INDIANAPOLIS — This year at IMS, everyone is excited that the fans are making a comeback.
Last year, “didn’t feel like race day, even though there was a race,” said A.J. Foyt Racing chief mechanic Brian Goslee.
But this year is a completely different feel.
"(During) qualifications over the weekend, hearing the fans cheer at all the speeds, and the Fast 9, it’s awesome having the fans back,” said Goslee.
Goslee said he’s been coming to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a fan since he was five years old and he’s been working in racing since 2001 and IndyCar since 2004.
“It’s just a pure passion. I mean, there’s nothing like the Indy 500,” said Goslee.
Last year, Goslee worked as the front-end mechanic for Dalton Kellett.
"This year, I’m the chief mechanic for J.R. Hildebrand," he said. "This year I’m a little bit more responsible for the entire car as a whole. I have four great mechanics with me this year."
The “one cool thing about the car J.R. Hildebrand is running is celebrating the 60th anniversary of A.J’s first win,” said Goslee. “So adding that to the mix, duplicating the pain scheme from A.J’s car from when he won is just a lot of history working with A.J.Foyt and the whole team. J.R. is a great driver and a great representation of that. He’s an American driver, so it just ties it all together. It's just really cool running a tribute to the team owner."
He said as a chief mechanic he works “directly with the engineer, getting the setups applying the setups with the mechanics."
“I was chief mechanic with another team for a few years before this, so it’s nice to be back with the team again this year and receive a promotion,” added Goslee.
He said his favorite thing about working on an Indy 500 car is the “quality of the build.”
“I have a great group of mechanics. And everybody cares about the car, everybody is here out of passion, not just to get a paycheck,” said Goslee.
He said he loves “taking pride” in his work and this will be his 32nd Indy 500.
“One of the pieces going around the track this year at 200-plus miles per hour is a heel rest,” that Goslee made at his shop Second Shift Art. “There are a couple teams using it and it happened to fit J.R., so we’re using a heel rest for the pedals."
Second Shift Art is where Brian Goslee spends his time when he’s not in the garage.
When 13News visited Goslee last year, his workshop was the size of a single-car garage.
This year, he has a large welding shop that allowed him enough room to “renovate the inside of a race trailer,” said Goslee.
He said he now has space for customers to come pick up their art in the lobby and he has a place to keep inventory on shelves, rather than in a storage-like area.
“We do anything from general fabrication to pit equipment for race teams,” said Goslee.
But he also has another talent - creating art for fans.
“Clocks, wine holders, trophies,” he said, to custom-made tables and anything a customer would want.
“Every part that we make is from a race car. It is a race car-used part, it’s a part of memorabilia that you’re holding in your hands that actually traveled around the track,” said Goslee.
Goslee turned to his passion for creating art from retired car parts eight years ago, but this is the first time he’s be able to move into “a brick-and-mortar facility.” The store is located at 5545 West Raymond Street, Suite C in Indianapolis.
He said this year he’s also partnering with A.J. Foyt Wineries to create a wine holder that’s made from “A.J. Foyt parts” and this specific wine holder will be sold exclusively through A.J. Foyt Wineries.
He said both working on Indy 500 cars and turning the retired pieces into art are about one thing and one thing only, “bottom line, they’re both for the fans.”
“My crew and I are building a car to entertain the fans and it’s nice to come to the shop to create art from the cars that ran the Speedway and give the fans a part of the race they watched,” he added.