Charles Lewandoski Learns & Grows During 2006 Season 21-Year-Old Has Responsibility of Whole Team Heading Into New Hampshire CONCORD, NC (September 8, 2006) -- Racing isn't an easy sport. It's a lot more than just sitting behind the wheel, ...
Charles Lewandoski Learns & Grows During 2006 Season
21-Year-Old Has Responsibility of Whole Team Heading Into New Hampshire
CONCORD, NC (September 8, 2006) -- Racing isn't an easy sport. It's a lot more than just sitting behind the wheel, turning left (and right in some circumstances), driving fast and having fun. Racing is a sport. Racing is a business. And this year, 21-year-old Charles Lewandoski, known as "ChaLew," has become a better racer, and a better man, because of that.
Ever since Lewandoski moved his operation from the Northeast to the racing capital of the county, just outside Charlotte, North Carolina, he's found himself in more of a role than just the driver. And now, as the 2006 NASCAR Busch East Series season moves into its home stretch, beginning with the Sylvania 125 on Saturday, September 16 at New Hampshire International Speedway, Lewandoski is beginning to reflect on what has been the most impressive season of his young racing career.
"Ever since I moved down to North Carolina, which was in 2005, I've taken the business end of our race team on myself," said Lewandoski. "We are not a big team by any means, but it is still a small business and that is how we run it. My Mom and Dad own the team, but I like to think I own a little bit. They leave all of the responsibility of running this team up to me. They do everything they can to help me, but when it is all said and done, a majority of the responsibility is on my shoulders.
"It has made me a better race and more mature of a person. As a racer, if I hear a noise now and can pinpoint much easier what it is exactly. If something is going wrong, I know exactly when it was built, when it was purchased, what brand it is and how it works. I've matured as a person too, because it takes a lot to have that much responsibility as a younger person, like I am."
The role has continually grown for Lewandoski. Not only has be continued to become a better business person, but his mechanical knowledge has grown as well.
"I'm really hands on with the car. I've always been, but this year, I've really stepped up. I know these cars really well now. I'm driving the truck and trailer to the racetrack. I'm just doing the best I can with everything. Equipment wise, we are not lacking. I've got a lot of good friends down here helping us out in a lot of ways too. I'm learning how auto racing works and how this stuff goes. I'm just lucky that my family gives me the opportunity to wake up every day and do what I want to do, which is race."
Being more hands on and knowing what his car is capable of will be very beneficial to Lewandoski, especially heading into New Hampshire, which is widely considered one of the biggest races of the year, if not the biggest, because it shares a weekend with the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series and Craftsman Truck Series.
"It defiantly is one of the bigger places because of all of the Cup guys being there," added ChaLew. "I don't look at it as a big fast racetrack. It is a big deal because we are all from around up there. We run on Saturday before the Trucks and there are a lot of important people that could change your life pretty quickly.
"Loudon always brings a lot of good, limited schedule teams in the mix. We had a solid effort last time there (he finished 18th), we just didn't have a solid finish. We ran good and got some laps in. We aren't going up there to run 15th or anything. We are going up there to be a contender and be a top-five car."
Lewandoski will be in action Saturday, September 16 at New Hampshire International Speedway for the Sylvania 125.