If you read his friendly posts at racing message boards, you will think to yourself that he has to be a really nice guy.

When you keep on reading, you also find out that he knows a little bit about racing.

If you have ever wondered why ‘RacerGiant’ seems to know so much, I might be able to help you.

I knew that he was a member of a Winston West team, and was very happy when he agreed to tell me a little bit about it.

I enjoyed thinking of questions for him. If you have ever wondered what it is like behind the scenes as a jackman—a TALL jackman—then read on.

Please tell us your name, because everyone just knows you as ‘RacerGiant’? Please tell us your wife’s name, and the names of your children if you have any?

My name is David. My new wife’s name is Laura. I have 2 boys – David S. (1 and Nicholas E. (16)

For people that don’t know about you, I have to ask you first what team that you work with, in what series? What is your position on the team?

I crew for the #7 Gene Woods NASCAR Winston West Dodge Intrepid. I do many things on the team because of my experience but my “official” job is Jackman/Mechanic. Gene’s website is http://www.genewoods.com

Did you become a member of a pit crew because you liked racing, or did you learn to like racing because you got a job with a pit crew?

I got a job on the pitcrew because I love racing.

What other jobs have you had in racing (if any)?

I’ve done quite alot of other jobs in my relatively short racing career. I’ve been the Gasman for the #44 Bob Lyon Featherlite Southwest Series Monte Carlo. I’ve been rear tire carrier, mechanic, welder, fabricator etc. Further info can be seen at http://www.dcminnovations.com and click the “About Us” button on the left side of the page. This is my buddy’s web site. I work with him developing new and innovative tools for racing as well as doing some consulting work with various racing teams from various series such as the Busch series & Mechanicswear Speedtruck series down to the weekly racing series and the trach here in town.

Do you do any maintenance on your team’s car? Do you have any other responsibilities?

Yes, I do whatever maintenance on the car that they let me. I’ve done such seemingly small stuff as apply the contingency stickers to changing spark plugs to changing rear end pumpkins. The day to day stuff is done by others tho. The race garage is across the street from Fontana (about 90 mins away) so I don’t get to do a whole lot between races.

Does your job ever change, or switch to another position, for any reason?

Sometimes… I’m pretty versatile and adaptable. At the track each team member has a work list that they must complete – sometimes I help out others that are overloaded.

Read more Tall and Over the Wall--Meet 'RacerGiant' ...

_I enjoyed interviewing Mr. Steve deSouza of Joe Gibbs Racing.
As everyone probably knows, Joe Gibbs Racing means a lot to me because my favorite driver works there.-

Steve was also involved with speedboat racing, and I enjoyed learning about it, and how that kind of racing compares to NASCAR.

After reading and thinking about it, though, I think speedboat racing is too dangerous for me.

There are a lot of things about him that are really exciting, too. I like to watch races, and Steve gets to watch a lot of them. I would love to have a job similar to his.

_I found out some interesting things about him and their teams.
If you want to, too, please read my interview._

He has done a great job throughout his career, from the shore to the garage.

He has made me think about watching speedboat racing now.
Thank you, Steve deSouza. This is one of my best interviews!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My first question has to be how you ended up in the world of racing?

I have been involved in racing most of my life. I started when I was 9 years old. (see the history questions about how I got started)

Is the shop for JGR Busch teams at the same place as the Cup teams?

No we have each of our shops separated.

Is that where your office is located?

My primary office is located at the BGN #20 shop. I also have an office at the Winston Cup shop and I spend a fair amount of time at the BGN #18 shop as well.

Is your desk messy, or do you keep it neat? What is one thing ALWAYS on your desk?

My desk is semi organized. I know where everything is even though at times it has several stacks. I prefer to keep it clean. The one thing always on my desk is my notebook.

Tell me about your two Busch teams.

They are two great teams. Each team has approximately the same number of personnel. They each have their own personality, yet they both get the job done in a quality and professional way.

What does a ‘VP of Busch Operations for JGR’ do; and how did you get to this position?

My basic job is the overseer of the entire BGN program. Starting at a young age, I have done about every position from sweeping the floor to owning a team.(When I owned my boat racing team, I participated in every aspect of the team at some point- from building engines, to driving our rig to putting decals on boats!) I believe that having hands-on experience in every department provided the education needed for this position.

Also, what are your duties as a member of the ‘Executive Committee for JGR’?

We meet every Monday and Tuesday. We pray for our employees, our sponsors and to be good stewards with the resources we have. We discuss current and prospective business issues regarding the company. We are accountable to each other.

Finish these sentences:
“The hardest thing I do at my job is _____.

...to discern solutions for problematic areas or situations.”

“The most fun I have with my job is ______.”

...watching our teams when they have good runs.

What is your most common long-running problem in your job?

Trying to run a smart profitable business and yet provide every opportunity to gain performance.

Is it ever boring?

Occasionally stressful but I wouldn’t say boring.

How long have you worked for Joe Gibbs?

I am in my fourth year.

Is he as nice as he seems to be on TV?

Joe and JD Gibbs, Joe’s son who is president of JGR are excellent employers. They hire people to do the job and let them do it.

Do you interact with him much in your job, or your personal life?

Yes on the job, as I said we meet once a week and I also see him at each BGN race. Not as much on the personal level. Joe and his wife Pat do host all of the teams for special occasion dinners, (Christmas, etc.) so we all get to interact away from work.

Does your work keep you away from home too much? If you say ‘no’, is that what your wife would say, too?

I would say it is a good balance. I enjoy work and staying busy. For most races we leave Wednesday or Thursday and I am home late Saturday night.
(Missy’s comment: It IS hard to have Steve gone nearly every weekend. It’s like Maggie and I have a whole separate life that goes on without him. We are glad he gets to be home on Sundays. At least we have part of the weekend together! On occasion he’ll get home early enough for us to have a Saturday night “date”!)

If you do have to travel, how do you prefer to do it?

We share a charter plane with several other teams, which is very nice. I also enjoy traveling on Joe’s plane.

Sometimes I get carsick. Do you; or did you when you were a kid?

No not really, but believe it or not, I get seasick on “slow” boats!

When I’m traveling, I like to keep a record of license plates that I see to pass the time. Do you have any travel games you do with your family? What would you do if traveling by yourself?

When we travel as a family we used to keep count of animals, find shapes in clouds, cars the same color, license plates, etc. When I travel by myself, I like to listen to Christian music and just enjoy the landscape. We also have a video player in Missy’s mini-van, so we watch movies on some family trips.

Please tell me about your normal weekend schedule?

Starting on the morning of practice I set up the computers that monitor practice times. Check to make sure all our race team members have signed in at the NASCAR trailer. Normally I spot during practice and Happy Hour for Mike, so I go up to the spotters’ stand. After practice I listen to the drivers and crew chiefs debrief and also provide computer reports to the engineer and crew chiefs. On race day I visit with our sponsors for a bit, follow up to make sure that the computers are working properly. During the race I monitor the computers for pit strategy, and take notes as I mostly watch the team in action. I keep a small notebook in my pocket for quick reference, in case I see something we need to bring up in a team meeting-usually a place for improvement, or something that deserves a pat on the back for a job well done by the crew.

Read more From the Shore to the Garage--Meet Steve deSouza ...

On any weekend during the NASCAR season, there are several people giving you all the action that’s happening down on the track.

There’s some running through the garage and pit areas interviewing the crew chiefs and drivers. They need to have a lot of energy to chase people while holding onto their microphones.

But there are three people that have a much better view of the whole track. They are kind of like Simba from the movie, “The Lion King”, when he is up on that big rock looking out at his kingdom.

I recently got to ask one of them some questions, and it was very exciting.

He’s not the one with the glasses and kind of reddish hair. The one that tells you how the crew chiefs are thinking.

And he’s not the one that tells you what the driver is probably thinking. The louder of the three. The one that yells, “Boogity Boogity Boogity”.

He’s the one putting the questions to the other two, like he’s the fan trying to learn about NASCAR. He has a gentle face. He is the one you can always count on for the facts.

I really enjoyed working on the questions to ask him.

I didn’t think he would answer all of them. And I didn’t think he would send the answers back for at least two or three months.

He sent them back overnight and even included more information than I expected.

Mr. Mike Joy must be a very nice person, just like the person we see in the booth on race days.

I hope that everyone will enjoy this as much as I enjoyed doing it.

JAW

Q & A With MR. MIKE JOY

Please finish this sentence: “If I weren’t a NASCAR announcer, I would be a ___________________________.”

I’ve been able to do some pretty exciting things, since our races happen
just on weekends. I’ve been a racetrack promoter, we own a racing fuel
distributorship, I’ve worked for a big Detroit advertising agency, and I’ve
covered 15 different sports for TV. If I couldn’t be broadcasting, I think I
would either run a racetrack or work in advertising and promotion

Do you think your job is more fun or hard work?

A lot of people get down about their jobs because they focus on how hard
they work. Its much better to focus on how much fun it is, because when you are having fun, you don’t even begin to realize how hard you are working. This is great fun, and I don’t mind the hours of preparation it takes to do it well.

If NASCAR fired you, is there another sport that you would enjoy announcing for?

I don’t work for NASCAR, I work for FOX. I enjoyed covering football and
baseball. The sport that is most like NASCAR is World Cup skiing. The
athletes have the same intensity and the same risks, and the travel in Europe is really fun.

Is it confusing with people talking in your ear when you are broadcasting?

Like any job that requires multitasking (doing several things at the same
time), it takes some getting used to. It’s very similar to when your mom is
trying to tell you something while you are talking on the phone. You can
hear and understand her while you are still carrying on your conversation.
Sometimes you need to ask her to repeat what she said, and sometimes I have to ask the producer to do the same.

Finish this sentence: “It is ______________ working with D.W. and Larry Mac.” Do you ever get mad at them?

“a lot of fun”. We’re good friends on and off the air, and most
importantly, we all respect one another. If we have an issue to raise, we do
it at the end of the show before we leave the booth. That way, no hard
feelings or misunderstandings can have a week to build up. If you listen
closely, you’ll find we laugh a lot during the broadcast. That’s a good sign
we’re having fun. You can’t laugh if you’re angry or upset.

Read more A Joyful Interview--Meet Mike Joy! ...

Because I’m a teenager and because my parents nag me to drink my milk I am going through a growth spurt right now. The last time they measured me I was ‘5 3’’.

I am taller than my Mother is and I think that is funny. I hope to be taller than my Dad is, too.

That would REALLY be funny.

That means if I could stand back to back with Jenni Thompson right now, we would be the same height exactly.

I wish I could see Jenni face-to-face instead of back-to-back, because I would like to hug her and tell her how wonderful she is to me.

She has been nice to me ever since she heard about me through my Mother. She has written about me a few times, so I though I would make it fair and write something about her.

Everyone who reads her articles has to know that she is from Arkansas, and is attending her last year of college right now.

But I’ll tell you some things that might surprise all of you, as much as they did me.

Did you know she once wanted to be an astronaut? I think it is so funny to think of her working on one of these spacestations! She must have been pretty serious, because she even went to Space Camp in Huntsville, AL, not once but TWICE!

Racecars aren’t as fast as rockets, but I am glad that she chose them instead of spaceships.

If you go back into her past farther back, you might see her on the floor of her living room, watching Piglet on TV (her favorite cartoon character).

I only liked watching Winnie the Pooh when I was very very little.

Winnie the Pooh is no Johnny Bravo.

I heard that some interviewer named Barbara Walters asked stars that if they were a tree, what kind would they be. So I asked Jenni if she could be an animal what kind would she be, and she said a horse.

She read books like ‘The Black Stallion’ and ‘‘Saddle Club’ books, and hopes to actually own a horse some day. I hope she gets one, because I want Jenni to have whatever she wants.

Read more Some things I've learned about Jenni Thompson ...

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