Aug. 2 2021 07:29 AM

Professionals team up to feature logos in car design for Richard Childress Racing.

Caterpillar Inc., Deerfield, Illinois, and the National Association of Landscape Professionals, Fairfax, Virginia, partnered to raise the visibility of the landscape industry and celebrate the impact that 1 million landscape and lawn care professionals have on our nation’s green spaces.

In the spring, NALP asked lawn and landscape professionals to share why they ‘dig’ landscaping to select company names that would be included in the design for the No. 8 Cat vehicle driven by Tyler Reddick for Richard Childress Racing during the race in Loudon, New Hampshire, on July 18, 2021.

The theme of the car was “WeDigLandscaping.” It featured the NALP logo on the rear deck lid and within the Cat logo on the hood of the car was a list of select NALP members. Mark Kelbacher, owner of MissionGreen Services, says the design was excellent and captured the industry well. He says the #WeDigLandscaping was eye-catching.

“That was awesome to be able to see our name on there with the others,” Kelbacher says. “There were plenty of other landscape and lawn care companies on there, and to be amongst those and be one of the privileged, I really felt honored to be on that car. It was great. I really appreciate that.”

A contest was also held where the winner would receive a pair of tickets to the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 Race as well as Caterpillar swag. Jason Kaczmarek of Malta Asphalt, Lawn & Landscape won the prize and attended the race with his 15-year-old son, Wesley.

Guests from Green Thumb Lawn Service, Joyce Landscaping, R.P. Marzilli & Co. Inc., MissionGreen Services, YardScapes Landscape Professionals, Morin’s Landscaping & Lawn Maintenance Inc., Malta Asphalt, Lawn & Landscape, Mountain View Landscapes & Lawn Care Inc., and Ford’s Hometown Services attended the race. All of the attendees were treated to a ticket for the race and hospitality in the Caterpillar tent, which included a Q&A with the driver Tyler Reddick and Jason Becker of Caterpillar.

“It was interesting, just being able to talk to the driver and the crew,” Kelbacher says. “For us, we talk a lot about the science behind what we do. And it was of interesting to hear that they also rely on science for what they do.”

A select few were also given a VIP experience: Kaczmarek and his son Wesley, Mark and Rachel Kelbacher of MissionGreen Services, Greg Kaiser and Kyle Onorato of Yardscapes Landscape Professionals, Jeremy Legasse and Dan Love of Green Thumb Lawn Service. The VIP experience included a tour of the garage area, the race team’s hauler and the pit area. They also viewed the unveiling of the race car right before the race and got to see the start of the race from the pit box.

“That was unbelievable to be that close and just listening to the spotters talk to the driver,” Kelbacher says. “It was a once in a lifetime experience.”

The VIPs were also allowed to stand in pit road with the whole RCR team for the singing of the National Anthem. Kelbacher says outside of their group of owners and Caterpillar reps he heard people talking about the car’s design and thinks it helped with the visibility of the industry.

“I think it was a great experience just networking with other landscapers, lawn care operators, and owners in this region,” Kelbacher says. “It was a great experience just to be able to sit there and nonchalantly talk shop and talk NASCAR at the same time. I really liked the fact that we got to hang out with the Caterpillar team and of course, Scott and Bob Mann from NALP.”

Reddick finished 13th in the race.