IT’S RACE DAY AT TALLADEGA and temperatures are in the mid-80s, surprisingly warm for October. Bill Heisel, PA-C, stays hydrated and keeps up a snappy pace alongside pit road. Like the NASCAR fans, drivers and pit crews, he’s swept up in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, which is essentially the playoffs of stock car racing. And since, next to football, NASCAR is the most popular spectator sport in the United States, this is a big deal—the race results will determine which eight cars will move on to the Eliminator Round. So Heisel, wearing comfortable shoes and a red polo-style shirt embroidered with an OrthoCarolina Motorsports logo, keeps moving from pit box to pit box, looking for a thumbs-up or a wave-in to check on an injured pit crew member. Heisel’s an important contributor to the race scene. But he doesn’t spend Sunday afternoon driving stock cars at nearly 200 miles an hour. He’s not one of the guys jacking up cars, changing tires and pumping fuel in the graceful, muscular car-eography that animates pit road. Heisel’s the guy who takes care of the guys who take care of the...
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