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Getting to Know Zack Miller, tire specialist for the No. 48 Chevrolet

CONCORD, N.C. (Dec. 22, 2010)—Zack Miller is the tire specialist who is responsible for the information on tire wear that helps crew chief Chad Knaus make pit calls for the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet. Zack handles everything related to the tires during the week at the Nos. 48/88 shop and on raceday for Jimmie Johnson’s ride. Meet Zack:

Full name: Zachary Lee Miller
Nickname: Zack
Hometown: Vista, Calif.

Education: Vista High School

Team/Job duties: Tire specialist and mechanic on the No. 48 Lowe’s team.

Time at current job: Two years on the No. 48 Lowe’s team. Three years total at Hendrick Motorsports.

Years in racing: Four years.

First racing job: I worked at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway with Speed Wong Racing. And I went from there straight to here (Hendrick Motorsports). I had always worked on cars, but I wanted something different and outside of that realm of just working on cars. I was looking for the competition aspect. That’s how I got into racing.

On his move from Southern California to North Carolina: It was actually a friend and me who were going to make the move. Then like a month before we were supposed to leave, he bailed out on me so I just drove out here by myself. I met some good people out here right away like Jeremy West (tire changer). Then I got an interview here and then things progressed and I got the job that I have now.

First job overall: I worked at a pizza place – Little Caesars Pizza, actually. That was a good time. I think I worked there for like a year. It was me and three of my best friends that worked there so that was pretty fun. I did some deliveries but I always hated that because you have people who don’t tip so I stopped that pretty quickly.

If I wasn’t in racing I would be: And if money didn’t matter? I’d probably be on a fishing boat out on the ocean. I’d probably just be a deckhand on a charter boat. Something sunny, warm. That kind of deal.

Best racing memory: The only thing that pops in my head is when Jimmie (Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet) won in California (Auto Club Speedway) in 2008. I wasn’t on the road then but they let me go out there and Jimmie won so that was pretty cool. That was my first real year that I worked here and just winning in California was cool since I’m from there.

Best championship memory: Now my best racing memory when it comes to Jimmie’s championships - I would have to say that I liked winning this year’s championship because it was pretty suspenseful the whole way. I thought it was interesting to the last race, so this year topped it.

Favorite track: I like Dover ((Del.) International Speedway). It’s a really fast place and the banking going into (Turn) 1 and coming off of (Turn) 4 is great. I like watching qualifying there. Some places you watch qualifying and cars are just going through, but that’s a cool place to watch it.
Hobbies outside of racing: I like fishing. I do a lot of that when I can. I hunt in this time of year. That’s about it really. I don’t stray too far from fishing and going out on the lake.
Favorite sport other than racing: College football. I don’t really have a favorite team or anything. I just like the sport in general. I just watch it.

When I’m not at the track you can find me: On the lake. I have a boat and since the lake’s not that far from here, you can easily get out there even if it’s just for an hour or so.

On an off weekend you can find me: I like going back home to California to visit with friends and family. I like going to the beach out there. I’m not so much for the beaches here on the East Coast.
Pet: No pets. I don’t have time for pets. I’d like to have a dog, though. That’d be good.
Favorite movie: I like a lot of movies so it’s hard to pick just one, but I’d have to say “Dumb and Dumber.”

Favorite music: I like a lot of classic rock and mellow kind of music.

Favorite concert: Tom Petty was probably one of my favorite concerts. He was here in Charlotte (N.C.) two years ago. Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots were really good, too.

If I could meet anyone, I’d meet: Chris Farley. His movies are all good, but I like his “Saturday Night Live” characters the best.

Favorite food: Sushi.

If I ran NASCAR, I’d change: Nothing. I like the way it is.

Best part about your job: I get to help out the guys on my team. I have times where I’m not always busy and they are, so I get to help them and learn more through that. I like being a team player and having the ability to diversify my job by being able to help them.

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