“Rapid Fire Questions”… with Bryan Kincheloe, Tire Specialist for Germain Racing, Team #13

Michelle Hoskin, November 13th, 2014. michelle@racegear.com

This week we are taking a few minutes to get to know the men ‘behind the driver’s’ in racing. Instead of the typical cut and dry questions, I chose to use a light-hearted, rapid fire approach as there has been a way too heavy atmosphere lately surrounding NASCAR/Racing in general!

Bryan Kincheloe, originally from Kansas, now living in Mooresville, North Carolina, works for NASCAR driver Casey Mears, #13.


Bryan Kincheloe – NASCAR Tire Specialist, Casey Mears, #13. Taken 9/14/14, Chicagoland Speedway

Me: Bryan, what’s your position with Germain Racing? Bryan: “I’m a Tire specialist. “

Side note: Just what does a NASCAR Tire Specialist do? Simple right? Not so quick people…not so quick. As a tire specialist, they take a portable torch to heat up the rubber on the tires to expose rows of tiny holes. Once the holes were exposed, they take some measurements and write a series of numbers on the side of each tire. The little holes are called ‘wear pins’. Five holes, 3/16 of an inch in diameter, run the entire width of a tire, across for left side tires, angled across for right side tires. Lost yet? Before the tires are used, the tire specialist uses a gauge to determine the depth of the ‘wear pin’. When the tires are changed (usually after about 20 practice laps or 35–100 race laps) the TS uses a torch to heat up the rubber and scrape off the excess with a putty knife. Using the wear pin gauge, he records the depth when they’re done. Now they know how the tire was worn and the pattern in which it’s worn. From there, the crew chief and driver can make better decisions of tire pressure to get the best possible run on the track.

tiresChicagoland Speedway, 9/14/14, Pit Row

Me: Boxers or briefs? Bryan: “Boxer-briefs.”  Just felt like throwing in a light-hearted question to get our brains back on track again after learning about Bryan’s job!

Me: What’s the best piece of advice you were given by your driver, Casey Mears? Bryan: “We always talk about how lucky we are to do this job, so Casey and I talk about not taking out our misfortunes on the track out on our families and friends…”


NASCAR driver, Casey Mears, #13. Taken 9/12/14, Chicagoland Speedway.

Side Note: Casey Mears, 36, drives the #13 Chevrolet for the Germain Racing team. For 2014, Germain Racing partnered with Richard Childress Racing to field Chevrolets. Mears began the season on a high note with a tenth place finish at the Daytona 500. During the first half of the 2014 season, Mears recorded eight top-20 finishes, including a top-10 and a top-5. He sat 23rd in points at the halfway mark.

Me: Bryan, what do YOU drive? Bryan: “I drive a GMC Denali.”

Me: Who do you predict wins the ring next week? Bryan: “Kevin Harvick. “

Side Note: Kevin Harvick drives the #4 car for Stewart-Haas Racing and is one of 4 drivers left in the Chase, fighting for the cup. Originally from Bakersfield, Calif., Kevin got his start racing go-karts at age 7. 31 years ago!

harvick car

Kevin Harvick’s #4 Chevy, Chicagoland Speedway, 9/12/14

Me: New or old Chase format? Bryan: “New – format is exciting…” Me: EXCITING??? How?

Side Note: THE NEW CHASE FORMAT…where the drama continues! The Sprint Cup driver with the most wins at the end of the season wins, right? WRONG. According to NASCAR.COM, “The top 15 drivers with the most wins over the first 26 races will earn a spot in the Chase Grid — provided they have finished in the top 30 in points and attempted to qualify for every race (except in rare instances). The 16th Chase position will go to the point’s leader after race No. 26, if he/she does not have victory. If there are fewer than 16 different winners in the first 26 races, the remaining Chase Grid positions will go to those winless drivers highest in points. After the third Chase race, the Chase Grid will be left with 12 drivers. After the sixth Chase race, the field will drop to eight drivers, and following the ninth Chase race, only four drivers will remain in championship contention for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship. The Advancement Model: The Challenger, The Contender, and The Eliminator rounds, finishing with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. OR, simply stated: The highest finisher in the Championship race among the remaining four eligible drivers will win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title.” 1

Then how are Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin even in the Chase? Ryan hasn’t won a race this season and Hamlin has only won 1. It is all based on consistency. Ryan Newman: Top-5s: 4, Top-10s: 15, Chase finishes: 15th, 18th, 8th, 6th, 7th, 5th, 3rd, 15th, 11th and Denny Hamlin: Top-5s: 7, Top-10s: 17, Chase finishes: 6th, 37th, 12th, 7th, 9th, 18th, and 8th, 10th.

Me: Your Family? Bryan: “I have an 18 year old Daughter and 3 Brothers.”

Me: Books or Movies? Bryan: “I’m a movie buff.”

Me: Your biggest fear? Bryan: “I fear being nothing.” Me: Obviously, this is a fear that no one should ever have. You are always SOMEONE in someone’s eye ☺

Me: Your favorite teachers while growing up? Bryan: “I had a lot of great teachers, Mr. Clover and Mrs. Devries seemed to care the most for me.”

Me: Speeding tickets? Bryan:  “I just got a big ticket better not say how fast.”

Me: Favorite part of your job? Bryan:”The people are the best part of the job – so many good people in this sport.”  I can vouch for this…Bryan never hesitates to stop and chat with fans and friends while out and about at the Speedways. He loves his job and it shows!

Me: Your lucky number? Bryan: “13 of course, lol!”…Casey Mears must be very proud!

caseyCasey Mears…#13

1. http://www.nascar.com/en_us/news-media/articles/2014/1/30/chase-for-the-nascar-sprint-cup-championship-format-changes.html