Filling A Need For Speed

Posted: December 11, 2013

Aaron Hoover dreamt of being involved with NASCAR from early on. Now 29, the Broadway native is living his dream. (Photo by Courtesy Photo)
After a brief stint at James Madison University, Aaron Hoover (right, standing) decided to pursue his lifelong dream of working with NASCAR. (Photo by Courtesy Photo)
Aaron Hoover (right), 29, a Broadway native, readies a set of tires for use in a NASCAR race. (Photo by Courtesy Photo)
Broadway native Aaron Hoover first stepped onto a NASCAR-sanctioned race track in 2007. As he looked out at the two-and-a-half mile super speed way, the now 29-year-old remembers feeling a “rush” that left him dumbstruck.

“I just couldn’t believe where I was for a few minutes,” he recalled. “It was pretty satisfying knowing I made it somewhere in life.”

However, as a tire specialist for JR Motorsports, Hoover had to quickly shake off his shock and get to work. Pointing out that cars on the track frequently travel at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour, he couldn’t afford to let his excitement distract him from his primary goal: keeping drivers safe.

“We are kinda like surgeons. Someone’s life is in our hands, so you [have to] be serious about what you do,” he said.

According to his mother, Broadway resident Karen Hoover, her son has always been serious when it comes to NASCAR.

“[In middle school,] he had to write down and compile things in a notebook [depicting] himself in the present, the past and the future,” she explained. “For the future, he said he wanted to live in Charlotte and work for NASCAR.”

Although Karen remembers thinking it was a “big dream,” she says she always encouraged her son to pursue it.

“Life is full of regret, if you don’t try, you think ‘What it,’ ” she said.

Aaron says he also received support from his father, whom he credits for sparking his interest in cars when he took him for a ride in a relative’s Corvette as a child.

“Ever since then, I’ve had a feeling for speed,” he said.

Despite his family’s support, Aaron admits that he briefly hesitated to purse his goal. With many relatives and close friends in the Broadway area, the idea of leaving it all behind was daunting.

After graduating from high school, he originally opted to stay in the Valley, and enrolled at James Madison University as a business major. However, with his heart still set on a career with NASCAR, he acknowledges that he wasn’t the best student.

By age 20, Aaron left JMU and enrolled in a two year program at NASCAR Tech in Mooresville, N.C. After completing the program, and working briefly as an intern for JR Motorsports, he was offered a job.

“The rest has been history,” Aaron said, laughing.

Over the years, Aaron has held various positions with the company, working as a road mechanic, a tire specialist, and most recently, a parts room manager.

Though his current position requires less travel, he says that during his first years with the company, he often spent an estimated 40 weeks on the road. Throughout his travels, he’s visited cities from Indianapolis to Las Vegas, and befriended NASCAR celebrities.

Karen says she’s proud of her son, and enjoys hearing about all his adventures.

“It’s been very interesting, the people he’s met and the things he’s gotten to do with them … its been a fun thing to experience it through his stories,” she remarked.

Though Aaron still misses his loved ones in Broadway, he’s grateful for his career with NASCAR, and says he “works with a great group of people.”

“You gotta be willing to make a lot of sacrifices, and if you aren’t you don’t need to be getting into it,” he said. “But whatever you do, don’t give up on chasing something that you know you should do.”

Contact Katie King at (540) 574-6271 or kking@dnronline.com.


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