity to the unsuspecting NASCAR employees. All are stunned, naturally.
Steve tells Dion how impressed he was with him, and makes Dion a charter member of a new council for NASCAR employees to share ideas about the company with management. He also tells Dion that when he retires from the pit crew, he has a job at NASCAR waiting for him.
He meets with Scott next and tells him that he will fly his family out to him when heâ€™s on the road so they can see a race. He also gave tickets to every member of Scottâ€™s pit crew so they could see a race too!
Steve gives Cindy and Tom, the happy hot dog vendors, $10,000 for her daughterâ€™s cheerleading squad. He also gives Tom an all expense paid trip to the NASCAR championship.
Next up, Glen. Steve gives Glenâ€™s son a signed helmet to put in his room. Andâ€¦ Steve also tells Glen that anything not covered by insurance for his sonâ€™s leukemia will get covered by NASCAR. This is where the tears start flowing big time! Glen was truly touched and totally stunned.
Steve then tells his company about his week and how much he learned in the process.
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Photos Courtesy of CBS