Eric Girouard 0:00
This is Bucket Talk, a weekly podcast where people who work in the trades and construction that aren't just trying to survive, but have the ambition and desire to thrive. The opportunity to trades and construction is absolutely ridiculous right now. So if you're hungry, it's time to eat.
Eric Girouard 0:16
We discuss what it takes to rise from the bottom to the top with people who are well on their way and roll up their sleeves every single day.
Jeremy Perkins 0:26
This is Jeremy and Eric Bucket Talk powered by BRUNT this week. We are here with Lauren Scott. Lauren Scott is part of the pit crew for BJ McLeod Motorsports. But before we jump into the interview with her, Eric
Unknown Speaker 0:39
All right, so let's talk about what happened this past weekend past weekend. As many of you know from prior episodes, we did our first NASCAR debut up in New Hampshire Motor Speedway a few weeks ago, we decided from a brand perspective we were going to double down on that and go to the world center of racing Daytona motor speedway. And so this past weekend, the team and its small group of friends and family were going to Daytona a few days before the race my four year old son gets kicked out of daycare for projectile vomiting all over the place. And a virus ran through his entire daycare keeping him home and then it my wife ended up getting in I ended up getting it so you know childhood dreams of going to the Daytona Motor Speedway to see not only NASCAR but siebrand on a NASCAR where unfortunately put on hold and Jeremy and the team ended up going down and pull them through Jeremy, why don't you tell us a little bit about you first got First off,
Jeremy Perkins 1:33
I can't believe you trusted me to go by myself. But secondly, yeah, it was awesome. I've never been to Daytona. Florida is hot for us northern boys. So we're sweating like pigs down there. But yeah, they had a whole bunch of vendors out there and everything. We're drinking Busch light beer the entire time and got to go into the infield. Got to see Mason again, obviously, and everybody was pumped to race that day. But then we ended up with a rain delay that eventually ended that racing for the night. So we all had to push our travel arrangements back. We came back the next morning. I was awesome. Absolutely awesome. sun was shining. Great. And then we finished top 25 Yeah, yep. Mason did a good job that day.
Unknown Speaker 2:11
What did a wreck I was watching. I'm from my couch. I was watching Instagram stories and posts and on TV. living vicariously through you guys. Yeah,
Jeremy Perkins 2:19
I was super pumped. I mean, there's so much history down there. It's a little bit different of a venue. It's a huge venue. The whole strip is lined with restaurants and bars, and it's all catering towards the NASCAR scene. And then the night race, I guess had a massive wreck the whole front of the field are wiped out. We didn't end up staying for that. But that would have been one hell of a race to see.
Unknown Speaker 2:40
And how was it because last time we crashed relatively early in New Hampshire, how was it to sit up on the pit box and see the whole the whole It was
Jeremy Perkins 2:45
unbelievable. So you're sitting right behind the crew chief. And so you get to see the cars pit. You see the tires come off lug nuts flying, some come in for just fuel, there was a couple of wrecks that day. So they're coming in cutting panels off, you know, throwing tape on them, sending them back out, tires, it was unbelievable. There's just a lot of damage. So it was good. We had a great time. And you know, it's awesome getting to be down in the pits and seeing what they do on a daily basis. And that's why we had this interview with Lauren because it's a whole nother ballgame of mechanics. I mean, these guys are athletes, and they're just really getting into it.
Unknown Speaker 3:20
Yeah, yeah. Awesome. Glad you guys actually made it back home safe. No big issues, no challenges, no fights, no Miss flight. So it was good to see you guys a little tired. come Monday morning. But you know what? Hopefully I'll get to Daytona sometime in the future. And I'm pumped. We got to do it. And you guys got to experience it. And I got to live through it on Instagram pretty much in TV saying all right. So awesome. Let's get into Warren Scott. Let's jump over. All right.
Jeremy Perkins 3:52
Today we're here with Lauren Scott. Lauren Scott pits for BJ McLeod Motorsports. And Lauren, welcome to the podcast. And please tell us where the heart of racing is.
Unknown Speaker 4:03
Everything racing is in Morrisville, North Carolina, whether it be drag racing area, North Carolina is the choral headquarters if you want to call
Jeremy Perkins 4:13
it that shoot well, like So what was the training like? And then how did you get picked up? Like so you clearly go on to UTI for school? Yeah. And then they'll teach you all that stuff. But clearly it's specialized. So you know, anybody who's watching NASCAR race, most of the pit crew mechanics and what have you. They're not like deewan athletes that they've changed over. Like how does how does a wrench Turner actually get on in the pits.
Unknown Speaker 4:38
So like I said, growing up and working around cars, I kind of had a little bit of a head start when I moved down there. If you go in and talk to like, I can't remember the name of the program like the motor sport office or something like that. In school, they've got like a list of people who need help, and most of them are just looking for people. You know, to help clean up how clean cars when they come back from the racetrack and stuff like that. And there was a late model team looking for help. And so I started talking to him. And when I worked for him when I wasn't working at O'Reilly's, or in, in class, and that's kind of how I got my foot in the door, down in North Carolina. And then, so I was working with the late model team. And one of my friends was like, hey, this, this chart team, you know, they're looking for help, too. And so it's really just kind of a, I don't want to say who, you know, once you get your foot in the door, and you start to meet people, so many more opportunities open up.
Jeremy Perkins 5:50
That's awesome. So let's just say this is their passion, other than the fact that they haven't been racing, or wrenching, which it seems like, you know, talking to some of the drivers, they got almost as much driving experience as they do years on the earth. It's like, you know, How old's the driver? They're like, 24, how long you've been racing for the 24 years, you're like holy cow. So for somebody trying to go then is like UTI, there's some other programs out there that probably the best way.
Unknown Speaker 6:17
And so on the same note, I would have gone to university of north Northwestern Ohio. The only reason why I say that is because when you go to UTI, you don't get a degree. Basically, all you get is a piece of paper that says yes, so and so completed this course, at this school at this, that's it, there's no like college credits or anything like that. Oh, no, is depending on how you do it. You can get your associates in business, at the same time is going through all the motor sports, I think that would be more beneficial. And can you want to I've ever met from who know. They work really well around race car, they know what they're doing. And I think that's part of that school.
Jeremy Perkins 7:15
Yeah, it's funny that you bring it up, because I was looking at continuing my education and getting a degree and I think I was in the same boat. As you I have spent a lot of money on schooling, but that it didn't really yield anything other than that certificate, which in the grand scheme of things doesn't really mean anything to an employer, or what have you. It's more about experience and exposure. But I did notice that in the upper Midwest, you have Ford, General Motors, all those areas, those a ton of colleges that actually have automotive programs, automotive engineering programs. So I think that if that's your passion, and you do want to continue your education in motor sports, or mechanics or automotive design, or what have you, that's probably the best area to look, I would assume.
Unknown Speaker 7:58
I would totally agree with that. And especially with the new generation of people coming through and bracing, the stigma around NASCAR, it's always the good old boys don't want to say they're turning away from that. But they're turning more towards the engineering side structure. Everybody pays attention to NASCAR, you know, the next gen cars that are coming out the big teams, stuff like that they want and so if you really want to set yourself apart, put yourself in a better position. Definitely go to school for motorsport, engineering and mechanics.
Jeremy Perkins 8:35
Yeah, I guess that's a high level takeaway too, because that was what I was seeing with my career as a line mechanic at an independent shop was the fact that the days of the old grease monkey are kind of few and far between those guys kind of fade themselves out. I loved working with those guys. They had plenty of knowledge and what have you. But I mean, if from a mechanic's standpoint, and from a NASCAR standpoint, they've kind of meld but you got Tesla, you got all these companies coming out with so much more electronics, so much more computer diagnostics, everything is using canned systems and all this stuff. It's not even wires anymore. It's just module communication. And you're 100% right? I mean, at some point in time, if you have a mom and pop shop you might even have to look into to hiring a programmer with GM and what have you, I was programming windows switches for operation versus like, just put it in power and ground done. You know what I mean? We're weren't the two laptops on my toolbox. And that was my day in day out being able to read data and process data. So yeah, I can see how it definitely there's a lot more science behind it now with NASCAR than it was just, you know, getting out there and racing and ripping tires off and put them back on and, you know, let's go
Unknown Speaker 9:48
Yeah, like I said, most of our race cars now, like our xfinity electronics, we still run carburetors, distributors, all that stuff, cars and the trucks. They're all EFI electronic fuel attach. So there's a lot more xfinity series, kind of the last ones that still run carburetors and stuff. You've got your late models, and they still run carburetors. But again, for How much longer? You know, everything's changing so fast.
Jeremy Perkins 10:23
Yeah, I mean, the carburetor shops around us, they, they're few and far between some 70 year old guy who's been doing it for years, and you know, parts are hard to get and you go on summit, you buy a Holley or an Edelbrock. And then you just bolt it on, and they're all really the same. But like when it came to restoring older cars, and am I correct, you have a couple of Mustangs Do you know? So for that, if the parts are cheaper, I don't know. It's old science. And it's cool. But yeah, the new wave is coming along. And it's definitely getting in depth
Unknown Speaker 10:57
very much. So long, where do you see yourself in like a
Jeremy Perkins 11:01
year, a couple of years, I mean, your pit crew, everything's great, you love it, you're on the road all the time, but there's got to be a direction that you potentially want to go or something that you're looking to do? What were you thinking?
Unknown Speaker 11:12
So ultimately, yeah, I would like to end up being kind of just at the shop, at least, you know, within the next three years, I've been traveling since 20 1536 weeks a year, there's a lot of time on the road, you know, I enjoy my time at home, when I'm home, the very few days a week that I have, you know, I'm always like, dang, I already got to go and read again. So maybe something more to home and not traveled so much would be a good fit.
Jeremy Perkins 11:49
I can definitely relate to that I can relate to my time in the military. I had like a great time, I was always out to see I was always seeing all sorts of cool places and stuff. But then I was like, Hey, I wanted to, you know, build a family and kind of settle down a little bit and I try to figure out how I was going to hone in my skills in mechanics and kind of find a spot where I could set up and you know, have a nine to five be home all the time being on the road. It's great. It's awesome, but it does. Yeah, sometimes you might feel like a gypsy at some point. You know what I mean?
Unknown Speaker 12:22
Yeah, like you like you said, you know, starting a family and stuff like that. I've got a girlfriend. She lives in Oregon. So I know she was like, I came off the road, stuck around home a little more. That'll come up.
Jeremy Perkins 12:39
That's awesome. I love the story. It's great. But I really want to hear when a day in the life is you guys are getting ready to go to Daytona. What does Lauren have to do to get ready, get there? And then what is your operations throughout the race there and then all the way home? How does that look like?
Unknown Speaker 12:59
Yeah, okay, so like last week we were in Michigan. We got home Saturday night, had our Sunday off, relax. Monday morning that's right back to it started around 7am and we switch cars don't take the same time every week. So Daytona is this week. So I've everything over to our Speedway cars. My job is interior and underneath so I put the seats in. I put all the safety equipment inside the car and also foot three or Garen backups, things like that. That kind of take him to the dyno Tuesday afternoon and we come back to the shop we run through our setups and make sure the car is set up how it's supposed to be different springs for different racetracks, different setups for different Aero packages things like that. So got to make sure everything is working together to get us around two and a half mile they
Jeremy Perkins 14:15
were looking forward to
Unknown Speaker 14:16
me ever been there? No, they gorgeous facility. But it is like you see it on TV and it's like oh yeah, that's what they told her. Then you get there. It is huge. You can almost like not see the other end. Like it is a big racetrack but it's just cool. You know, if you think about the history and there's a lot of tracks like this that you know, you think of the history that's gone on it, you're building something to go to that racetrack. You're putting your work on the racetrack. It's a really cool feeling. So some races we fly some races we drive. This one's a pretty close one for us. It's only about six and a half, seven hours away to drive to this one. This week, it's a Friday night race. So get down here. Thursday night, Thursday afternoon, hang out. Friday morning, we'll go to the race tracks, push through tech, and push out to fit road. We have three cars, but we're not a big, we're not employees that speak to you. So we all kind of pitch in and do a bunch of different things. So we'll set up the fit boxes are get everything ready for the race up the road.
Jeremy Perkins 15:42
Race. Yeah, this is where I got to see the inner workings of it at the last race. And I think the first thing that Mason's agent Philip had said to me was watch out for flying lug nuts when you're down in the pit. And that was cool. Having a young team. I know Mason Massey was our driver, I got to meet him, he was, you know, unbelievable. guys stand up guy. Same with BJ. And I'm sure it's pretty exciting to work with a younger group and try to establish yourself, I'm sure the winds are surreal. And but it gives you kind of a goal to get somewhere that you feel you're part of building something, you know what I mean, right,
Unknown Speaker 16:22
it's definitely a lot of fun, we do have a lot of younger kids, on our team. And it's cool to help them, you know, learn, get better as mechanics and stuff like that, then it's really cool to watch them learn and watch them get better as well.
Jeremy Perkins 16:42
Yeah, tell him to keep the tires on the car, I mean, been been the same struggle that we have at the shop, when you get the new guy come in. And you're just walking through the basics. And it's funny to get back to basics yourself and realize he could look at it in a different light. And you're like, I remember when I was a sage and that and took the wheels down properly or evenly or forgot to put the filter on or whatever. And you just see him make the mistakes that you made and kind of help them get through that entry level stuff is to some degree rewarding and you got to kind of empower the, the youth because I feel like that was one of the biggest issues our industry combined had faced was a lot of people kept the knowledge to themselves and didn't really want to help. And at the same time, it was a struggle to, you know, get somebody to teach you. So it's nice to be able to be part of a newer generation that's willing to give up the information willing to help willing to be a part of the day to day activity. So it sounds like you know, you get a chance to do that and bring up the next generation of mechanics and even down to the drivers, I'm sure you have a lot of knowledge when it comes to being a driver that a younger driver coming out might actually learn tips and tricks from you.
Unknown Speaker 18:00
Yeah, as far as the driving stuff, I never really got a stock car, you know, growing up. I played hockey and lacrosse, racing too expensive, you know, as far as being, and by no means that there are people who have been doing this for 2030 years, you know, you can always help the new kids and help them learn. Yeah, you might mess up, but it's alright, you know, we'll get through. Hopefully, it's nothing major.
Jeremy Perkins 18:28
You know, that's definitely one of the big takeaways is try to minimize the damage and correct. And, yeah, so let's talk about your physical fitness. So I watch these men and women in the pits, and I see them just hustling, and they all are for the most part in good physical condition is that something that you got to be, you know, in tip top shape to be able to compete at a professional level,
Unknown Speaker 19:00
I think it plays a big part of it. For sure. There is a lot of physical labor. As with any trade, especially pit crews, you know, your tire changers, your tack, tire carriers, you do have to be in pretty good shape, it's a lot of work, it only be for, you know 15 to 20 seconds at a time. But those 15 to 20 seconds are like as fast as you go. But also doing it right and correctly and 100% the whole time. So you got to be mentally sharp, as well as physically fit to be able to carry out, you know, and do your job.
Jeremy Perkins 19:43
Yeah, and for those who aren't familiar with NASCAR, when a car comes into pit, whether they're damaged or whether they need to tire change out, fuel, what have you, you and your team need to get it down as quickly as possible to get that car back out there to maintain position throughout the race.
Unknown Speaker 20:00
It's a big part of being on fit road and being a fish being quick. Like said you got to be in shape and sharp to get all that stuff done efficiently
Jeremy Perkins 20:12
when Mason had racked and loud and I noticed that everybody was on the wall, waiting for a Mason, a pet, and you had a saw as all other people had different tools, somebody was body slamming the hood of the car. I mean, it was chaos, but outside looking in, it seemed controlled. It was cool, everybody had a job, you know, the hood came open, you were looking down there to see what was going wrong. I guess. At that time, we broke a fitting off the radiator. So you know, that's kind of what knocked us out then. But, you know, somebody was taping the hood, close, everybody had a job, everybody knew what to do. And I feel like you guys practicing all the time. And having a cohesive team is really one of the biggest, you know, aspects of running a NASCAR car.
Unknown Speaker 20:59
So we'll take that one New Hampshire thing for instance, when he came down the road, he got rear ended it pushed into somebody else or he hit somebody else can't remember quite what happened during the crash. But when he comes off it road 3d sitting on the radiator, spit water, but the bumper bars because they're all to cast, the front stuff holds the nose in place. It's solid, but it's meant to give so when you do hit something, they bet or when they bend they can get they can interfere without the suspension can travel stuff like that. So I just saw Sonic jump over the bumper bars out where they needed to be so they didn't rub the tires got a tire down. So I was doing that, you know, they were opening the hood to look make sure everything under there was all good. It takes definitely a team effort to make sure everything tires are just the gas go for fixing crash damage, everyone. And sometimes you might need more than one person to get the hood close. Sometimes. It's really easy. Just it's a wreck by wreck. It's all kind of individual. But once we actually see it, we can work out a plan to fix it. But it has to be like the quickest plan you've ever made, you know?
Jeremy Perkins 22:31
Yeah, little mental clarity in an emergency situation. I mean, they look like you had taken charge in that instance. And you know whether by design or by default, you handled it very well. I mean granted, we couldn't get back out there but understand that I wish it was fun. I had a blast. I was like a kid in a candy store. It was awesome. But let's move into the next point. So this podcast has been all about NASCAR and let's just lighten it up a little bit. And what does Lauren like to do on her spare time you got the Mustangs I know you're into motorcycles and other motor sports like what do you do to unwind on your days off what really gets you going? Well,
Unknown Speaker 23:20
days off and stuff like that if I've got something to do on one of my personal cars, definitely knock that out pretty quickly. Usually first thing today, if not, if it's just kind of like this is Sunday, we're not really doing much. Hang out, has friends over cook, have a couple of beers and just relax you know, we don't get a lot of time to relax. So when we do we definitely take advantage of it. I'd say let's say like I said I love working on my cars we're actually pulling the motor out of our very first car and we're gonna put a new one in here in a couple of weeks. Just the same stock stuff but is the first car is the 2000 Toyota Celica It's nothing special, but it was the first car I ever put my own money into and ever, you know, really. I don't want to say no, it's just 16 1718 years old. I was working at a grocery store didn't a lot of money. So they were I could you know, lowered it a little bit. wheels on it. I built it I spent my own money. So I'm trying to bring it back to motors. So
Jeremy Perkins 24:38
I remember those days I mean it was like you wanted to dive into your vehicle you're 18 years old, you're like what can I do? And you didn't really have any no house so you're putting in a radio or he said things and tires might even put it under glow kit on it. Who knows it was a times we grew up and it was just putting around on your own stuff and then astounds a factor. Absolutely. And it also sounds like granted, racing seems like a pretty substantial part of your year. But it seems like you've created a nice family there. I had done the same in the military that like, you really couldn't get away from those people, you're barbecuing with the same people, you're going out to the movies with the same people. So it's nice to kind of have that family that, you know, bar fight breaks out. Somebody's got your back, no matter okay. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 25:26
no. 100% our team, like, a lot of us have been together for three going on for years now. And we're all really tight knit, the new kid comes in, you know, we give them a bunch of shit for the first three, four weeks. And, you know, to kind of prove themselves shit, because you know, that's what you do is brothers and sisters.
Jeremy Perkins 25:53
Right? Low, man. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 25:55
And so, so we're, like saving my Are you get mad at each other during the week, or on the weekends at the racetrack? Sunday afternoon, we all get together, have a couple beers, hang out, it's always a good time to be able to work around in an environment like that. I don't think you get that environment. Or that family sense. In other places. We're with each other 36 weeks, a year, if not more. Every day.
Jeremy Perkins 26:33
You have the same similarities. You have the same interests, you grow together, you eat, sleep, and essentially breathe together. It's a cool lifestyle. To some extent Wish I went into it. But there's like a million different things I wish I wanted.
Unknown Speaker 26:51
You know, it's like, oh, this is cool. Oh, this is cool. Like, I don't think there's one of us who doesn't have ADHD. Like we're so yeah, all over the place all the time. But somehow we still get what we need to get done, and have a good time.
Jeremy Perkins 27:09
If anybody's listening that wants to be a mechanic, that's one of the coolest things is the fact that like, I've had multiple career changes, as a mechanic, I went from being a mechanic in the military working on boats, that was what I did, I mean, I'm at marine mechanic schools were out on the water, you know, changing out generators, and working on big locomotive engines that you know, are in some of these bigger ships. So that was cool. And ADHD kicks in routine, all that stuff. And I'm like I want to change, I was able to transfer those skills to automotive, and then you know, now I own a farm. So there's now tractors and hay conveyors and all this stuff, even if mechanics isn't what you want to do long term or you decide that, you know, I've had enough of flat rate or just in general, I mean, you could always take those skills and apply them somewhere else, and you will be successful in what you do.
Unknown Speaker 28:04
Exactly, I would 100% agree with that. They might look different. One might float on water, one might fly through the air, one might drive on the interstate, one way, or 200 mile an hour on race track, they're all have the same base. They're all easily transferable from one to the other, the engine is always going to be those are never going to change gas or diesel motor, there's only one way from if it's not doing that, it's not gonna run, doesn't matter what it's carrying. You know, it doesn't matter, it's a stronger plane.
Jeremy Perkins 28:39
And that's where we step in to fix it. So we're wrapping this up. And you know, you guys are on your way down to Daytona. We're gonna see you down there. So that's going to be awesome. But I did want to take this time to let you say anything mentioned anybody that has mentored you or brought you up and then we'll come to a close here,
Unknown Speaker 29:00
the biggest challenge is getting someone to give you a shot, especially being a female in a very male dominated sport. It took me a minute to get my foot in the door once I did work your ass off. For people that you know you're going to use them to be there just like they can do a copy my first start. That was really awesome. BJ saw that is well. I had helped him on his cars when I was working on the cup series, did all his interiors for him. And I was looking for a job and he kind of helped me out too. He's He's always been a great guy.
Jeremy Perkins 29:48
Yeah, it was definitely a pleasure to meet all your teammates and BJ and you know Mason Mason's father. I look forward to all of that and even Philip Philip is hysterical Once again, thank you and I appreciate you being on bucket talk and kind of shed some light into NASCAR and motor sports and being a female in the industry. I think that that's big. I got, you know, a little girl. You know, I hope that that there are no barriers she needs to face when she wants to do something. So to empower our brothers and sisters in the trade could do this is huge. It's absolutely huge. Thank you. So, all right, well, I will see you down in Daytona. And thanks again. This was awesome force.