Mark Ewing (Crew Chief)

Growing up working on projects in the garage with my dad is where it all began; we worked on boats, cars, and motorcycles. This was where the disease started at an early age. As time moved on, I found myself employed at a Big O Tires store after school. This is where I spotted a 1965 SCCA A Sports Racer Corvette sitting in the end bay. It didn’t take long before I was working late into the night prepping it for racing at Riverside Raceway.

Having learned my way around the track, helping anybody in the pit area that needed help, I was hooked! After a year or so, my dad bought Dave Ward’s A Sports Racer 1963 Corvette Roadster, which kept me still working late nights in the garage with Dad. Eventually, this led to an SCCA regional championship.

In true racing progression, my dad bought a tube-chassis late-model Camaro that we campaigned in SCCA and a few Winston West races. This car was beyond our general mechanic ability, which is where the great Bill Osborne and Tim Fleenor came into play. Often, we would wind up in Bill’s shop helping with anything we could for a little help on our car — are you seeing the connection here? Little did I know at the time that a 1969 Camaro sitting on stands in Bill’s shop would be the baddest Camaro of all time: Big Red!

In the early ’90s, my dad was running a satellite car of Gottlieb’s Raceway Motorsports from his garage, and once again I found myself helping in every spare moment. He eventually won the ACC Class at the Long Beach Grand Prix. It was that evening when Dan offered me a position at Raceway, where Dan and RJ were campaigning cars in IMSA, SCCA, Super Production and the Big Red Camaro in the Silver State Classic. I was fortunate enough to attend the final Silver State with Big Red before it was retired to Don Laughlin’s Riverside Restort Hotel & Casino car collection museum.

After working beside Dave at Raceway for a year and half, I met Amber, the beautiful woman I would marry and leave California for, to start a family with
in Texas. While working to be a good husband, father and worker, it was on a family trip to California where I drove to Dave’s shop, walked in, and had a great laugh after he realized who I was! Much to my surprise, I spotted Big Red under a cover and said, “Hey, I know that hot rod! What’s up with Big Red?” Dave got that smile few of us know and said, “We’re running it again; in fact, we are going to the Texas Mile in March!” I made a mental note of that, chatted for a bit and off I went!

I showed up unannounced with my oldest son at the Texas Mile in March, expecting to see all the folks and have a few laughs. It took all of about an hour before I was working on the car, as if I’d never been away. From that race on, I’ve flown in and crewed the car at every event I could make while maintaining a demanding superintendent position building Kroger grocery stores throughout Texas. As the racing schedule increased, the need to turn the car around quickly also increased, and with a complete restore in the near future, an offer was made to me to walk away from a 35-year career as a carpenter and superintendent and come back to California to work full time on Big Red under Dave’s direction. A lifelong passion and dream had come true. What an honor it has been to be here. I have to thank my wife Amber and boys Justin and Terry for the sacrifices and understanding it takes to allow me to follow my dream!

Huge thanks to Dan and RJ for the incredible opportunity, and last to Dave and Lorna for their support and trust that I get the job done.

The Big red's Crew