I first become interested in racing at a young age upon opening a slot car set received as a gift. It had a No. 43 Richard Petty car included as one of the race cars and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Growing up in Wisconsin, I had an opportunity to do some ASA Short Track Racing with Bobby Allison, Mark Martin and Jim Sauter. As you know, Bobby and Mark are in the NASCAR Hall of Fame so that makes the experience working with them even more incredible now. Actually, the first time I ever flew in an airplane… Bobby Allison was the pilot.
In my youth, I worked on snowmobile two-stroke motorcycles and Jet Skis. The one thing many people don’t know is, before moving to N.C., I was working as a boilermaker certified welder.
The move to N.C. came about in 1996 after I was offered a job opportunity to build pit boxes. I hit the road in a snowstorm and my wipers froze over and seized up while I was driving, but it didn’t slow me down. In 1997, I went to Penske Kranefuss as a fabricator.
Dale Earnhardt, Inc. offered me a job in 1999 and I was blown away to be working for Dale. I mean, we grew up cheering for an idolizing that man…and I here I was working for and talking with him as a job.
I was the Fabrication Plate Leader on the No. 15 NAPA Chevrolet with Michael Waltrip driving. It was during this time when I started to work in R&D (Research & Development) in DEI’s Aerodynamic Department. In hindsight, it was career changing for me.
When the 2008 season started, I started at Richard Childress Racing full time in the Aero Fab Department. Part of the deal was traveling with the No. 29 Chevrolet team of Kevin Harvick. I also worked with Paul Menard and finished up my time there with the No. 3 team and Austin Dillon. Again, unbelievable to be working on that No. 3 as a boilermaker from Wisconsin.
After a great run there with a lot of trips to Victory Lane, I moved to Team Penske as a Traveling Road Fabricator in 2018. It was a pretty good choice because that’s the year Joey Logano won the NASCAR Cup Series championship. It was pretty special to be a part of that team and life-long dream come true.
I am still there, but now work in their R&D Department trying to make our Fords better and faster. The whole organization from top to shop is an incredible team and I feel very fortunate to be part of it all.
In 2000, I married my loving and supportive wife, Kim, and we have twin 18-year old boys, Chase and Wyatt. Family is my life.