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Getting to know Brad Eichenlaub, lead set-up specialist for the Nos. 24 and 48 teams

CONCORD, N.C. (Aug. 20, 2009) – As lead set-up specialist for the Nos. 24 and 48 teams, Brad Eichenlaub prepares the Chevrolets so they are ready to race when the teams unload at the track. Recently we caught up with Brad:

Full name:  Brad Eichenlaub

Hometown: Murrysville, Pa.

High school: Franklin Regional in Murrysville

Education: Graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1996 and obtained my master’s in mechanical engineering at Clemson in 1999.

Why he chose engineering: I think it’s something I picked up from my dad. He was an electrical engineer, and the engineering thought process is the same for mechanical engineering as it is for electrical engineering. Just the way he approached everything—he wanted to understand how and why everything worked.

Team/Job duties: Lead set-up specialist for the Nos. 24/48 Chevrolets of Hendrick Motorsports, but mainly I work with the No. 48 team. Basically I make sure the crew chief gets what he needs every weekend—the suspension components are set up right, camber, caster—all that. I put the finishing touches on the race car before it gets to the track. We also look over the car, kind of like quality control. We have to know what the latest and greatest is and get it in the car.

Time at current job: I started in the Nos. 24/48 shop in January 2004, but I’ve been here at Hendrick Motorsports for 10 years.  When I first got here in 1999 I worked as a race engineer with the No. 25 car. I stayed there until 2003, when I worked with Kyle Busch, who ran a limited ARCA season, and David Green, who ran a limited Cup season.

Years in racing: 10 years.

First racing job: In 1999, I started working for Bobby Hillin Racing in what is now the Nationwide Series. I worked there for six months doing a little bit of everything. I was a race engineer. I did data acquisition, build shocks, took notes, set up the cars and so on.

First job overall: Grass cutting and landscaping while in school.

If I wasn’t in racing I would be: doing something outside. There are so many things I would do. If I had more time, I’d become a professional water skier. I’d love to build decks, patios, landscape, tear down trees or do physical labor like that.  But I’d definitely be outside.

Best racing memory:  A few years back (2005), my wife and I went to the 600-mile race at Charlotte and there were about 20 laps to go. Jimmie was running about 20th, but he made his way to the front and passed Bobby Labonte in Turn 4 to win the race. We were walking to the car because we had left, but we saw the highlights later on TV. It was awesome.

Favorite track: Right now, I’d say Darlington (S.C.). It’s just so narrow and fast: you have to be a good driver to do well there.
Hobbies outside of racing: Spending time with my family—wife Angela, sons Brayden (age 4) and Luke (age 2); water skiing.
Favorite sport other than racing: College basketball. I pull for Pitt.

Pet: Cat.
Favorite movie:  “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

Favorite book:  The Bible. That’s really the only book I read.

Favorite music:  Christian, although I like country, too.

My current car is: a 1997 Chevy Silverado.

Dream car: a Corvette. I’d take one from any year between 1956-1967.

If I could meet anyone, I’d meet: Jesus. I’d probably just be in awe.

Favorite food: Steak and potatoes.

If I ran NASCAR, I’d: try to do more for the fans financially, maybe lower ticket prices or something.

One thing people don’t know about me:  I can water-ski barefoot.

I knew I wanted a job in NASCAR when: Growing up, I always thought it would be pretty cool to work for a team in NASCAR, but I never dreamed it was possible until I got accepted to Clemson for grad school.

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