Monday, October 17, 2016

Right Sides Only: Notes from the Hollywood Casino 400 Winning Crew Chief, Rodney Childers

by Stacey Owens

If you ask Rodney Childers what he thinks about Kevin Harvick's ability to close when it counts, he'll give you his "trickle down" theory.

"[The pressure to find success] comes from Kevin. It feeds down through him as far as being confident and being determined and working hard. That comes down through me, then our shop foreman, our car chief," Childers said.

Of course, without the guys at the shop having built a fast car that Harvick can move to the front of the pack, that theory doesn't mean much. Fortunately for the No. 4 team, that's exactly what happens.
"We're just fortunate to have a lot of guys that won't quit. They don't take 'no' for an answer. They don't care how many hours they work. They don't care what they have to do. They just try to make it happen.
"It's cool to be in that environment and be around people like that. It's something that we all hope that we can do sometime in our lifetime," Childers explained.
Credit: Charlotte Bray for Skirts and Scuffs
It wasn't necessarily a "must win" at Kansas Speedway, but when faced with the uncertainty of next week's elimination race at Talladega Superspeedway, the Hollywood Casino 400 sure felt like a "must win."

"But it definitely feels good to get out of here and be able to go to Talladega and not worry about things. Just go back to the shop and work on our Martinsville car and Phoenix car and Texas car.
"Really happy to be in Victory Lane, for sure," Childers said.

Not having to worry about Talladega allows the team to focus on races in the next round.

"You always want to go win a race, but on the other hand you can't control it," Childers said. "Our focus is going to be on Martinsville and moving forward. We've got nice stuff to take to Talladega. We were planning on going down there to have to win the race there. We'll definitely go down there and race hard. It's just nice to be able to focus on the weeks going forward.
"This past week was rough on the whole race team, to be honest. Let those guys go see their kids and families a few nights. It's going to mean a lot to them. Everybody [can] catch their breath and get ready for Martinsville."

While the No. 4 team is catching its collective breath, the rest of the field (and most of the fans) will be holding their breaths, waiting on the inevitable carnage that is Talladega, which will end in four Chase drivers ending their bid for a championship.

     Stacey Owens lives just outside Music City USA. She's always wanted to be a NASCAR writer, so working as a columnist and support editor for Skirts and Scuffs allows her to live that dream every single weekend.
    The sole NASCAR enthusiast in her home, she's hopeful that one of her three daughters might also harbor an appreciation for NASCAR, but it isn't looking good so far.
    This self-admitted grammar nerd also loves country music, though she can't carry a tune; collegiate football, though she needs a lot of work on her spiral; and Kentucky basketball, even though at 6' tall, she's never played a day in her life.


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