Not one big win, but two for East Grand Forks grad
Each racing circuit has its crown jewel: NASCAR has the Daytona 500; the Indy Racing League has the Indianapolis 500; and the World of Outlaws have the Knoxville Nationals. And so on.
For Dave Nisbet, a 2005 East Grand Forks Senior High graduate, a career in racing has allowed him to celebrate wins in two of the biggest races in motor sports.
Last week, Nisbet was on the pit crew that won the IMSA Rolex 24 at Daytona, arguably the country's top race for sports cars.
In 2014, Nisbet was on Ryan Hunter-Reay's pit crew that won the Indianapolis 500.
"That's pretty humbling," said Nisbet of being involved in two major wins in motor sports. "I've always been fortunate to have the right people around me to teach me."
Nisbet now works for Indiana-based Wayne Taylor Racing, the team that won the Rolex 24. The four-driver team for Wayne Taylor Racing included Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor, Max Angelelli and NASCAR star Jeff Gordon.
Working with Gordon was special, said Nisbet.
"He's the most humble person you'll ever meet," said Nisbet. "When he found out I was into sprint cars, we talked about sprint cars. He's a people person."
The Rolex 24 is a non-stop 24-hour race, regardless of weather.
"We showed up at the track at 8 a.m. on Saturday and didn't leave the track until 8 p.m. Sunday night," said Nisbet.
Rest came in the form of quick naps for the drivers and crew.
"I fell asleep and missed one pit stop," Nisbet chuckled. "I had my radio on but never heard it."
Nisbet has worked for teams in sprint cars, Indy cars and now sports cars.
At Wayne Taylor Racing, Nisbet's main role is body and decal work. He also does mechanical jobs for the team and operated the air jack during pit stops at Daytona.
During his career, Nisbet has worked for World of Outlaws drivers Donny Schatz and Daryn Pittman. He worked for Panther Racing in 2009 and 2010 and for Andretti Racing from 2011-2015.
For roughly the past year, he has been with Wayne Taylor Racing.
"I wanted a change, something different with less travel," said Nisbet of his decision to join Wayne Taylor Racing.
The win at Daytona "ranks right up there with the Indy 500 win," said Nisbet. "I'm so lucky to be a part of this. I don't have words to describe it."