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Getting to know Chris Fasulka, gas man on the No. 88

 

CONCORD, N.C. (July 31, 2009)—This weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Pocono Raceway is a home game for Chris Fasulka, gas man on the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard team. Fasulka grew up in Wilkes-Barre, which is about an hour from the Long Pond, Pa., racetrack. We recently caught up with Fasulka, who has been with Hendrick Motorsports for seven years.

Full name:  Chris Andrew Fasulka
Hometown: Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

High School: Coughlin High School, Wilkes-Barre

College: Two years at Luzerne County Community College in Wilkes-Barre
Team/Job duties: Fill the No. 88 Chevy up with gas during pit stops. At the shop, I work on the suspension and brakes for the No. 88.

Time at current job:  Seven years with Hendrick Motorsports. Prior to working on the No. 88, I worked with the No. 25 team here.

Years in racing: Eleven total. I started in 1998 with Penske Racing.

First racing job: No. 12 Sprint Cup team at Penske Racing. I was the gas man at the track; and at the shop, I started out doing teardown.

First job overall:  UPS loader after graduating from high school in 1990.

If I wasn’t in racing I would be: Driving a UPS truck, probably.

Best racing memory: The first win with Casey Mears—the 600 at Lowe’s—is the first thing that comes to mind. But it was also special when Dale Earnhardt Jr. got his win at the Bud Shootout.

Favorite track: Pocono.  I have two wins at my home track. But I also like Dover—just the sheer speed of the place; how fast they go by you.
Hobbies outside of racing:  Golf. Currently, I’m boxing. My goal is to train for one match, compete and then walk away.
Favorite sport other than racing: Football. My favorite team is Notre Dame.

When I’m not at the track you can find me: Working here.

On an off weekend, you can find me:  Traveling. My wife, Nicole, and I travel a lot.
Pets: A 145-pound Italian mastiff named Rocko.
Favorite movie: “Reservoir Dogs”

Favorite band:  Journey

My everyday car is: A Chevy Colorado.

What you’ll find on my iPod: An eclectic mix. Anything from Sinatra to Journey. We listen to everything.

If I could meet anyone, I’d meet: Mike Rowe of Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs.”

Favorite food:  Chicken.

If I ran NASCAR, I’d: Shorten the races to 400 miles, and schedule every race for Saturday night under the lights. It’s a neater race, and you can use Sunday as a rain date.

Before the race, I always:  Stand second from the wall for the National Anthem. I did it one time 10 years ago, and I’ve stood there ever since. I have to be second in line—there’s no question about it. And I don’t know why.

During a pit stop, I’m thinking: Please don’t screw up; please don’t screw up.

I knew I wanted a job in NASCAR when: I met Peter Sospenzo (a former crew chief and my brother-in-law) in 1996. My wife and I came down to visit and I just fell in love with the area. It was 70 degrees in January. And I thought it would be neat to get into racing. Three months later, I started working with Peter at Penske.

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