By Ben White
Joey Forgette, body template specialist for Richard Petty Motorsports and driver Aric Almirola, was introduced to stock car racing as a child through his father’s job at a local short track.
“To be honest, I wasn’t real big into it while I was growing up,” Forgette said. “My Dad and I used to go to a local short track close to my hometown in Norway, Mich. It was a small quarter-mile paved track. He would drive the wrecker for races there and for work and stuff.”
Forgette started his career with Key Motorsports and PPC Racing, as well as several smaller Xfinity teams over a five-year period. Then his career began to come together.
While at PPC, Forgette befriended Todd Gordon, current crew chief for Joey Logano and Team Penske. Knowing him proved instrumental in his career.
“I got along with Todd very well,” Forgette said. “He worked in the Camping World Truck Series for one year before joining Joe Gibbs Racing, where he worked on the Xfinity team before they joined the Cup shop. He later joined RPM and in his third year of Cup competition.
“On our team, I deal with template issues. NASCAR has limited downforce on these cars so they don’t make very much. They make half of what a truck makes so we try to find 10, 15, 20 pounds from the wind tunnel reports. I do a lot of detail work on them to try and make them good every week. I handle any issues we may have that week and also help the guys out on the team.”
QUOTE: “I do a lot of special project stuff. I get to be creative. I like to fabricate. With the way the racecars are, I do more now than what I was doing as a front-end mechanic over the past seven years.”
EXTRA LAPS WITH JOEY FORGETTE
CHILDREN: Zachary (14)
HOMETOWN: Iron Mountain, Mich.
FAVORITE VACATION SPOT: Italy
FAVORITE HOLIDAY: Christmas
FAVORITE SEASON: Spring
FAVORITE TV SHOW: Seinfeld
FAVORITE MOVIE: Gladiator
FAVORITE MUSIC: All music