Dave Fuge: Crew Chief/Team Manager - Xpress Motorsports "I am a very competitive person," said Dave Fuge, crew chief and team manager for the No. 61 IWX Motor Freight Chevrolet driven by Randy Tolsma. "I work very hard to make sure we are ...
Dave Fuge: Crew Chief/Team Manager - Xpress Motorsports
"I am a very competitive person," said Dave Fuge, crew chief and team manager for the No. 61 IWX Motor Freight Chevrolet driven by Randy Tolsma. "I work very hard to make sure we are ready to win every race."
The team scored its first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series triumph at Mesa Marin, Speedway in Bakersfield, Calif. in October. The team is coming off a strong second place showing at the most-recent truck series event at Portland (Ore.) Speedway.
"The win was great because nobody but us expected it," said Fuge. "I knew the pieces were coming together, but the right situation happened and we took advantage of it. That's what racing is all about."
Fuge has a long history in the sport starting in 1970 at Spanaway Speedway in Tacoma, Wash. Between 1970 and 1982 Fuge built his knowledge and skills working for a variety of teams in competition in late models, NASCAR Sportsman, Winston West and NASCAR Winston Cup races that took place on the west coast.
In 1982 he founded Fuge Racing Enterprises, a race car manufacturing business in the Northwest. Fuge's business grew to have over 100 cars competing on the west coast with some track boasting as much a 70 percent "Fuge" cars. It was during this time period that Fuge gained the respect of current Winston Cup driver Derrike Cope, who was just starting his career.
In 1987, Cope and his Winston West team moved east to compete in the growing Winston Cup Series. Dave Fuge was tapped as the team manager and crew chief. After a few learning seasons of Winston Cup competition, Fuge became an owner of Tri-Star Motorsports, a NASCAR Winston Cup Series team in 1989.
Between 1989 and 1995, Fuge and his business partners had considerable success when considering the financial shortcomings. The team won the 1990 NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year battle with Bobby Hamilton as its driver. The uphill battle for sponsorship and struggles of fielding an under-funded team resulted in Fuge selling his portion of the team in January of 1996.
After a year with Bill Elliott Racing as a research and development consultant, and a brief stint at Diamond Ridge Motorsports, Fuge joined the upstart Xpress Motorsports team in April of 1997.
"The opportunity to work with this team was perfect for me," said Fuge. "I have constantly been in a position where I've had to fight uphill battles. "Everything is here to win," he continued. "Steve Coulter, our team owner, has given us all the pieces. I try to stress that to our guys here at the shop. In racing, you don't always have everything available for you to win.
"In the past, I think I've had the knowledge and I've certainly gained the experience," he said. "But, winning is why I'm here.
"The win last year at Bakersfield was big for us," concluded Fuge. "It was big because it showed we could do it. But, more importantly it means we can do it and should be trying to do it at every race.
"I told our guys after that win that their jobs just got harder," continued Fuge. "Winning takes everything you've got and that starts with the attitude. I think we have that and I know we have the equipment. We are in a position to take advantage of winning opportunities."