DeHart Poised to 'Make a Difference' at Ginn Racing
Last year, Ginn Racing nearly doubled the size of its race team, which created a bit of a dilemma for Jay Frye, Ginn Racing’s Chief Executive Officer and General Manager.
As Frye formulated his plans for the future he knew something was missing. That eventually led to the hiring of Gary DeHart, a former championship crew chief and veteran with more than 25 years of experience in NASCAR.
Immediately, Dehart looked to be the right fit for the organization, at just the right time.
DeHart, who had spent the past 20 years working in a variety of capacities at Hendrick Motorsports, was hired earlier this month by Ginn Racing as Director of Shop Operations. Frye was convinced that DeHart’s experience in managing growth would serve Ginn Racing’s up and coming team well.
“We’re going through an incredible growth mode and Gary’s been through this kind of growth and development before,” said Frye. “Having him join us is like putting one of the final pieces of the puzzle together. Gary will be a terrific resource for our organization.”
Ginn Racing has nearly doubled its employees – from 85 to 160 – since Bobby Ginn purchased majority ownership in the team last July. It has grown from a single-car NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series team in an 8,000-square-foot shop to having three teams in the series. Also, for the first time ever, Ginn will field a NASCAR Busch Series team in 2007. In addition, it is devoting resources to a driver development program. Ginn Racing is now housed in a state-of-the-art 144,000-square-foot shop in Mooresville, N.C.
DeHart says the challenge of being able to take on more responsibility with a team that is on the rise was appealing to him.
“I had a great 20 years with Hendrick Motorsports,” said DeHart, a native of High Point, N.C. “As a crew chief, I had the great opportunity and thrill of winning a championship in 1996 with Terry Labonte. I believe I can make a difference at Ginn Racing. I’m looking forward to working with the veteran drivers and the young drivers that we have. We’ve got a good group to work with and I think we’re in store for a lot of fun with an opportunity to have some success.”
Ginn Racing’s lineup for the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season does feature an interesting blend of experienced and young talent. Mark Martin, one of the series’ all-time great performers and owner of 35 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victories, comes over to drive the No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet along with rookie Regan Smith. The No. 13 Chevrolet will be driven by veteran Joe Nemechek, while the No. 14 Waste Management Chevrolet will be driven by two-time Daytona 500 winner Sterling Marlin. Smith and Kraig Kinser will share the ride in the team’s NASCAR Busch Series car, while Jesus Hernandez and motocross champion Ricky Carmichael will participate in the driver development program.
DeHart says he’s enjoying being around his new teammates, although he’s known most of them for years.
“Percentage-wise, I probably know the folks at Ginn Racing just as well as I know the people at Hendrick,” said DeHart. “It’s been great getting back in the garage and sharing my thoughts and opinions. I always thought I was a problem solver and there’s not a whole lot I haven’t seen in this sport in the period of time I’ve spent in it. I was up for the challenge and I feel like I have something left in me that hopefully, can contribute in some small way to Ginn Racing being successful.”