Dave Vinesett, a veteran gasman of more than 10 years in the NASCAR National Series ranks, has officially called it a career following Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series season-ending event at Phoenix Raceway.
Alpha Prime Racing, which Vinesett pitted for this season, announced Vinesett’s retirement in a post shared to X on Monday.
Our gasman Dave Vinesett called it a career this past weekend after fueling race cars for over 10 years!@DVinesett has been the heart and soul of our pit crew for the past few seasons and has all of our best wishes in his retirement.
Thanks for the memories, Dave! ?? pic.twitter.com/ncqkJiddQC
— Alpha Prime Racing (@TeamAlphaPrime) November 6, 2023
In an exclusive interview with TobyChristie.com, Martins spoke highly of Vinesett, who was a part of the over-the-wall crew for Alpha Prime Racing over the last couple of seasons.
“Big guy with a really big heart,” Martins said of Vinesett.
Vinesett landed at Alpha Prime Racing as a contractor through The Pickle Gang, an independent pit crew development and staffing business, and when he first landed on the Alpha Prime roster, Vinesett had made up his mind that it would be the team he would retire with.
“He was, right from the get-go when we first announced this [team] — you gotta understand a lot of our pit crew guys are really independent guys and girls for that matter where they’re not necessarily affiliated with a Cup team. They’re all kind of independent contractors that go train at Rev Racing, but it’s a company organized by Jeremy Turner and it’s very independent. They’re not affiliated with one of the big pit schools or any of that. They kind of made a decision to kind of bet on themselves and they’re not necessarily pitting in the Cup series. Maybe they are, maybe they’re not. But really Alpha Prime became like the biggest series for a lot of those guys, right? And for Dave, who had pitted in the Cup series and had done it at that level, really, this was, we talked about it when he first came over here with us, that this was kind of gonna be his home until he retired.”
Martins says that Vinesett had dealt with knee injuries over the course of his pit crew career, and he knew when Vinesett landed on Alpha Prime Racing that the veteran crew member likely only had a couple of years left. But even with his career winding down, Vinesett became a leader within the team.
“This really became a focus for him. Just trying to be on a competitive organization for the last few years of his career and we were able to hopefully make that happen at times, you know, this year. But we had such an interesting mix where Dave kind of became the veteran of a group of kind of some younger pit crew members and, and kind of various cast-offs really, if you think about it,” Martins explained. “The people that aren’t just directly affiliated with a cup program that are independent people and you kind of had a mixed match of personalities and people together and Dave really became a veteran leader for those groups. [He was] just so well respected throughout the entire garage. So many young pit crew people met Dave and know Dave. [Dave has a] terrific attitude. I mean, just 10 out of 10 attitude all the time, positive and competitive. And a guy that we’re gonna miss a whole lot. His demeanor at the track was something always that we would look forward to seeing him every, every week he made the weekend better.”
As far as what is next for Vinesett, Martins says that the longtime crew member has joked that he still wants to remain with Alpha Prime Racing in some capacity going forward.
“I think the next phase of his life, you know, he’s already joking with me about how much he wants to try to stay around the team,” Martins said. “I feel like it was a beneficial thing for both sides of us and this was his home for a couple of years on the weekends with us and we absolutely loved having him.”