Going Back to Cali
Red Bull Racing Team has strong representation from the Golden State. California natives (clockwise from top left) include No. 82 rear tire changer Chad Avrit (El Centro), No. 82 crew chief Jimmy Elledge (Redding), No. 83 gas man Doug Newell (Oxnard) and Scott Speed (Manteca).
This weekend is one of three times the Sprint Cup Series will visit California in 2009.
“I always get excited about racing in California because it is an opportunity for me to see my family,” said Avrit, 25, whose hometown is about a three-hour drive from Fontana. “It also means a lot knowing that a lot of the people I grew up with in California are watching me from the stands, rooting me and the team on.”
Like Avrit, a trip out west gives Newell a chance to see family and old friends.
“The number one reason I look forward to racing in California is I get the chance to see my daughter,” said the 50-year-old Newell. “It’s hard when you are on opposite coasts. I also enjoy going back because California is where I not only grew up as a person, but in my racing career in the Winston West Series (now the Camping World West Series). It’s great getting a chance to see those guys again.”
And where does Elledge call home?
“Most of the time I say the Charlotte, Mooresville area,” he said. “California was home for me, but at the same time this is home. All of my family lives here. I’ve had kids in North Carolina, so this is home. But it’s always good to go out there.”