CONCORD, N.C. -- More than 600 team members work at Hendrick Motorsports, and each of them has a unique role that helps contribute to success on the racetrack.
In this series, HendrickMotorsports.com will take an in-depth look at how team members execute those jobs on a daily basis, detailing their work spaces, routines and more.
This time, the No. 24 team race engineer Brandon McSwain shares "How I Work."
Current mobile device:
One word that best describes how you work:
“I would say methodical or precise. I have to be careful trying to make sure that everything is detail oriented. I have to make sure all the details are covered.”
Take us through a recent work day:
“For us, generally Friday mornings are early mornings. I get to the racetrack, get everything set up in the truck. (No. 24 team crew chief) Chad (Knaus) and I generally go through setup options, talk about what we want to try during practice and kind of vet those out and look at them in simulations. Once the car gets through technical inspection, we will try to pass those changes onto Tyler (Jones), his car chief. We will continue to have discussions with Chad and William (Byron) about what we want to do for the given practice, how we want to approach it and what our plan is. Once practice gets here, we kind of get set up. We will have dialog with Chad during practice and look at pictures and what teammates are doing and try to apply those changes to our car. Post-practice we will have a debrief with William and figure out a change sheet as well. For qualifying, we get though inspection hopefully the first time and hopefully have a successful qualifying session, we debrief post-qualifying then move on to the next day.”
Apps/gadgets/tools can’t you live without:
“I’m a big proponent of Microsoft’s programs. Excel is obviously huge for me, OneNote, we use OneDrive a lot, Teams as well. I would be lying if I didn’t say I had my social media I was checking into every single day, too.”
“Behind me is our team room. Myself and the two other race engineers, and Chad will spend time there as well as Tyler. It’s set up with the dual monitors so I can look at different things. We look through setups, look through history, trends in our data and whatever that race week is about.”
How you keep track of what you have to do:
“This goes along with using OneNote. So, I’ll make a checklist per day. Mondays I have different things that need to get done, same with Tuesdays, Wednesday -- it’s essentially helpful in getting that done.”
How you got your start at Hendrick Motorsports:
“I’m originally from Florida. I moved to North Carolina in 2010 to finish college at UNC Charlotte for my mechanical engineering degree. Out of college I actually worked for Freightliner as a design engineer. I knew I wanted to get into the racing industry, so I ended up with a couple of small teams. Then in 2016 I ended up at JR Motorsports and was there the last three years. I worked with William in 2017 on the championship team. We won the championship last year with Tyler Reddick, as well. Then, made the transition to Hendrick Motorsports this year.”
Best advice you have ever received:
“As cliché as it sounds, treat others as you want to be treated. Everybody hears that but not a lot of people apply it.”
Mentor or influential person in your life:
“I would have to go with my parents on this one. Obviously, their principles and work ethic have been instilled in me since I was little. They are always good people to follow. For me in the motor sports industry, Bruce Cook is the guy who gave me my first shot and took me under his wing and taught me everything I know from the racing side.”
Favorite thing about working at Hendrick Motorsports:
“It’s the people and the atmosphere. There’s so many resources here and so much ability to achieve great things.”
Who you rely on to keep things running smoothly:
“I’m going to have to lean on Chad, honestly. He is kind of the say-all to everything we want to do.”
Something people may not know about working for a race team:
“I’ve got two for this. With racing, fans think it is just a weekend deal, not realizing the shop side of it. The second part is that even though we get to travel a lot, I don’t think people realize that we don’t get to sightsee, or see what each town has to offer. We may get a little time here and there, but generally you are at the racetrack, at the hotel, and that’s all you really get to see.”
Music you listen to while you work:
“Man, all genres. I’m pretty big about listening to music whether it’s here at the shop, on the plane, at the racetrack. There are so many playlists I like to go through depending what you’re working on. I do Apple Music, I’m pretty big about the stock playlists on there, or I’ll make my own.”
Who else you would like to see answer these questions:
"The first person that came to mind is (shop foreman) Robert Deering. He’s the man that has everything moving along. I think it would be good to get his point of view on everything."