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Keeping it clean

  • Bob Ford/Times News Joe Greco helps clean up debris on the track as a crew member at Pocono Raceway.
    Bob Ford/Times News Joe Greco helps clean up debris on the track as a crew member at Pocono Raceway.
Published August 05. 2014 01:10PM

After growing up watching NASCAR, Joe Greco has progressed from spectator to crew member at the Pocono Raceway.

Greco's position on the cleanup truck is a crucial one. When an incident occurs on the track, he must be prepared to pick up debris that may be hazardous to drivers, as well as control any fluids released.

The process has to be quick, and all crew members must be cautious of approaching traffic that can be zooming by at 50 to 60 mph.

"You always have to be mindful of where the vehicle is positioned on the track and mindful of what's going on around you, not just the incident itself," Greco said.

Not to mention, the cleanup must be quick as not to interrupt the fast-paced televised event.

As Lansford fire chief, Greco is used to the rush.

In fact, his time at Pocono Raceway began just four years ago as a pit fireman, which he said was an opportunity that he was glad to have been given.

He said that the track's director of operations approached him while taking a course at the Carbon County Emergency Management Agency and asked Greco to apply for the position. He graciously accepted.

"I was always exposed to racing," Greco said of his childhood as a NASCAR fan. "I just thought it would be a neat opportunity. I enjoy going up there."

He even has the privilege of meeting the drivers, but he maintains a professional attitude toward them.

"You have to remove yourself from being a fan at a certain point," he said.

Greco said he enjoys working with a team that takes safety seriously.

Before taking the position, crew members become qualified by taking a written test and a hands-on test.

"The track services team is top-notch. The training program they do is excellent. The management does an excellent job training us and taking care of it," he said.

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