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Crew Member Spotlight: Brian Bottlemy

For Brian Bottlemy, it started one afternoon on his lunch break in 2000 when he was practicing hitting lug nuts on an old stock car at Todd Kluever Racing. He wanted experience changing tires; more so to test it out. A few people gathered around and watched him change a tire. He hasn’t stopped changing since.

Bottlemy grew up in Johnburg, Ill., approximately 70 miles north of Chicagoland Speedway, and is returning to his home state this weekend for the 300. The 32-year-old has been a member of a NASCAR pit crew since 2008 and has been changing tires on the No. 3 NASCAR Nationwide Series team for three seasons. He works with rear-carrier Justin Voss this season and also pits the No. 47 Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

In his spare time, Bottlemy enjoys hanging out with friends and attending local dirt tracks in the area. He owns a super late model that races competitively in Southern Wisconsin driven by his uncle, Landry Potter.

We spoke with Brian about his return to his home state this weekend.

You can follow him on Twitter @BBottlemy

Are you excited to return to Illinois this weekend?
Yes, I am. Mainly because I’ll be going up there a little earlier than normal to visit family. All of my family still lives in the area. My parents, my older brother, extended family. I don’t get to see them much, so this will be a nice trip on top of racing. This weekend will be very comfortable for me being at home. It’s just a different, but good, feeling.

How did you get to Richard Childress Racing?
I was actually recruited by Eric Wilson and Mike Dillon. I was changing tires for JTG Racing when a position became open on the No. 3 team and a job in the shop. It was a no-brainer for me; I really enjoy it here.

What are some of your fondest memories in racing?
Winning the championship last season with Austin (Dillon), was awesome and probably will be my top memory. Outside of that, getting two wins in Kentucky in 2012 was a pretty big deal. We had things clicking in both of those races. We also had the opportunity to go to Nationwide Insurance headquarters last winter, which was really neat.

What’s the hardest part of your job?
Staying focused. I’ve been changing tires for a long time and feel really comfortable doing it, but when you get out on a race track with cars flying past you, commands coming over the radio and a whole lot of other things going on it’s hard to stay focused. We get paid to move as quickly as possible which translates to staying as focused as possible.

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