Attention to detail guides Villanueva’s work for the No. 5

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Concord, N.C. — To the bare eye, racing appears to be an person sport. A person driver for each and every motor vehicle. On a closer glimpse, nevertheless, you’ll see an entire team of team customers devoted to supplying their driver the quickest auto achievable.

Just one space of the motor vehicle that calls for substantial awareness is the inside. Driver cockpits are constructed for velocity, not consolation. For interior mechanic Cesar Villanueva, his objective for the duration of the 7 days is to in good shape the the inside of the No. 5 Chevrolet to his driver, Kyle Larson.

At the observe, Villanueva performs as a tire mechanic, gathering measurements from each tire that will come off the automobile and reporting that information to the team’s crew chief, Cliff Daniels. In between these two obligations, Villanueva’s work is very important to the results of the crew.

“Correct immediately after a race weekend is about, we have to prepare for the future 1,” Villanueva claimed. “You have to get parts all set for the subsequent 7 days, so you conclude up constructing the car or truck, all the finer specifics, I guess. You are going to have a seat in the car or truck, tubes in the vehicle, just driver preference stuff that you have to put into the up coming week’s auto that was in the prior car.” 

Compared with quite a few some others in the shop, racing wasn’t a childhood fascination for Villanueva. In simple fact, it was not until finally his college days that the New Jersey native began to follow in the activity. After observing the 2001 DAYTONA 500 and seeing the affect that the passing of Dale Earnhardt had on the market, he started to look at NASCAR for the to start with time.

“I had never ever read of Dale Earnhardt right until that instant,” Villanueva mentioned. “He was a huge deal and he adjusted the sport. The up coming 7 days I was observing Rockingham and then Vegas and so on.”

Following finding his start in the market in 2003, Villanueva commenced doing work with smaller sized teams before going his way up to the NASCAR Cup Collection and then landing with Hendrick Motorsports in 2018. Even with several years of experience in the activity, his most thriving period came in 2021 when Larson and the No. 5 crew won 10 races as properly as the All-Star Race and the 2021 Cup Series championship.

Related: Road to the championship: Glance again at Larson’s most significant 2021 moments&#13

While previous season’s dominance and championship will normally be remembered fondly, it was a minute from earlier in the season that he regards as his favorite. Immediately after Larson brought residence the 600-mile crown jewel race at Charlotte for the file-environment 269th Cup Sequence acquire for Hendrick Motorsports, Villanueva was ultimately capable to rejoice with his mothers and fathers in victory lane.

“I had my dad and mom there that weekend,” Villanueva said. “For all these yrs, I’ve been accomplishing this a while and never received to have my parents with me in victory lane, hardly ever obtained to get a race and we gained, and they were being there for it. Later on, we took photos with the checkered flag and every little thing from the race. That was pretty cool.”

With the 2022 time shifting even more together, Villanueva and the entire No. 5 team are wanting for a 2nd straight Cup Collection championship. The crew will return to motion this weekend for the Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway. You can catch the race on Sunday on NBC at 5 p.m. ET

Similar: Viewer’s information, quickly info for Nashville race weekend

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