DRO: So you
never went to college?
Never went to a university, never went to a
college. Graduated high school and as soon as
I graduated high school I knew what I wanted
to do and that was race. I started working full-time
Pro Stock racing then. Working on cars and working
on clutches and rear ends, though I never did
a lot of motor work. I was a mechanical guy
that did a lot of work on cars whether it was
street cars or race cars. Thats where
it all started.
When I talked to Kurt a couple of years later
he asked if I wanted to get back involved and
I said you know maybe it is time to come back
in. I had decided when I went away from the
sport, if I ever did it again it was going to
be with one of the funded top teams. There were
only three or four back then, Morrison, Glidden,
Warren, and one or two more.
I had learned racing with John Hagen when he
was out competing with these guys, he did really
well, but it was always a struggle because we
werent heavily funded. We didnt
have sponsorship back then. I decided right
then that if I ever got back into it would be
with one of the top teams that had sponsorship
and could do it properly. Otherwise, youre
just beating your head up against a wall. I
learned that at a young age and the opportunity
with Warren set the mold.
I was with Warren at the end of 86. I
went down, checked the shop out, and I was impressed
so I thought I would give it a whirl. So I called
my father, told him I was moving to Atlanta,
going racing and he said, Im behind
you all of the way. If thats what you
want to do, Im behind you all the way.
It was tough on him because I did a lot of work
at his car lot for him, but it was what I wanted
to do. It was what my father introduced to me;
the drag racing got into my blood. Ive
never been a day away from the racetrack since
you married at that time?
No, I was single up until six years ago. I lived
a single life and to be honest with you, racing
with Warren and traveling and working on the
cars, that was a seven-day-a-week job. It was
tough for people to be married. I saw that part
of it; it was hard to take care of your family.
For a lot of years until I finally decided
it was time, I stayed single just because it
was better for that particular job. You could
devote more time to it and you werent
cheating your family. I held off until I was
37 years old before I finally got married.
Things are great now, I have and wonderful
wife and great children, but a lot of guys still
pay the price because we work so much and travel
so much. We work in the darn shop seven days
a week. Even on our off weekends when were
not racing were here working at the shop.
Through all those years with Warren I learned
that you win the races at the shop. All the
preparation you do at the shop, thats
where the race is probably won or lost. When
you go to the racetrack you have to execute
and everything has to go perfectly for you to
win the race, but if you show up without your
ducks in a row, without power, without your
car right, youre not going to do anything.
did you decide to leave Warren and what led
up to that?
I never really thought I would leave Warren.
I loved it there. He has a great facility, every
bit as nice as this right here and I knew that
nobody else in the class had that type facility
and that type machinery at their fingertips.
I felt lucky to have all this stuff at my fingertips.
Every day youd come to work and do something
different. Youd learn every day. You had
the professor and all the equipment to learn
on and it was a neat play shop. You wanted to
go to work every day, it was neat and you had
fun and you won races. Thats what the
bottom line is, I love winning races. We didnt
go to a race ever thinking we werent going
worked for Warren for many years, but never
had the desire to drive. I was happy just working
on the cars. Kurt and Warren and myself would
work on Warrens car in the early years
there, and bottom line, there were three of
us and we all had our own opinions and our own
ideas. We just flat didnt agree on much.
We were different type people. Over the years
I had gained confidence and I would put my two
cents in and of course they were the bosses,
they were the men, the guys, and they had their
two cents. When we got to where it was the three
of us with different ideas we would fight and
talk and couldnt come to a good in the
middle agreement. And we struggled for a bit.