by Lexi Mills
With the Knoxville Nationals approaching in less than a week, I sat down with a long time friend and crew member for Aaron Reutzel Racing, Grant Boyum. Grant and I met at the Knoxville Nationals in 2014, when he was working for Destiny Motorsports, a World of Outlaws team. We all know I’ve blogged about enough of my personal life, which only consists of what race tracks I go to, so I thought I’d change it up a bit.
I asked Grant a series of questions, beginning with the obvious, “How did you become involved in racing?”
“From my dad bringing me to the races when I was little. I then started working for a local team when I was 13, their shop was connected to my dad’s office. I was lucky enough to work for Chris and Nick Shirek on the NOSA Sprints series, where we raced River Cities Speedway every Friday night, and occasional Saturday night races elsewhere.”
That then lead me to the question, “How’d you get your first full-time crew position and who was it for? ”The local racer that I helped out from back home raced the chili bowl for Rick Rogers, the owner of Destiny Motorsports. After a year of knowing Rick and feeling like I gained a lot of knowledge working for the Shirek team, I asked him for a job the next season.”
An obvious thought for me is what the heck are positives and negatives to life on the road, and these weren’t the easiest for him to answer.
“Some positives to life on the road is being able to do what I love every day. I get to visit a lot of cool racetracks all across the country, which comes with meeting lots of people all over, too.”
“Some negatives are being away from family and friends for a long period of time, I never really know when the next time I’ll see them again. Living in the tight quarters of a toter home can be hard. Also, remaining a positive attitude throughout the whole 9 month season. When things don’t go right and you have bad nights, it’s easy to get down about it. I miss home cooked meals, too.”
I asked Grant what he does when he gets free time (which isn’t often) and he laughed and said “I don’t know, what do I do?”
“We like to go to as many golf courses as possible, we’ve already been to a lot this year. Aaron and I get pretty competitive when it comes to golfing. Also, I try and hang out with Alexis as much as I can when schedule allows.”
Now onto Grant’s goals for his career!
“My long term goal is to just work on sprint cars as long as I can. I really enjoy it and I don’t know what else I would rather do.”
“I want to be apart of a Knoxville Nationals win and a World of Outlaw championship. Those are really my two things I want to accomplish, I don’t know what more you could ask for.”
“What are your biggest/proudest accomplishments thus far in your career?”
“Winning 5 races this year with Aaron. We’ve had a pretty good season so far.”
Grant’s previous job was with Logan Forler for the 2016 season, but in February he joined Aaron Reutzel Racing. Florida in February being their first race together, and a month later after Las Vegas, Grant became the only crew member. So, I asked him to explain those challenges of being the only crew member.
“Aaron and I still didn’t really know each other well enough at that point. It was a challenge doing all the driving, especially nights back to back, and then doing most of the work on the car.”
Now onto the topic of the Knoxville Nationals, “Other than winning the Knoxville Nationals, what else would you like to accomplish in those 10 days of racing?”
“The ASCS National points battle is getting really close between us and Sam Hafertepe JR, so a solid top five place finish for 360 nationals would be a good points night, and give us a lot of confidence going into 410 nationals. If we can get locked into Saturday nights main event on our Prelim night (Wednesday) for the 410 nationals, we will be happy.”