Jim Long considers racing to be his work and hobby all entwined into one.
Long has been involved in the racing industry for 21 years. He has been with Hendrix Motorsports in Harrisburg since 1995 and has been crew chief for four.
He heads up a group of 31 people on the Bush team, and he manages and plans races and does all the setup work with the shock engineer. He also runs practice sessions in order to prepare for the real race.
Races are held all over the country, from Mexico City to Michigan to Kansas.
Long got involved in racing in the early 1980s.
â€œI just decided that I was spending too much of my own money out of pocket and I needed to work on them rather than own them,â€ he said.
The Denver resident holds an engineering degree and started out at Northern Michigan University on a wrestling scholarship.
Having the engineering degree is essential to what Long does.
â€œIt fits hand in hand really. It is a good thing to have if you want to be in racing,â€ Long said.
When Long realized his love for the racing industry, he was quick to start his journey. His father, who worked in an automotive machine shop helped get him involved.
Longâ€™s dream led him to North Carolina, and his family, who are all from Michigan, quickly followed.
Traveling to and from the various races leaves Long on the road most of the time.
Race season starts at the end of February and runs to the end of November.
When it is not the race season, Long says the corporation still stays busy rebuilding race cars. The company has roughly 15 to 16 cars on hand.
Hendrix Motorsports employs over 400 people, with five Cup teams and one Bush team. There are many different divisions in the company including a parts department, public relations division and fabrication.
When Long is not working with the racing industry, he enjoys spending time with his wife Rita and daughter Lacy.
by Amy Wadsworth