By Edgar Sandoval, Contributor | Posted: September 11, 2020 | Revised: March 28, 2022
Virginia’s Richmond Raceway, with its “D” shaped oval track, is considered iconic by many race fans.
So, you can imagine the thrill lifelong Richmond resident David Coleman experienced when he found out his next project was working on an infield expansion project at the raceway.
“This was a great project to be a part of. You see it when you’re flying home, in ads across the area, and when you watch the race,” said Coleman, Project Controls Manager for Donley’s Concrete Group. “It gave our team a lot of pride to be a part of it and it’s one of the projects that’s fun to point out and say you placed the concrete.”
The project was all about people – creating a memorable experience for the next generation of fans. Donley was working on the concrete services portion of the venture, with support from The Cat® Rental Store and local Cat dealer Carter Machinery.
Completed in 2018, the revamped, interactive infield puts fans closer to the action than ever before, letting fans view the garage areas from walkways just a few feet from the cars and race teams. It also features luxury suites and expanded offerings for concessions and entertainment. Meanwhile, fans with pit passes can now watch the crews get ready and come and go as they please during the race. For Donley, working on the Richmond Raceway project meant tackling both new challenges to coordinate a range of requirements needed to create this new fan experience.
“There is about 100,000 square feet of concrete slab for the infield entertainment areas,” Coleman said. “This was a unique challenge to build, as it needed to be within strict tolerances to allow racecars to travel over the slab to winners circle and allow race fans an up close and personal relationship with the race.”
The Cat Rental Store was a major player in helping Donley get the work done, supplying everything from generators, wheel loaders, soil compactors, skid steers, and mini excavators to light plants and plate compactors.
“For the raceway project we had several pieces of equipment on site for the duration,” Coleman said. “We also worked closely with Caterpillar to meet the schedule and accommodate the mobilization and demobilization as needed for raceway activities. It’s a great relationship to have with Caterpillar when we can call our dealer and say ‘something just came up, I need this equipment yesterday, and gone tomorrow’."
Coleman went on to say, “Having the relationship with Caterpillar allows us to make things happen for our clients. I’ve joked in the past with our teams that Caterpillar is so responsive we almost don’t have to plan, but we really appreciate having a team member in Caterpillar who understands our business and the need to be flexible.”
Coleman says it’s not just the rental partnership, but also the service they get from their Cat dealer that sets Cat apart from the competition.
“In concrete we cannot have downtime with equipment,” Coleman said. “If a piece of equipment is down we need the responsiveness from our partners to get it back up and running as quickly as possible so that our team is not waiting around and jeopardizing our ability to provide successful projects to our clients. Cat’s quality of equipment and responsiveness is an integral part of helping us be successful.”
In the end, seeing the fruits of their labor was special for Donley’s Concrete Group.
“We had a number of really big racing fans on our crews,” Coleman said. “We were happy to bring them to the track when the job was done and to be able to share that with their families was really impactful for everyone.”
Donley’s Concrete Group lays the foundation for the fan experience at Richmond Raceway
Early morning on the job at Richmond Raceway
When he’s not creating content to highlight our sponsorship partners, Edgar is coaching soccer or telling jokes at comedy clubs around the country. He started here after spending time in Hollywood and working for four network television affiliates. Edgar loves telling stories about the people, products and services that make Caterpillar great!
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