Driver, crew member bring beach to Race City USA

July 17, 2014, Staff report,

Jason Bowles, Chad Avrit open Swell Board Shop in Mooresville, North Carolina

As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes its final break of the year, many industry stakeholders have hit the water. When they return, they can find a bit of the beach in Race City USA, thanks to a driver and a tire changer from Southern California.

Chad Avrit, from El Centro, and Jason Bowles, from Ontario, grew up two hours from each other with a passion for board sports and racing. The 31-year-olds met when they moved to the Charlotte area to pursue their NASCAR dreams.

Avrit is a rear tire changer on the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports ride and part of Jeff Gordon's Sprint Framily. Bowles has 40 NASCAR Nationwide Series starts and four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races to his credit. In March the two teamed up to open Swell Board Shop in the new Langtree at the Lake development in Mooresville (exit 31 on Interstate 77).

NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Jason Bowles and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rear tire changer Chad Avrit opened Swell Board Shop in Mooresville, North Carolina in March (Credit: pixelcrisp)

"We wanted to create a West Coast-style board shop like Jason (Bowles) and I were accustomed to growing up in Southern California. This was something we felt was missing from the Lake Norman area," Avrit said.

Drivers, including Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart and Darrell Wallace Jr., have flocked to the shop near Lake Norman to pick up surfboards, skateboards, wake boards, stand-up paddle boards, accessories, eyewear and lifestyle apparel from brands like Volcom, Globe, Freewater, Hurley and Von Zipper.

"It seems like so many in the racing community enjoy the same lake and water sports, such as wake surfing and stand-up paddle boarding, that inspired us to start Swell Board Shop in the first place,” Bowles said.

As Avrit attempts to help Gordon win a record fifth Brickyard 400 (July 27, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN) on the 20th anniversary of the four-time champion's first win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, he's thankful for the industry's interest in his new business venture

"We are so appreciative of the overwhelming support Swell has received from the racing community since the doors opened in March,” said Avrit. "The word is really starting to spread around the Charlotte area and on social media."

Follow Swell Board Shop on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and for more information, go to

Swell Board Shop in Mooresville, North Carolina (Credit: pixelcrisp)


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