BKR Take on Trucks: Doug Randolph ready to return home to Bristol
Veteran crew chief hopes to celebrate once again at Bristol Motor Speedway where he scored his first NASCAR win as a crew member over 25 years ago.
Brad Keselowski Racing heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for Wednesday night’s UNOH 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on the high-banked ultra-fast track.
While rookie drivers Chase Briscoe and Austin Cindric eagerly await the 200-lap race, no one on the team is probably more excited to return to the Tennessee short track than crew chief Doug Randolph.
Randolph, crew chief on the No. 19 Fitzgerald Ford F-150 driven by Cindric, is a native of nearby Morristown, Tenn., and a graduate from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
From the time he started helping NASCAR Xfinity Series founding participant and fellow Tennessean L.D. Ottinger in 1986, Randolph has enjoyed some significant success at the .533-mile track located just about an hour away from his hometown.
Motorsport.com spent some time with Randolph prior to Wednesday night’s race.
Why is Bristol Motor Speedway so special for you?
“I used to go watch races there years ago with my dad and I was working with L.D. (Ottinger) when he won there in 1990. It was the same day Michael Waltrip had his big accident in Turn 2. It always means a lot to me to get to go home and race in front of a lot of family and friends and Bristol is special to me because of so many great memories and accomplishments I’ve had there working with some great drivers.”
Another memorable win was with Brad Keselowski in 2014. What was that like for you to help him get to Victory Lane in the No. 19 Draw-Tite Ford F-150?
“That was a special day for our team and our owner Brad Keselowski who scored his first Truck Series win there. Brad always wanted to win a NCWTS race and that was a great feeling to help him get the victory.”
Besides scoring a couple of wins, what else stands out for you in your career at BMS?
“I was working with Sterling Marlin when he had his crash and fire at Bristol and I was with Jimmy Spencer when he and Kurt Busch had their incident at Bristol all those years ago. I can say I’ve been a part of a lot of crazy things at Bristol over the years.”
Your driver (Cindric) and team came so close to winning at Michigan last week. How frustrating is it to come so close to getting that first win but coming up a little short?
“It was nice to see Austin go toe-to-toe with a lot of drivers with more experience than him at Michigan. Anytime you have an opportunity to go for the win you have to do it, and he was doing that last weekend. Although it’s frustrating to not get the win, our entire team can carry that momentum to Bristol and try and get a win this week.”
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