After 15 years of pitting cars on Nascars pit road, Britt Goodrich is heading into surgery Wednesday. Britt is a good friend of pittalks and we had plans to do an article on him later. Well, that plan changed when we found out he was going into surgery in a day. Don’t let the surgery over shadow the career Britt has had. He has been apart of some big races and had a career worth talking about. We wanted to sit down and talk with Britt and make sure he was doing OK before his surgery. What ended up taking place was an article about his career and what he has been up to ever sense he retired. Here’s what we came up with, enjoy.
How did you get into pitting?
Doug Yates asked me if I would be interested in trying out for one of their teams, and that opened the door.
Can you give us an idea of your athletic background?
I played pretty much every sport there is growing up including all “stick & ball” sports,rugby and kickboxing, but my first love is Football. I walked on and earned a full scholarship as a linebacker at NC State and was a part of 4 bowl teams from ’86 – ’90 under Dick Sheritan.
What are some of the big races you have won or been a part of?
Probably the biggest race I was a part of was the Daytona 500, 2001. The significance of that race wasn’t the fact that I was Michael Waltrip’s jackman and we won the race, but more so that we lost Dale Earnhardt. He was a huge part of our sport and that day, for me, goes way beyond the definition of “bitter sweet.” Other than that, Daytona 500, 2008 with Newman, dominating Dover in 2004, multiple Busch and Nationwide wins, and I have to mention the last win I was a part of, the Southern 500 Win in 2011 with Regan Smith in the 78.
What was your best memory as a crewman?
That is a tough one – it is between winning the Pit Crew Challenge in 2007, the Daytona 500 in 2008, or winning 6 races and the Nationwide Championship in 2010. If I had to choose, it would be the Pit Crew Challenge.
What was one of the most embarrassing moments in your career?
On the best nights of my career also was the most embarrassing….I am still not saying it was my fault, but I am sure Trent Cherry and the rest of my team would argue and vote this one for me….We were about to go up against the 5 car in the 4th round of the Pit Crew Challenge and I was in the back of the arena, stretching. Our crew chief told me he would get me when it was time to go out but no one did. The next thing I know, they were yelling for me and the clock was about to run out – it almost cost us everything. Thankfully, I made it, we won that round and went on to win the whole thing.
What track did you like to race at most and why?
I really loved Charlotte because we could get home and in bed in 30 minutes. After that, my two favorite tracks were Indy and Bristol. It was always awesome to drive into the Brickyard. The history there is hard to beat and becoming a part of it is a tremendous honor. Bristol has to be mentioned also because that place is always described as a modern day Roman Coliseum, and it is. The teams compete there like Gladiator’s in many ways and there isn’t any thing like it.
How has the sport changed sense you got into it?
There were a lot of changes. Going from 16 seconds for 4 tires to 12 represents quite a few things. The athletes like myself coming into the sport, the way we train and practice, travel, and thankfully the compensation changed too. When I started as a tire carrier I made $200 a race. Later, I was blessed with the opportunity to be able to make a really good living, working on Sundays. As big as the sport has become, that makes a lot more sense to me since we are the ones who risking our lives running out in front of race cars. And remember, we don’t have a roll cage around us.
When you were going over the wall, were you a contract guy or shop guy?
I was a contract guy. For the last two thirds of 2001, I worked with Morgan McClure on the Kodak #4 as their jackman but also as a mechanic for the entire race weekend. While the opportunity to work full time on a team presented itself there, I realized that year that I wanted to continue being a contract guy only. Those guys work their asses off, not to mention that I had aspirations of having my own business.
How hard was it to run your own business and still perform at a high level in racing?
It takes a lot of discipline but I found that it really can be a good thing. Both take all of your focus when you are doing them. When I was at practice or the race track I was completely focused on doing pit stops and totally forgot about what was going on with my business and vice versa. It actually gives you a break from the other.
Sense you retired last year, what have you been up to?
My business (Goodrich Builders, Inc.) has really been blessed and I have been busy having built 3 new Planet Fitness locations as well as 2 houses. When I’m not working, I have been spending a lot of time at my Church (Elevation Church) and with my girlfriend and family.
We here you’re having a surgery this week, what are you having done?
I am having both of my hips replaced. I have a genetic condition called Femoral Acetabular Impingement. Basically, the hip joint has very limited range of motion and no cartilage left, requiring total joint replacement.
Once you’re out of surgery and recovered, any chance you’ll make a comeback to pit road?
I like to joke and say that I am coming back to be one of the oldest jack men to ever go over the wall, but honestly I know that I was blessed to have a great career and I am happy knowing that those days are most likely behind me. However, I definitely plan to get back to work out with some of my former team mates, maybe do some pit stops on the jack or maybe gas…?
Is there anything we left out that you would like to add to your article?
I just want to say that I miss all the guys on pit road. The NASCAR community is a special family and I am thankful to have been a part of it for as long as I was. I guess I will continue to be a part of the family because that’s just how it is. I just don’t see everyone each week anymore.
Pittalks would like to thank you for taking time out to talk with us. Good luck in your surgery tomorrow and we will definitely follow up on how things went. If you would like to follow Britt on twitter, you can at @brittgoodrich.