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 workspaces, routines and more.
This time, the car chief for the No. 24 car, Tyler Jones, shares "How I Work."
Role at Hendrick Motorsports:
I am the car chief for the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet. My job is, basically I manage the mechanics and I’m kind of the bridge between the crew chief and the engineering staff just to make sure everything gets handled the correct way, all of the changes get put into the car and make sure all of the details get met.
I have a Microsoft Surface Pro that I use for basically everything. It’s very handy, I can carry it around. I can set it down, lift it up, use it as a tablet, it’s great.
Current mobile device:
I’m a little behind on the mobile device. I still have an iPhone 7 Plus, looking forward to upgrading, though.
One word that best describes how you work:
I’d say diligent. I’m just trying to make sure I utilize all my time effectively.
Take us through a recent work day:
Tuesday I would say is our busiest day. The work week starts on Monday. Monday is our off day, but I normally come in Monday for a little bit to look at our upcoming car for the week. I’ll make a little short list, send a few emails out and then head home. Tuesday is a busy day. I come in at 7 a.m. and we have a meeting at 7 a.m., a meeting at 8 a.m., I meet with all my guys around 8:30 or 9 a.m., sometime around there just to overview the week and some things that happened throughout the weekend. Then we dive right into the mechanics of it. We’re working on the car, the set ups, all the little details and getting everything completed. Hopefully we get done on a Tuesday at a reasonable time, 5 or 6 p.m. is a more reasonable time for us lately.
Morning or evening routine:
I wake up at about 5 a.m. and make breakfast and come into work. I have coffee here, it keeps you going. And then after work, I have kids, so it depends on the day, I may have to run around to some sporting events or gymnastics or swimming for the kids.
Apps/gadgets/tools can’t you live without:
I try to stay off of the social media as much as I can. Some of the weather apps, I like being up-to-date on the weather, especially when you’re working outside at the racetrack.
I’m pretty mobile. I move around a lot, but I have an office in the engineering room and I spend some time in there on my computer, but I tend to move around. I have a toolbox I set my stuff up on and kind of move with the car.
How you keep track of what you have to do:
One of the greatest programs we have is OneNote, that we use throughout the company. I kind of keeps me and the engineers and the mechanics live and up-to-date. So, as soon as I type it in there, they can see it. It’s one of the best tools that we have. Some of the Microsoft Teams chats as well that we use to communicate work really well. It puts it all in one place and gets everyone on the same page at the same time.
How you got your start at Hendrick Motorsports:
I grew up in Vermont, a small state in the Northeast. A lot of people don’t know a lot about Vermont. I grew up there and my family had some street stock and pro stock, which is like late model cars. My dad and my uncle and I, I just kind of grew up in it. My uncle got me the opportunity. He moved to North Carolina around 2004 I got the opportunity to come down here and get my first job in professional motor sports. I worked at a few different companies and then 2012 I came here as a mechanic on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 car.
Best advice you have ever received:
Probably my dad. He told me just to do the best I can, always work hard and stay focused. He’s probably one of the mentors in my life, honestly. I said growing up, ‘Man, this guy can do anything, and he knows everything.’ I’m trying to be like that in that regard. Hopefully my kids can look up to me, like I did to my father.
Favorite thing about working at Hendrick Motorsports:
It’s a great place to work, a ton of great people. It’s the only place I have ever really worked that everybody is really, really excited to be here. They work hard, and it shows. I think that a lot of employees have been here a long time, and it's absolutely a great place to work.
Things you do in your free time:
I just rebuilt a four-wheeler ATV for my son. We just got that going, and he’s been really enjoying that, ripping around the yard. That’s been the biggest project I’ve had at home for a while.
Who you rely on to keep things running smoothly:
We rely a lot on our teammates here. If we run into a problem here where I personally have never dealt with it, we have a lot of really strong teammates, especially the car chief role with all the other guys. We communicate well and deal with a lot of things together as a group, collectively. Our team is a really strong team. We rely on each person and their individual role to kind of take over and take their role into their own hands and do the best job they can. We have a really strong group on this team. Now, me personally, I rely a lot on some of the guys and the car chiefs because we have to work together and a lot of problems that we encounter, we work together and try to do the best we can to overcome all of those.
Something people may not know about working for a race team:
One thing I think that people don’t know is, I talk to a lot of people on the road, and they are surprised we travel as much as we do and work on the cars as much as we do. People think that we just show up with a car and kind of push it around and that’s all there is to it. I think a lot of people don’t understand all the work that goes into it prior to the racetrack.
Music you listen to while you work:
We keep it kind of quiet. There’s a radio playing here at the shop, but it's pretty noisy typically. So, it would be hard to do that type of thing while you’re working.
Who else you would like to see answer these questions:
I’d like to see everybody answer these questions, just to see what their perspective of what they do. Everybody on my team.