CONCORD, N.C. – For Chad Avrit, competition is his passion.
He’s found it at Hendrick Motorsports, where he works as the No. 9 team rear-tire changer.
“I feel fortunate, obviously, to have the job I have at Hendrick Motorsports,” he said. “I’m able to compete, and that’s what drives me – I’m a competitive person. So, I’m super fortunate to have that, and then also it gives me the time and allows me to do something else that I’m also passionate about.”
In Avrit’s case, that means his own small business.
He and his business partner opened Swell Board Shop in 2014 on Lake Norman in Mooresville, North Carolina.
“I grew up on the West Coast near the water, beach atmosphere,” the California native said. “We got the idea because we really didn’t see a surf shop-type atmosphere brought to a lake setting. So, we threw around a bunch of ideas and the location where we are kind of presented itself where it’s on the water and it made us move forward.”
The shop sells any type of board for lake or beach activities – including wakeboards and paddleboards – as well as apparel, including eyewear and GoPro accessories. Avrit has also incorporated skateboarding and longboarding into the shop’s merchandise.
Balancing the two careers – pit crew athlete and small-business owner – can be a challenge.
“I have zero free time,” he laughed. “Right when I’m done at Hendrick Motorsports at about 2 p.m., I come home and sit down and start doing a bunch of office stuff, which, fortunately, I can do from my house. It almost turns into the second half of my 9-to-5. I just kind of finish the day out working on the other businesses.”
And Swell Board Shop isn’t Avrit’s only other business. Together with his wife, he opened a Burn Boot Camp in Marietta, Georgia, after buying into the franchise.
That’s why he so grateful to have a job with Hendrick Motorsports that allows him the flexibility to juggle everything at once.
But his jobs away from the racetrack aren’t that much less stressful than his role at the track every weekend.
“I would hold them both very high in the stress department,” he laughed. “Obviously my position at Hendrick Motorsports, it’s all competitively based. I have to do something within a certain amount of time. So, the stress level just being in a competitive sport is obviously high. Then, coming home trying to run your own business and then have your own employees and figuring out how to make what little time you have outside of your day job fit into your ownership role is difficult. So, I would hold them equally as stressful.”
But stressful or not, no matter how much free time his small businesses eat up, Avrit wouldn’t change a thing.
After all, he’s following his passion both at the racetrack and away from it.
“I would definitely call myself fortunate,” Avrit said, “to live out two dreams at once.”