This story first appeared on NASCAR.com in October of 2013
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitors simply can't risk a substandard shock setup. It literally can be the difference between a 30th-place finish or tasting the champagne in Victory Lane.
Most teams employs at least one shock specialist who is charged with finding the right combination that will allow the car to get as low to the ground as possible without dragging the nose of the Gen-6 model.
Hendrick Motorsport crew chief Alan Gustafson relies on veteran shock specialist Chris Golder to make sure Jeff Gordon's No. 24 Chevrolet SS has precise handling and comfort from Martinsville to Texas and everywhere else on the circuit.
Golder, 33, grew up in Alpharetta, Ga., greasing his passion for restoring cars alongside his dad who owned an automotive repair shop.
Working at the shop through high school and college, Golder says, helped him gain the majority of his mechanical knowledge and experience.