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October 16, 2013

Richard Childress Racing Crew Member Profile: Chase Masterson

Meet Chase Masterson, the front-tire changer on the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet.

RCR/HHP Photo RCR/HHP Photo

Chase Masterson, front-tire changer on Ty Dillon’s No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet team began working at RCR in 2010. He was the engine tuner and front-tire changer for the No. 31 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards team and made the move into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2012. Aside from his pit crew duties on Dillon’s Chevrolet, Chase is also the frontend mechanic for the team. When he’s not working on the truck, Chase handles driver comfort for Dillon and makes sure he has all of the right equipment inside his cockpit before the race.

Q: How did you get started in the motorsports industry?
A:
“I grew up with Jeremy Clements and his family. We met when we were eight years old. Our families went to the same church. When I got a little bit older, his dad let me help around their engine shop. They supplied a lot of racing teams with engines. Then I went to work for Mr. Clements on a more full time basis and learned the trade of racing engines.”

Q: What is your favorite part about your job?
A:
“Working at RCR is different than working at another team. There are so many guys that have worked here for more than 20 years and were around when all the legends raced. It’s an honor to be able to work with people like Will Lind. He’s been around for awhile and has a ton of knowledge about the sport. You can really learn a lot from guys like him.”

Q: What is it like traveling almost every weekend from Valentine’s Day to Thanksgiving?
A:
“At the beginning of my career, I was really excited and ready to travel every weekend. It was something new and fun. You really got to see a lot of places that you wouldn’t be able to see working a normal 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. job. After awhile, you get into a rhythm and it doesn’t seem like it’s a big deal. It’s like anyone else that works a routine job. It’s just what you do.”

Q: You’ve been a pit crew member here at RCR since you came on board in 2010. What are the thoughts running through your head right before you jump off the wall for a pit stop?
A:
“Everyone’s different. We all have our own way of getting ready for a pit stop. I like to clear my head of any other thoughts than what I’m about to do. I think about what the pit call is and what my sequence of activities are about to be to make the stop as quick as possible. Once you jump off of the wall, you go to work. I have to hit the lug nuts as fast and as accurate as possible.”

Q: If you weren’t working in racing, what do you think you’d be doing?
A
: “I played baseball throughout high school and really enjoyed it. I think if I didn’t get into racing, I would have played it through college. And hopefully by then, I would have been pretty good to make a living out of it.”

Q: What is the hardest part about your job?
A
: “I think the hardest part about my job is performing without mistakes every time I jump off the wall for a pit stop. There really isn’t any room for mistakes. The smallest mistake could cost you a race. No one is ever perfect, but you almost have to be in this sport to be successful.”

Q: What is your favorite restaurant on the road?
A:
“I don’t really have a favorite restaurant, but I love any place that I can order a good steak at.”

Q: What is your favorite city on the NASCAR schedule?
A:
“That’s easy. Texas is my favorite place we visit on the schedule. I grew up in Flower Mound, so when we go to Texas for the race, it feels like I’m going home for a quick vacation.”

Q: What has been your favorite racing memory so far in your career?
A:
“I worked on the No. 31 team when RCR raced in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards in 2011. The team struggled a little bit that year to put together a whole race and always came close with top-five finishes but couldn’t get to Victory Lane. The season was winding down, and we were racing at Pocono Raceway. We were really fast and ended up winning the race. It was really cool to be able to be a part of that win and celebrate in Pocono’s prestigious Victory Lane.”
 

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