Greg Moser

Greg Moser has always been a car racing fan, going to the track regularly with his parents as a boy, and later in life with his own family. Recently his skills and his hobby converged with being in the right place at the right time, landing Greg in what is for him a true dream job: working as a truck driver for IndyCar.

Greg’s love of car racing began when he was young.

“Greg and his brother would play Indy with their Hot Wheels cars on their mother’s corded oval rug,” said Greg’s wife Lynn Moser, who is also a car racing fan. “That was their racetrack and they would argue over who got to be Mario Andretti.”

“My brother would actually take pencil and paper and make a spreadsheet and we’d have races, especially around the month of May, the month of May is Indy 500, and we’d have a points system going for who won each race,” Greg said. “He’d keep a tally of the points and we would have our own season championships with our Hot Wheels cars.”

According to Greg, his deep-rooted love of racing started even before that, during family summer outings every Saturday night at Miller Speedway in Miller, where he grew up.

“My mom had two brothers that raced, Willie and Chuck Yost, and then eventually two cousins of mine, Dennis and Terry Yost raced modified.” Greg said. “We would go to Miller Central Speedway every Saturday night to see the races and then on Sunday night we would go to Huron, the state fair speedway and watch the races.”

Greg’s uncles raced for many years and won many championships, Greg said, but in 1985 Terry Yost, tragically died following a racing accident.

Greg not only grew up watching his mother’s brothers race, he had an uncle on his father’s side who raced: Leon Moser from Wolsey. As a youth Greg also did a little bit of pit-crew work for a neighbor, Marlon Winter, who also raced.

Aside from racing Matchbox cars, Greg and his brother also enjoyed racing go-carts. Each year they would save their pennies for the family vacation to Long Beach in Washington State, where there was a go-cart track that charged 50 cents a ride.

“So once the small grains and the hay were done and before the silage cutting started for the winter, we would make a trip out to the west coast,” said Greg.

One wet, misty Pacific Coast evening, Greg said, he and his brother

found themselves alone at the go-cart track. The owners required at least three drivers to open the track. That night the weather drove most people indoors, but Greg and his brother were staying at a motel a block away and decided to walk over to the go-cart track to see if anyone showed up.

“It had been a while and we were about ready to go home, when this big motorhome pulled up.” Greg said. “It was one of those GMC motor homes. It was pretty futuristic; it reminded me of the Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine. It was quite the thing. And it pulled up and I was like, ‘Wow! Who’s this?”

A boy about their age jumped out and the three of them happily started racing. “I could get really close, I’d beat him once in a while, but my brother could beat him all the time,” Greg said.

They raced on until Greg and his brother ran out of money and told the boy they were going home. The boy said, “Well I’ll pay for you to go, because I’m just here with my grandpa and grandma and they’re just trying to find something for me to do. My dad’s down in Portland racing.”

“His dad was Al Unser. And he was Al Unser Jr.,” Greg said.

The Unsers are a racing family from Albuquerque, New Mexico, where they have the Unser Museum, dedicated to the family’s racing history.

Unlike Al Unser Jr.,” Greg did not grow up to become a racecar driver; he became a police officer and drove a truck on the side.

“I got my commercial driver’s license (CDL) in ’99 the summer I started in law enforcement here in Yankton in dispatch,” Greg said.

“I kept that CDL up and I have the Double/Triple Endorsement and hazmats. I got that through Yankton Ag and I worked every year with Yankton Ag come spring and fall.”

Greg drove the truck every year while he was a police officer, sometimes working upwards of 80 hours a week, which he didn’t seem to mind.

“I find driving very enjoyable. It’s a challenge. A truck driver, just like a race car driver, you’re trying to maximize everything you can: fuel mileage, save your truck, save your brakes and you want to be as smooth as you can on all your shifts, and I find it a challenge every mile down the road.”

In 2005 the Mosers decided to start taking their daughters, Kelsey and Rebecca, then twelve and six respectively, to the racetrack when the family started buying season tickets to Kansas Motor Speedway.

Having the girls along with them changed everything.

“The neat thing about IndyCar is that if you are going to race for IndyCar, they have a mandatory autograph session and you cannot miss that autograph session,” Lynn said.

“The access to the drivers is unreal,” said Greg. “The drivers are so fan friendly, especially if you have kids. That quickly turned us into huge IndyCar fans, and because of that the girls loved it.”

Greg and Lynn started taking their daughters to all the autograph sessions and the whole family started having a positive experience.

“They are so fan friendly and they really care,” Greg said. “The competition at that level is unreal, but they really care about how the other drivers are doing. It’s just one big IndyCar family — and the girls took to it. They got a lot of autographs.”

Not only did the girls get to meet their favorite drivers, but some of the drivers even remembered the girls. One that stood out in particular for the Mosers was Dan Wheldon.

The girls had gone together to get his autograph in the spring at Kansas Speedway, but only Rebecca was there to get his autograph at Iowa Speedway later that summer, as Greg tells the story.

“Dan says, ‘Now, what’s your name?’ She says, “Rebecca.” “Where are you from?” “South Dakota.” And Dan just stopped. He froze with the pen in his hand and said, “South Dakota? Becca, don’t you have an older sister? Kelsey?’ The look on our face, we were astounded.

“He remembered those two little girls from South Dakota back in April and this was July,” Greg said. “When he won in Iowa, he referred to her as his good luck charm and said, ‘I should take you to Indy with me.’”

Dan Wheldon was the driver who died in the 15-car crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011.

After 15 years in Law enforcement, Greg decided to make a move to Kolberg-Pioneer Inc. (KPI). He found that he had a lot more free time in his new job, some of which he spent driving trucks, and he still went to the races, where he and his wife met Jim Mast, a transportation specialist for Indy Cars, who was instrumental in getting Greg the job driving trucks for IndyCar.

“We got to know Jim. We knew Jim for four or five years,” Greg said, “Just by being a fan and going to the races and visiting and staying in touch. Jim knew that Greg was an experienced truck driver, and that he had been in law enforcement, which, Greg said, is a plus for truck drivers in that industry.

“One day Jim said, ‘Hey, if you’re interested in driving a truck for us, we’ve got a truck we’re filling with part time drivers. If you’re serious, I should have you meet all the guys here.’ So I did,” Greg said.

“He took my whole family in to the trailer that he hauls, the tech trailer, technical inspection, where they actually measure the wings and the cars and the angles and everything has to pass inspection,” Greg said. “We got to meet Jeff Horton (director of Engineering), who is with IndyCar safety and works with inspection.”

Two weeks later Greg was at Iowa Speedway when Jim approached him again.

“‘You’re here!’ He said. ‘Vince wants to meet you.’ I’m like, who’s Vince? Well Vince was the vice president of IndyCar Operations, and trucking falls under operations.”

Greg’s friend later asked, “Was that a job interview?”

It was.

After securing his bosses’ permission, Greg accepted the position of seasonal truck driver for IndyCar, which he started on August 23, 2017. He worked two races that year at the end of the summer, and worked in the spring and later in the summer this year.

“I haul the three AMR safety trucks. If there’s an accident, you’ll see the red, white and blue Chevy trucks come out, I haul the Honda Pilot track car and usually two or three golf carts for the executives,” Greg said. There are eight trucks in all that carry the equipment needed for IndyCar to have a race; three full-time drivers and 5 seasonal drivers.

Greg also has other duties including, setting up the paddock where the racecar drivers’ semis park and ushering them in, and he works at the fuel tanker dispensing and sampling fuel for testing.

Sometimes, he even gets to watch the race.

“As a rule, once the green flag drops, we start taking down non-essential stuff,” Greg said, packing up to go to the next stop.

Greg says he enjoys the job; he is still meeting drivers and even got a ride in a pace car in Toronto, Canada.

“I got a pace car ride, in one of the Honda pace cars. It’s a Honda Accord, 2 liter turbo with a race suspension and wheels, tires and brakes, put on by Honda,” Greg said. “Mine was driven by Larry Foyt, who used to race cars.

“We hit 112 miles an hour in a Honda Accord, on a 1.7 mile road course on the streets of Toronto. We were on the streets of Toronto at 112 miles an hour, inside a cement concrete barrier with fence, so there’s no margin for error, or you’re going to be up against the wall,” he said.

His family, who still follows racing and even camps out at racetracks on vacations, is happy to have the opportunity to see him at his new job.

His daughter, Kelsey, likes to say, “It’s not like you ran away to a three ring circus; it’s like an eight truck circus!”