I was born and raised in South Carolina. I have been around racing all my life. As a kid I was around cars all the time and that led me to wanting to be around the track on the weekends. It was a place to be around family and friends.
Eventually I decided I wanted to move forward and advance in the sport. So I started in dirt track racing, went to short track asphalt racing and then to what is now called the NASCAR Nationwide Series. By 2005 I was working with Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. This path has led me to where I am today as the crew chief of No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Charger for Kurt Busch.
From the time I started talking with Kurt he has been great. We hit it off right away because we have the same goals and passions for racing -- put in all that you have and do whatever it takes. Kurt is so passionate about his racing and because of that people can take him the wrong way when he gets upset on the radio. That’s just his passion, and it’s what makes him so good.
Our personalities match well. I’m calm -- Kurt will look at me sometimes like I’m crazy because I’m so calm. At the same time, Kurt gets me pumped up with his fiery energy. The fact that our personalities are so different helps make us strong crew chief/driver team.
Our season has been average so far from mine and the team’s standpoint. We’ve had good results, but we’ve lacked consistency. We started the season well and then we went through eight weeks when we got into a slump and other teams had gotten stronger by this point. We hadn’t made enough changes to keep up with the other teams so we sat down and figured out what we needed to do to be better. The last eight races we’ve been running above average, and we got a win in Sonoma.
For the remaining seven races before the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup kicks off at Chicagoland Speedway our consistency has to be there, and we have to run in the top five. I would of course feel a lot better if we had a few more wins between now and the Chase.
The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Chicagoland Speedway are on Kurt’s radar with his ties to the city. He loves Chicago and every time he has the opportunity, he visits the city and takes in a Cubs game.
We’ve had one race at Chicagoland Speedway, and it wasn’t really pretty. We struggled there, but we made that program better, and I’m looking forward to coming to Chicago. You can race on the top, and you can race on the bottom -- I love the race track.
I think we can come there and win the race, I really do. With these mile-and-a-half race tracks we all have a good shot of winning. Chicagoland Speedway is known for being great hosts to the race teams and fans, and I’m really looking forward to getting there.