Bryan Bystol ‘23
Health Science Education major, Sports Coaching and Psychology minors
Intern at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL)
Libertyville, Illinois

Where are you interning and what are your responsibilities?
I’m an intern at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) and serve as an assistant strength coach and an assistant pit stop coach. I coach and train drivers including Graham Rahal (No.15 car) and Christian Lundgaard (No.45 car), plus the pit crew members for the No.15, No.30, No.44, and No.45 Rahal Letterman Lanigan cars that are racing in the Indy500.

Along with the strength and conditioning side of my internship, I also aid in weekly pit stop practices. I am responsible for breaking down the filmed practice session and timing the significant aspects of the six positions (four tire changers, air jack plug-in, and fuel plug-in). With this film and data, we are able to give feedback and advice to pit crew members trying to improve their times or those who are trying to make it over the wall on race day.

How does this experience relate to your major?
I have spent four years not only learning about strength and conditioning, but more importantly, learning how to be an effective coach and educator. This was vital for my experience at RLL because only possessing content knowledge wouldn’t have been enough for me to be an effective coach in this setting. Establishing rapport with the team members and being able to effectively communicate proper technique has been extremely important to seeing individual improvement in the weight room and in pit stops. Butler University couldn’t have prepared me any better for this opportunity.

What do you like most about your internship?
Being in such a unique coaching setting. Sports performance is a relatively new focal point in IndyCar. The training is specified towards rotational and isometric strength to help fight g-forces while building an aerobic capacity to endure long and strenuous races. No other athletes go through the type of training that racers do. This internship has been such an impactful learning experience for me. 

What project are you most proud of? 
I am most proud of creating weekly workouts for the pit crews. I was excited to come to work every day and see my workout being used. 

What has surprised you the most about this experience?
What surprised me most was being asked to be a part of the No.45 car pit crew throughout the month of May. Never in my life did I picture myself working in racing, or furthermore, being a part of an IndyCar pit crew for the Indy 500. For the 500, I will be the inside front tire spotter for the No.45 car, and more importantly, I will be keeping the crew hydrated as the professional water boy.

What advice would you give another student who may be looking for an internship?
Don’t set your eyes on a specific internship too soon in your search process. You may think one internship would be a good fit for you, but another opportunity may come along that could be the perfect fit for you. Be patient, weigh your options, and choose the position that best fits what you are looking for.