New Hampshire Native Making his Mark in NASCAR CHARLOTTE, N.C., (July 6, 1999) - Many people talk about risking their relative security in life to pursue their dreams. Few actually attempt it. Meet Ron Pryor, one of the few. ...
New Hampshire Native Making his Mark in NASCAR
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (July 6, 1999) - Many people talk about risking their relative security in life to pursue their dreams. Few actually attempt it. Meet Ron Pryor, one of the few. In late fall of 1997, Pryor packed everything he owned into his 1987 Honda Accord and left his hometown of Stratham, N.H., to find a job with a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race team. Charlotte, N.C., the epicenter of big-time stock car racing, was his final destination. "I'd been working with Babe Branscombe in the Busch North Series," said Pryor. "There were only two races left and we didn't have a sponsor. Our season, for all intents and purposes, was over. I said, 'Well, I'm going. I'm not going to hang around here anymore. The longer I wait, the worse it's going to be to leave. If I have to sell a house and move a family, it's only going to make it that much harder.' "I was spending more time at the race track than I was with my regular job," continued Pryor. "It just came to a point where I had to make a decision about what I wanted to do. Racing was definitely more important to me than landscaping." Upon arriving in Charlotte, Pryor began visiting race shops and distributing his resume. It wasn't long before he landed a position with a Winston Cup team. Buddy Parrott, general manager of the No. 99 and No. 6 teams at Roush Racing, called Pryor offering him a position as tire specialist for the No. 99 squad with driver Jeff Burton. Just a few months after relocating to Charlotte, the 1989 Exeter Area High School graduate had accomplished exactly what he set out to do. Pryor's first Winston Cup job was made all the more special when he returned to the Granite State for the Jiffy Lube 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. The July 12 race was the site of a dominating win for Burton and the No. 99 team. "That was my first Winston Cup victory," said Pryor. "That was a great place to do it - at home. My parents were there, all my friends were there and everyone was watching it on TV. We ran away with the show. It was just awesome." At the end of the 1998 season, Pryor left the Roush juggernaut for Andy Petree Racing (APR). The Flat Rock, N.C.-based team was adding another car to its stable in 1999, with Kenny Wallace wheeling a Square D Chevrolet alongside teammate and third-year APR driver Ken Schrader. The new outfit needed a reliable tire specialist, and Pryor was the man. "I'm still doing tires like I was on the (No.) 99 car, but I don't mind it," said the 29-year-old. "It's not something I want to do for the rest of my Winston Cup career, but it's a stepping stone. I'm paying my dues right now. "At this point, I'm seeking out what I want to do. Being a crew chief isn't out of the question. A shop foreman, and ultimately, a car owner would be the best. But that's pretty far off. I've got a lot to learn before I can do anything like that. "A year or two from now, I might say, 'Geez, maybe being a crew chief isn't all that great,'" continued Pryor. "They've got a lot of stuff to put up with. I've learned a lot from our crew chief - Jimmy Elledge, and I see what he has to go through. Sometimes I ask myself, 'Can I do that?' I'm just taking the good with the bad and learning as much as I can right now." Pryor's strong New England work ethic, teamed with his unrelenting persistency, has given the transplanted Yankee a satisfaction few working Americans enjoy - waking up in the morning to a job he likes. Meet Ron Pryor, one of the few.
Square D Company is a market-leading supplier of electrical distribution, industrial control and automation products, systems and services. It is the flagship brand of Groupe Schneider-North America, one of four geographic divisions of Groupe Schneider, headquartered in Paris, France. Groupe Schneider is a global electrical industry leader with 1997 sales of approximately $7.9 billion.