The team’s organizational chart lists Bill Smith as crew chief and spotter, Brett Repella as the Pro 4 lead mechanic and shop leader and Brandon Chavez as the lead mechanic on the Pro 2 truck. Then there are Tommy Orduno, who Renezeder said could be a crew chief anywhere else; Drew Spangler, who’s getting more involved in fabrication; Mike Karaba, who does the machining and drivetrains; Lou Cirignano, who handles marketing and accounting; his wife Kelley and their four children; his parents; and Jon Wolf, Jim Hogle, Doug Hyde and John Orduno, who join the team on event weekends.
“Most of these guys have worked together and been there the whole way,” Renezeder said. “Some of them have left and then come back, but for the most part these are the guys I started with.”
Repella, who had been with Rod Millen Motorsports before joining Renezeder in 1992, said one of the keys is that “for the most part everybody gets along pretty well. We’re pretty much like family.”
The difference, obviously, is that this family is a result of invitation and choice instead of genetics.
“You definitely need to look for certain characteristics, for guys who love to race and are willing to do what it takes because racing is not a typical job,” Renezeder said. “The personalities need to mesh together, and over the years that’s kind of played itself out. It’s really important to team morale that everybody gets along and everybody feels the same commitment because if one guy’s not committed as much as the others it starts to cause issues on the team.”
Renezeder said his team has managed to avoid most of those types of issues because “we have a lot of respect for each other and we don’t point the finger. We just fix stuff and try to get better every time. We lean on everybody. Everybody’s part is equal because if one part fails you don’t succeed.
“It’s a team effort, everybody knows that. There’s always stuff along the way, but you just treat everybody fairly, everybody treats everybody else with respect and things work out. There really are no conflicts on this team and there haven’t been for a while.”
The Laguna Beach, Calif., resident also is well aware that success begets success, and vice versa.
“Winning never gets old,” he said. “If we stopped winning that would not be good for team morale. I don’t think the guys would be as devoted as they are if they didn’t think we could win and that’s natural.
“I wouldn’t be as interested in racing if I didn’t think I could win.”