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AUTO: MAY 29 IndyCar - The 106th Indianapolis 500

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KOKOMO — Behind his Kokomo home, inside of a large garage, Brad Plantenga paints helmets for athletes and racecar drivers.

“People say what do you do? I paint helmets, for race car drivers. They go, oh, that’s cool. What’s your real job? Well, no that’s my real job,” Brad said.

It’s been his real job now for almost 30 years.

“Not many people know, I’m in here doing this around here,” Brad said. “Everybody wants their helmet personalized and they gotta come from somewhere.”

Brad considers himself a gear head. He’s had a passion for racing since he was a child.

“My dad raced bicycles, motorcycles and all that stuff. So you’ll see everybody in racing is kind of like that. It usually just gets in your blood and you’re stuck. Can’t get out,” he said.

Brad started off painting signs and putting numbers and letters on race cars, but now, through his business Bullseye Visual, he focuses solely on helmets.

“NASCAR, sprint car, and drag racing… I used to do Olympic helmets, ski racing helmets, X Games,” Brad said.

He says the best part is when the helmets leave his garage and he sees them in action.

“By the time one is done, I’m just sick of looking at it. When I can see somebody wearing it, it’s in a racecar, it’s exciting,” he said.

This weekend, Brad will see his work on display when Indy native Ed Carpenter looks to qualify for the 107th running of the Indy 500.