A part of Chad Taylor's life could be described as an adult living out a childhood dream.
"I've watched IndyCar for as long as I can remember," Taylor said. "I have a long history. My dad used to take me to Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway as a kid. I've just been a racing fanatic my whole life."
So it's a bit surreal to Taylor to be in the pits for just about every race of the IndyCar Series. It's even more nutty to him to know he had a connection, if even in a small way, to the winner of last Sunday's Indy 500, the most popular event in open-wheel racing.
"I was there standing on the timing stand," Taylor said. "I was as close to the race as you could get. Every single week I go to a race."
Taylor, you see, is one of three members of the homegrown multi-platinum rock band Live who helped found United Fiber & Data in 2011. UFD is a fiber optic company with plans to build a 418-mile dark fiber line from New York to Virginia. And the company has plans this year to move its administrative headquarters to 210 York St. in York City.
Looking to spread its name, UFD turned to IndyCar racing a little more than a year ago.
"With United Fiber and Data we wanted to find a tangible way to represent the speed and ingenuity of our infrastructure," Taylor said. "At the heart of it, Indycar racing is speed and ingenuity. And if you're going to go the route of racing, the most popular names and faces are the Andrettis"
Early last year Andretti Autosport announced the addition of United Fiber & Data as an associate sponsor for the No. 25 Chevrolet driven by IndyCar veteran Marco Andretti, who is a third-generation driver of the famous Andretti racing family. This year, UFD expanded its footprint with Andretti Autosport by becoming the primary sponsor of the No. 27 IndyCar driven by James Hinchcliffe and associate sponsor of the No. 28 IndyCar piloted by Ryan Hunter-Reay. UFD also remained as the associate sponsor of Marco Andretti's No. 25 car.
Hunter-Reay, the 2012 IndyCar champion, won Sunday's Indy 500 by 0.06 seconds in front of three-time winner Helio Castroneves in what was the second-closest finish in Indy 500 history. He became only the fifth American to be victorious in the 19 Indy 500s since the formation of the Indy Racing League in 1996. Marco Andretti finished third in the race behind Hunter-Reay and Castroneves, while Hinchcliffe was 28th.
"Yorkers actually had a car represented in the Indy 500," Taylor said. "Not only that, we finished first and third."
Thirteen races are left in the IndyCar schedule, which runs through the end of August. Taylor said he'll be flying out to Detroit this weekend for the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit, a doubleheader race Saturday and Sunday on a 2.35-mile street circuit.
Fans can watch both races live on ABC beginning at 3 p.m. each day.
"I would say just in general to root for UFD across the whole line of cars," Taylor said.
— Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.