World of Outlaws: Life of a Crew Member

Last week you were introduced to the drivers who make the World of Outlaws “the greatest show on dirt.” Now, let’s takes a look behind the scenes. We caught up with four crew guys – Danny White, Jay Bohannon, Heath Moyle and Brandon Bergen – to find out what it means to be in the World of Outlaws racing crew.

White

Danny White – Crew chief for Josh Richards

How did you get into racing?
“My dad was always into racing, drag racing and stuff. When I was younger we went to the dirt track. I started helping some guys back home and then just sort of evolved into it. I’ve always been mechanically inclined and just liked working on stuff and rebuilding stuff. And I like racing so it’s just a good fit.

Is being on the crew as competitive as it is for the drivers?
The crew members all know what we have to go through so we all get along well. We try to help each other out more than we do anything else. When somebody else has a flat or something and you can help them out, you help them. And then it usually comes around the other way. We’re always competing because it’s racing. But as far as crew members, we’re usually trying to help each other out.

What makes this so exhilarating for you?
I don’t know that I could put it into words. Every time we get up to go to that feature, I get butterflies too because I know I’ve worked on it. That’s what keeps me going. I really like that feeling. When I don’t get nervous, I’ll know that it’s time to come in off the road.

What does it mean to have Craftsman as a sponsor?
I think it’s huge. I think it’s great for the series to have a national brand like that. It’s a great product so it’s great that they’re backing us. That’s (the tools) that we work with. So to have somebody like that where we use their tools already, that’s really nice.

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Jay Bohannon – Car chief for Morgan Bagley

How long have you been on the crew?
Full-time, I’ve been on the road working on cars for probably 10 years.

What makes it exhilarating?
I think everybody’s got that competition to them. I always joke with everybody that I can’t stand time clocks and I have a problem with authority so this usually works out pretty good for me. Me and Morgan have been best friends for 15 years so it’s kind of almost a family deal for me and him. I’m just as competitive when it comes to this stuff as he is. I don’t know what else I’d be doing if it wasn’t this.

What’s your specialty?
What do you know you’re the best at? I wouldn’t say I’m the best at anything. I kind of know about it all. (In this job) no matter how many times you put something on or take it off, there’s always something new to learn. That’s when you go to guys who have been doing it longer than you. You can’t be too proud to ask questions in this deal.

What does it mean to have Craftsman as sponsor?
I think it’s good for the sport. I remember watching the old Craftsman truck races and that was probably some of the most exciting races on TV. To have somebody of that caliber come down and sponsor our series, I think it’s good for the sport.

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Heath Moyle – Car chief for Shane Stewart

What is your role on the crew?
The car chief pretty much builds the cars and maintains the cars everyday. Through the winter time I’m the one who builds the car.

How did you get your start?
Growing up in Central Pennsylvania, my house was actually ten minutes from _____ Grove, 45 minutes from Williams Grove, and fifty minutes from Port Royal so I grew up in pretty much sprint car country. My Dad, back in the day, he helped on sprint cars. And I’ve raced myself. I didn’t race sprint cars but I got into racing and it just kind of led itself on its own line.

Why do you choose to do this for a living?
Honestly, I love racing. And to do this on a day to day basis you have to love racing and you have to be 100% committed to it. You get to see the country, you get to see all the cool races you read about. I’ve been very fortunate with Shane to win the Kings Royal and the Iron Man 55. The competition is great. You know, we race 90-100 times a year. It’s a grueling schedule. You have to be in 100% to race with the World of Outlaws.

What’s the most interesting aspect of this job?
Seeing the country and seeing all the different race tracks. I grew up in a really small town and mainly people don’t leave our town. So it’s cool to me to get to see the country and travel. I hang out with some of the coolest guys day in and day out.

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Brandon Bergen – #3 guy for Joey Saldana

What do you do on the crew?
Our team is a little bit different. We have three experienced guys and we kind of take care of each other. My main duty is making sure the tires don’t fall off and making sure the stagger’s right. We all kind of work together as a team

How’d you get your start in racing?
I used to race motorcycles for a living for ten years. I got hurt and moved back to California and took a year off. I was building new bikes … I built them all at a Roth Motorsport shop. Then I started getting into the sprint car thing and said “I wanna go.” You get hurt doing your job, you know, and you’re not as successful as you’d like to be, it’s frustrating. So this was kind of a new way for me to work and make money and still be around oval racing. As I got into it, I didn’t really know anybody. And then you start watching races and being involved and you see Joey and he’s a seasoned vet. I got to talk to him a little bit at Knoxville when I did an exhibition race when the Outlaws were there and when it came about that Joey was coming to Roth that’s why I actually came back. Just to be with Joey and to say that I’ve been on the World of Outlaws series. At first I didn’t really plan on doing it a second year but now I’m having a good time and we’re doing good.

What makes this job interesting?
You gotta love it. You don’t do it to get rich. You start adding up how many hours you work … especially when you’re wrecking stuff. It gets tedious. Sometimes you’ve got the same four people year round. You go from having your own life to having three other lives. It’s like you have three marriages almost. But you’ve got to get along and sometimes you’re going to have those fights and you’re screaming at each other and then it’s all over with. Then you proceed and you get better. That’s what happened to us one time this year and look at us – we’ve been on the box three nights in a row … You’ve just got to love what you do.

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