There are two defining factors in my life – Fitness and Racing. While most of my posts are fitness related, this post is dedicated to celebrating Chris’ journey in motorsports. And what better day to celebrate than his birthday! ♥
Racing is in both our blood. Chris is from Ohio & started racing at five years old. He moved to North Carolina in 2003 after graduating high school to further his career in motorsports. I grew up in Indiana & found my love of the sport through my uncle, who is a racecar driver. I was fortunate to travel most summers with my grandparents, aunt, & cousins to many of his races. I moved to North Carolina in 2007, my sophomore year of college.
The last two years have been truly unbelievable, and hectic! We celebrated two NASCAR K&N West Series Championships. Chris became a back to back champion crew chief in his only two seasons in the series. Their team won 17 races during these two seasons!
Cliche, yes, but if you’d told me all that ten years ago I wouldn’t believe you. All this has surpassed my wildest dream of where motorsports would take Chris, and makes the journey that much more special. We’ve had a wild ride!
When Chris & I began dating in 2006 he was working for a NASCAR Cup team as a fabricator. He worked for numerous NASCAR teams before going to work for this friend Brad Means’ fabrication company in 2011. That’s when Chris got a call from Jamie Yelton offering him a position as a late model stock car crew chief.
Chris wasn’t a stranger in the late model stock car world. In 2007 he purchased his first LMSC in North Carolina. He and this car had quite the journey! He rebuilt it too many times to count & raced it several times a year, all while working his regular full time job. Often times we’d show up at the track just the two of us, which meant he was pretty much on his own!
Between 2009 – 2011 Chris even got the opportunity to start four NASCAR Xfinity Series races, one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, and funded his opportunity to race at Daytona in the ARCA Series Race in 2011.
As a crew chief, Chris spent three successful seasons working with Ronnie Bassett Jr. in late model stock cars before moving on to work with Todd Gilliland in 2014.
When Chris first entered the late model circuit there was an article referencing ‘Who is Chris Lawson?’ As a driver he’d seemingly come out of know where and put himself in contention to win many races.
Well, this is Chris Lawson….
The hardest worker. Never enough hours in a day. Always more to be done. Always more to learn. Never content. Willing to take risks. Won’t follow in someone else’s shadow.
His emotions are hard to read. But there is no denying the emotion if you’ve ever witnessed him at the end of a race his team has won. The best part – this emotion has never changed. From his first LMSC crew chief victory in 2011 to the most recent K&N win in 2017.
His last five years have been filled with exhaustion, burn out, sleepless nights, frustration, bottomless cups of coffee, and breakdowns. I heard numerous times ‘I’m done. I quit‘ and he’s been talked off the ledge too many times to count.
He’s sacrificed a lot. Lots of time away from home, and has had to put up with me being upset over all the missed occasions over the years due to racing.
He is too competitive for this own good. He puts his heart & soul into his work and expects nothing but excellence. Second place isn’t quite good enough. While frustrating to deal with, or get through to, I respect the work ethic.
Celebrating their 2017 Championship was bittersweet. It was Chris & Todd’s fourth season together. These two have developed a connection I can’t explain. Todd Gilliland was just 13 years old when we met him. We’ve watched him mature in so many ways. We couldn’t be more proud to see him moving up the ranks, but that means for the first time in four years Chris will be working with a new driver.
Preparations for the 2018 season are already in full swing, late nights and all! Wherever the next stop on this journey takes us, Chris has accomplished so much, and ventured down a road I never imagined. We are truly blessed, and I am thankful to take this wild ride with him!
I will always be your number one fan ♥