Mike Moore, Car Chief/ Jackman
No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlo
With today's technology of the World Wide Web, the Internet has become a key component for those looking to post their resumes or make a career change. At Richard Childress Racing (RCR) an impressive resume is good to have, but dedication and the will to win at any cost takes precedence over any previous employment or accolade. As the GM Goodwrench Service Plus car chief and jackman, Mike Moore's tenure is tangible proof.
After completing a six year stint in the Navy working on submarines, Moore caught the racing bug prior to his brief career of sinking hundreds of feet below the ocean's surface. Moore started like most do in racing: sweeping the floors and doing whatever was needed to help his team. He continued to work on his skills and gain the knowledge that has steered him to his current position as second-in-command to Kevin Hamlin of the Richard Childress Racing No. 29 team.
In his seventh year with the GM Goodwrench Service Plus team, Moore's path to Welcome, N.C. came via this weekend's stop on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit: Richmond, Va. and the Richmond International Raceway. In the fall of 1994 then GM Goodwrench Service Plus six time All-Pro jackman David Smith had a severe case of tonsillitis and was unable to make it to the Richmond International Raceway (RIR) event. The veteran team had to find a replacement within days of the race. Sounds easy enough, but how do you replace a person who is such a vital component to a championship-winning team?
Moore, who was working for Melling Racing, was asked if he could substitute for Smith. Moore quickly agreed, knowing that an opportunity to work with the championship team was the opportunity of a lifetime.
As the night's event started, butterflies grew bigger and bigger while watching the "Intimidator" drive that black machine, knowing it would not be long until he guided the car down pit road for service. On the first stop Moore performed his job like clock work, lifting the sides of the No. 3 while handling the 35 pound jack like it was a feather moving from one side of the Chevrolet to the other. Four tires and fuel, Earnhardt was on his way.
Stepping back over the wall, a smile replaced the butterflies; Moore accomplished the first stop without incident. The pit stops were as routine as they were in pit practice.
That is until about lap 300 of the 400-lap event. The GM Goodwrench Service Plus machine came in for service. Moore jumped the wall and had the left side of the black Monte Carlo up and down in no time. He swung around the car and threw his jack with both hands as he shoved it under the famous No. 3.
The two-handed shove lay outside the perimeters of a normal, concise pit stop. Moore had caught his index finger in between the bottom of the racecar and the top of his PACE jack. The result being he severed off the tip of his finger. With his glove lying on the concrete in the pit stall, Moore continued his duty and completed the stop.
The emergency crews came to the scene and gave immediate attention to the injury. Their sole request was that Moore visit the Infield Care Center. Moore refused to leave the GM Goodwrench Service Plus pit stall. "At the time I knew I may never have another opportunity like this, so I wasn't about to let a little finger tip ruin it," said Moore. "I told them I wanted to finish the race, so they put a bandage on it and we came in for another stop and I did my job. In retrospect, it was the best decision I had ever made. I didn't think about it, my gut told me to stay. How was I supposed to know that the tip of my finger was worth more than its weight in gold?"
Team owner Richard Childress gawked in amazement at what he had witnessed. He walked to the Infield Care Center to check on Moore. He wanted this temp-to-hire to know how much he appreciated his efforts.
"I told him then and there, 'Anything I could do for -you let me know,'" Childress explained. "The adrenaline was finally wearing off and he was starting to feel pain. He wasn't in the mood to talk, I know I wouldn't be if I lost part of my finger. The following week we got together and I told him that anyone who was as dedicated to winning by losing a part of his body was somebody I wanted working at RCR. He thought about it and fortunately said yes."
David Smith continued his duties as jackman until becoming crew chief for the team in 1996. Moore took over the full time duties of jackman on race-day and earned the position of co-car chief in 2000 with teammate Rich Burgess.
Moore is an intricate part of the RCR/GM Goodwrench Service Plus team's success since the loss of his fingertip at RIR that night. He has worked on the Chevrolets that seven-time Winston Cup champion Earnhardt drove 14 times to Victory Lane, including his history making 1998 Daytona 500 win and 2001 Atlanta Motor Speedway victory with rookie sensation Kevin Harvick.
Moore had no impressive racing resume when he started at RCR, but he does now. It was the spirit, willingness and extreme dedication that Childress observed that night at Richmond International Raceway that opened the door for Moore to show his talents, becoming one of the most highly respected car chiefs in the NASCAR series. Quite simply, Moore leads by example. <pre> Mike Moore Quick Facts: Birth Date: March, 21, 1964 Wife: Jodi Resides: Lexington, NC Hometown : Springfield, Mass. Ht: 6'1 Wt.: 220 Hobbies: Motorcycles Crew position: Co-car chief; jackman Years with team: 7 Most memorable racing moment: Everyday going to work with Dale Earnhardt as a teammate.