CONCORD, N.C. -- In this week's episode of Game Day to Race Day, get to know T.J. Semke, the jackman for the No. 9 team at Hendrick Motorsports, as he details how his time as a walk-on at the University of Kansas led him to becoming at pit crew member.
Semke battled a back injury in high school almost derailed his college football dreams, or so he thought. After taking time to heal, Semke gave football another go and tried out for the Jayhawks in his sophomore year.
"Once you start to read about it and realize how many athletes are out there and all these people with crazy athletic backgrounds, you're like, 'Wow, that is something I want to be a part of,'" Semke said of pitting for a NASCAR Cup Series team. "But it's a challenge that I want to accept and be a part of."
Check out the video above to hear how Semke's decision walk on at Kansas led to him becoming a championship-winning jackman for Hendrick Motorsports. He and the No. 9 team will be in action on Oct. 17 at 2 p.m. ET on NBC for the playoff race at the Texas Motor Speedway.