Smyrna High Alum Is Major Player in NASCAR - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Smyrna High Alum Is Major Player in NASCAR


DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - The first race weekend of the year is here for Dover International Speedway.

NASCAR comes to town twice a year. For one man, a trip to Kent County is a trip home. Ty Norris is the general manager for Michael Waltrip Racing.

Open the Smyrna High School yearbook from 1983, and there you'll find a young Norris smiling back at you.

"We moved here in 1978," he said. "Oddly enough, we moved here on a race weekend. We got kicked out of our hotel, because the race fans were coming in."

Norris says he loved racing growing up.

"I feel like I grew up at Dover (International Speedway)."

He went to college next to it. In addition to being a Smyrna alum, he's also an alum of Delaware State. Norris actually started reporting on NASCAR for the News Journal while he was in college.

"All of that gave me exposure to the Winston Cup media director," Norris said. "In 1990, he asked me if I wanted to interview for a job in the industry."

He worked his way up to becoming general manager of Michael Waltrip Racing. It's a job he says is like being general manager of teams in other sports.

"You have responsibilities to budget. You have responsibilities to recruit. Your job is to put the best athletes on the field/track."

One of the guys he recruited, Clint Bowyer, in the #15 car.

"A great guy. A great leader," Bowyer said. "A huge asset for everyone at MWR. He played a big role in me moving over to MWR."

Bowyer was surprised to learn Norris once called this region home.

"He's from here?" he asked. "Well, glad he's home. Hope we can win for him."

Norris hopes so, too. Or, at the very least -  "I just tell them I have a lot of family around here," he said. "Let's not embarrass me."

Norris says his sister and nephew still live in the Dover area.

He really is expecting big things from the three drivers he has in the main race this weekend, Martin Truex, Jr., Mark Martin and Bowyer. Norris says he'll be disappointed if they all don't finish in the top eight.

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