Venturini Motorsports Crew Chief, Kevin Reed Leading 2010 Cometic Crew Chief Standings
Topics: Kevin Reed
(TOLEDO, Ohio - September 25, 2010) - Behind every driver is a successful crew chief, or so the adage goes. Of course, those close to the sport of auto racing understand that it takes even more to put together a successful race program. In fact, without a car owner willing to commit the necessary resources, there is no driver-crew chief combo to begin with.
At the end of the day, it takes all three components, and then some, to make it all happen. While the driver typically receives the lion's share of the headlines, the men and women who steer these 3400-lb ARCA cars understand just how important a crew chief can be to the team's overall success.
Each year, the ARCA Racing Series doles out the Cometic Crew Chief of the Year award to the leading crew chief candidate at the year-end championship awards banquet. Another championship within a championship, if you will. Bragging rights for sure. It also looks pretty good on a resume, not to mention paying $3 grand to the winner. Cometic also pays $250 per race to the Crew Chief of the Race and contributes $3,500 to the year-end championship points fund.
Points are awarded throughout the year based on car/driver finishing position and qualifying effort.
That said, all is good in the world of Venturini Motorsports, especially if you're the crew chief on the 25, which Kevin Reed just happens to be. Although the driver Mikey Kile is a long shot for the title at this point with just two race remaining, crew chief Reed has a commanding lead in the Cometic Crew Chief of the Year Standings - 5690 to Jon Wolfe's (crew chief for Patrick Sheltra) 5475.
"I feel like it's quite a compliment for me," said Reed. "To earn the crew chief title, if I do, in my first year is a huge endeavor that I can say I've achieved. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't paying close attention."
Reed, in his first year, is also learning just how grueling the ARCA Series can be. From an adjustability standpoint, going from a mile dirt to a superspeedway, or from a roadcourse to a short track, is challenging to say the least.
"It's definitely grueling; there's no doubt about it. As long as I'm stocked up with my Pepcid and Tylenol. Just trying to keep up with it is challenging. I usually leave the shop at seven, go home and work another six on notes. I'm a note freak. I really think good notes are critical to a team's overall success, especially here at Venturini Motorsports where we work with different drivers. If you've got good notes, you should be able to take the same cars to the same tracks and plug in different drivers. Steve (Arpin) should be able to climb in Mikey's (Kile) car with same result, and vice versa. It's all about keeping track of what you've got and where you've been. In words, it may sound simple; in the real world, it's definitely not."
Reed also commented on ARCA's impound procedure, which certainly adds to the overall crew chief puzzle.
"You want to qualify well, obviously, but you can't ever take your eye off the race. Outside of the limited adjustments you get in the impound, air pressure and what you're allowed to do, you've got to think way ahead.
"Again, for me, it all comes back to good note taking. Knowing where you're at. Understanding the balance of the racecar after practice, and keeping track of the balance from there. It's also keeping track of the track itself as they all change throughout the day."
With the bulk of the schedule in 2010 out of the way, Reed can now concentrate fully on the two remaining tracks - Kansas Speedway and the Rockingham Speedway finale.
"Biggest thing at Kansas is......is it going to be a one stop or two stop race? At the Rock, it's all about managing tires all day long. You're gunna have to have a set with 25 laps to go. Rock's gunna be way more challenging in my opinion. We're building a new racecar for the Rock, so we'll all be in here all weekend working away. Kansas, we were pretty sporty in the test, loaded up by one (o'clock), so we feel pretty good about that."
As excited as Reed is about his own prospects regarding the crew chief title, he's fully aware of the bigger picture - the overall championship.
"I really thought half way through the year, we had a shot at the championship. At one time, we got within like 30 points, then we had those issues at Chicagoland and Toledo. Our worst was probably Iowa. Bad part was, was that we tested there (Iowa) and weren't bad. Then we went back and were out to lunch. We kept getting bit by the right fronts (tires). It was obviously something we were doing mechanically, so we just had to back up and regroup.
"After we get through this year, we'll all regroup and hopefully come back next year with Mikey and make him run for it."
Reed is also aware of the history of the Cometic Crew Chief of the Year award.
"At one time, I thought they should probably change the name to the Bill Kimmel award," referring to Frank Kimmel's brother and crew chief who's won the award eight times. "I consider being in company with Bill (Kimmel)......it just adds to the honor of the whole thing."
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