The unsung heroes of a NASCAR team aren’t always given the spotlight or a platform to be recognized. But during the 2017 season, broadcast partner NBC recognized 10 individuals in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series as the inaugural ‘Pit Crew All-Stars’ lineup. RCR and ECR Engines’ own Frank Mathalia was among the All-Star team.
Mathalia, a U.S. Marine veteran, and Oneida, New York-native, claimed the recognition as the All-Star engine tuner and was honored at driver introductions at the season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Mathalia is the engine tuner for Austin Dillon‘s No. 3 Chevrolet and has been with ECR Engines for over 10 years.
“I had to work very hard to get to where I am today working in the Cup Series,” said Mathalia. “I started in NASCAR in 1996 with only a pickup truck, a small tool box and three payments behind on my car. I went from there and here I am. A long way from Utica-Rome Speedway, as they say.”
— Frank Mathalia (@MathaliaFrank) November 19, 2017
Utica-Rome Speedway, in upstate New York, is where Mathalia cut his teeth working on cars and where his father raced against NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Richie Evans.
“My dad always made sure I got to go to the races, but sometimes I would have to sneak into the garage,” said Mathalia. “There wasn’t room for me inside the haulers, so I’d ride inside the race car sometimes. Those were long drives when you’re 13 and 14 years old.”
Mathalia joined the No. 3 team in 2016 as the engine tuner and is responsible for preparing the ECR-powered engine each and every weekend. He was part of Austin Dillon’s historic 2017 Coca-Cola 600 win and several other XFINITY Series victories over the years.
— RCR (@RCRracing) November 19, 2017
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) November 15, 2017