ODESSA, Texas – NHRA Pro Stock racer Chris McGaha has hired Brian Self to take over as crew chief of McGaha’s Pro Stock team beginning this weekend.
Self, nicknamed Lump, and McGaha have known one another for a long time. They raced against each other in the Lucas Oil Series Competition Eliminator category for years and then again when both graduated to Pro Stock Truck. In 2012 they joined forces with Self turning the wrenches on McGaha’s Harlow Sammons Pro Stocker for the first time.
“Lump approached me in Indy in 2012 and we talked, and he thought he could help us with our program,” said McGaha. “My dad, Lester, and I agreed. We decided to give it a try, and it was a good decision. We were pretty pleased.”
However, Self was also committed to another team that raced for an alternate sanctioning body, so he was unable to attend every race. When those commitments outside of NHRA grew in 2013, Self and McGaha agreed to amicably part ways.
“I’m excited to have him back,” said McGaha. “He was the guy calling the shots in 2012 when we qualified No. 6 at the world finals, and I never forgot that. I know what direction Lump’s going to go with our Harlow Sammons Chevy Camaro, and his personality fits so well with our team. It was an easy choice. We have the same goals – he’s hungry, and so are we.”
McGaha feels that the timing for the restructuring of the team couldn’t be better.
“It’s the midway point of the season, and it’s pivotal because you can see where you’ve been and where you’re going,” said McGaha, who came into the 2014 season in possession of the car, engines and equipment previously owned by world champion and regular No. 1 qualifier Mike Edwards. Early in the year McGaha logged a pair of low qualifier awards, but in each of the last six events he shockingly qualified in the bottom half of the field.
“The time was right to make this move, and I feel pretty optimistic about where we’re going. I’m a little nervous, of course. But I’m also excited because I know what’s about to happen: there will be a completely different car under that body. We might as well pull the wrap off of it because it’s going to be that different. But I think that says a lot about the confidence we have as a team. We’re coming out here making wholesale changes without testing anything first, and we feel good. We’re going to do this together.”
Self replaces former NHRA Pro Stock champion Jim Yates as crew chief for McGaha.