At age 5, John Klausmeier would dismantle worn-out carburetors in his family’s Perry Hall auto shop to examine their innards. Now, at 37, he is crew chief for one of NASCAR’s top race teams.
As a kid, Klausmeier raced rusty old riding mowers at 10 mph around a banked dirt oval on his grandfather’s farm. Now, he builds sophisticated cars that roar down high-tech tracks at 20 times that speed.
Clearly, he has found his calling.
“I’ve reached the level where I want to be,” said Klausmeier, one of the youngest crew chiefs on the NASCAR circuit. “The job is like that of a head football coach; the work is demanding and it never stops. But you pinch yourself sometimes to make...