No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Crew Chief Billy Scott’s career atop the pit box with driver Brian Vickers is only six races old. But the former team engineer feels like he’s already made a year’s worth of progress in his first season.
Scott is like many modern day NASCAR crew chiefs, a racer with extensive engineering training. The 36-year-old began racing motorcycles as a 5-year-old and stock cars when he turned 15. He worked in the truck series as a mechanic before he returned to college to obtain an engineering degree. After graduating in 2005, Scott worked at Robert Yates Racing then as an engineer at MWR in 2008. He served exclusively as the No. 55 team’s lead engineer in 2012 and 2013.
SCOTT ON JOB SO FAR: “It’s been really good so far. The racing aspect has been about what I expected. Both (No. 15 engineer) Dax (Gerringer) and I have always had a lot of involvement so it hasn’t been a tremendous change. I’ve learned to be more involved in the preparation of the cars ahead of time, but we have some really good systems set up in place here at Michael Waltrip Racing. There’s more to the job on the non-racing side than I was aware of. There’s things I didn't know people would come to ask me about. Like what shirts are we supposed to wear or passing out itineraries, some of the logistical questions. Again, everyone has stepped up to help whenever I have needed help. If I don’t know something I send an email and get answers pretty quickly.”
CHALLENGES: “The crew chief stuff for the race car is what I expected. I knew what I was getting into. As crew chief you are always multitasking. The key is remaining calm. The biggest challenge so far has been qualifying. It’s new to all of us this year. But we’ve put in some processes after the first few races and learned a lot so it’s getting a bit easier each weekend. In the race we haven’t been to a track this year where I have had to make a really high-pressure decision on whether we take two or four tires. So far the calls have been fairly obvious. I know they are coming, but Brian has been really good communicating so I know we’ll handle them well.”
SEASON SO FAR: “We have run well this season just haven’t got the results so far that we expect. We’ve scored the 13th most points, but we feel we should be much higher. You know, while it’s disappointing it’s better to know you have run well and had speed than it would be to run badly and get a lucky finish. We’ve been pretty good, showed a lot of speed. It’s been encouraging. We feel like we are back on par to where we were in 2012.”
Vickers will be sign autographs 6-7 p.m. Thursday at the Aaron’s Store, 770 S. Main St., Keller, Tex. Come join in the autographs, prize giveaways and a live radio remote.