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Gaunt Brothers Racing

Gaunt Brothers Racing (GBR) fields the No. 96 Toyota Camry for driver Daniel Suárez in the NASCAR Cup Series. The Mooresville, North Carolina-based team is owned by Marty Gaunt, the CEO of Triad Racing Technologies. Gaunt founded GBR in 2010, with his eponymous team starting out in the Canada-based NASCAR Pinty’s Series and the U.S.-based NASCAR K&N Pro Series. Its first driver, Jason Bowles, scored GBR’s maiden victory in the 2011 Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway in California, with the precursor to that win being the pole position in track-record time at the 2011 Streets of Toronto 100. After seven years competing in NASCAR’s development divisions, Gaunt stepped up to the NASCAR Cup Series in 2017, entering the Daytona 500 with driver D.J. Kennington. After running a part-time NASCAR Cup Series schedule in 2018 and 2019 where GBR made a total of 37 starts with a handful of drivers, GBR committed to a full schedule in 2020.

Team Owner – Marty Gaunt

Marty Gaunt built his motorsports career from the ground up, with the Toronto-native rising from local street-stock racer at bullrings in southeastern Canada to that of team owner in the elite NASCAR Cup Series.

Gaunt founded Gaunt Brothers Racing (GBR) in 2010, with his eponymous team starting out in the Canada-based NASCAR Pinty’s Series and the U.S.-based NASCAR K&N Pro Series. Its first driver, Jason Bowles, scored GBR’s maiden victory in the 2011 Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway, with the precursor to that win being the pole position in track-record time at the 2011 Streets of Toronto 100.

After seven years competing in NASCAR’s development divisions, Gaunt stepped up to the NASCAR Cup Series in 2017, entering the Daytona 500 with driver D.J. Kennington. Running a part-time Cup Series schedule in 2018 and 2019, with GBR making a total of 37 starts with a handful of drivers, prepared GBR for its biggest move yet – a full-time assault on the NASCAR Cup Series in 2020 with driver Daniel Suárez.

The scope of this endeavor is large, but thanks to a diverse motorsports lineage, Gaunt is well suited to the task.

Gaunt is a hands-on team owner, a trait that goes back to his 10-year tenure as a service manager at Canadian Tire. That early career role allowed him to touch motorsports, which led to opportunities in the ARCA Racing Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series that prompted Gaunt to move to North Carolina in 1996, where he has become a NASCAR mainstay.

Gaunt’s work ethic caught the eye of Michael Kranefuss, the former head of Ford Motor Company’s Special Vehicle Operations. After a 15-year career at Ford, Kranefuss went NASCAR racing, forming Kranefuss-Haas Racing in 1994 with motorsports magnate Carl Haas. Kranefuss hired Gaunt in 1997 to be the team’s general manager, whereupon he oversaw massive change as Kranefuss-Haas became Penske-Kranefuss Racing in 1998, going from a single-car team to a multi-car team and, ultimately, becoming Penske Racing in 2000.

Gaunt took on a diverse role in 2001-2002, spotting for Kyle Petty in the NASCAR Cup Series while also working with the Petty family on the construction of Victory Junction Gang Camp, a children’s camp in Randleman, North Carolina, founded by Kyle and Pattie Petty in honor of their late son, Adam.

Race team management lured Gaunt back to NASCAR fulltime in 2003. He joined Robby Gordon Motorsports and stayed there through 2004 as Gordon competed in the Xfinity Series a driver/owner.

The experience pushed Gaunt into team ownership in late 2004, forming Clean Line Motorsports in the NASCAR Truck Series with driver Brandon Whitt. Clean Line Motorsports became Red Horse Racing in 2005 and, as that team grew, Gaunt was lured to help start Red Bull’s nascent NASCAR team in 2006. He stayed there through 2007 as the team’s vice president and general manager. From Clean Line to Red Horse to Red Bull, Gaunt’s association with Toyota began, with the Truck Series teams fielding Tundras while Red Bull campaigned Camrys.

Team ownership, however, continued to beckon Gaunt. He joined Bill Davis Racing in 2008, again serving as general manager, and when Davis decided to sell the NASCAR team at the end of the season, Gaunt seized the opportunity to not only become a team owner again, but an engine manufacturer by also purchasing Triad Racing Technologies. This is where Gaunt’s Toyota ties strengthened.

Triad Racing Technologies grew to become the exclusive distributor of Toyota parts in NASCAR. Triad leased engines to teams across all three NASCAR national touring series – Cup, Xfinity and Truck – as well as the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series, the USAC Silver Crown Series, a handful of dirt modified series, and other customer programs in the off-road community. Triad made its mark under Gaunt’s watch, powering 10 manufacturer championships, five drivers’ titles, 112 race wins and 91 pole positions.

Gaunt focused on Triad Racing Technologies in 2009 and, once established, waded back into the waters of team ownership in 2010 with the formation of GBR.

From those humble beginnings in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series and K&N Pro Series, GBR is now ready to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the powerhouse teams of the NASCAR Cup Series. The 28-year-old Suárez brings both youth and experience to GBR, with the 2020 season marking his fourth year in Cup. Suárez is paired with crew chief Dave Winston, who joined GBR from Richard Childress Racing where he was vehicle performance group engineer and also the race engineer for driver Daniel Hemric.

When Suárez, the 2016 Xfinity Series champion, became available at the end of the 2019 season, Gaunt quickly recruited him. And after having worked with Winston during their time at Red Bull, Gaunt saw the analytical Winston as the ideal fit for Suárez. Despite all the newness, the stalwart in the entire operation remains Toyota, with GBR’s No. 96 Camrys now a fulltime member of the NASCAR Cup Series.

Gaunt and his wife Cindy reside in Cornelius, North Carolina. They have two children, Shannon and Parker.

General Manager – Mark Chambers

Mark Chambers is the general manager at Gaunt Brothers Racing, responsible for all the competition-related elements of the NASCAR Cup Series team, including holistic oversight of its engineering capabilities.

Chambers holds an electrical engineering degree from Indiana State University and a master’s degree in business and data analytics from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC).

Shortly after graduating from Indiana State in May 1990, Chambers joined AlliedSignal, an aerospace, automotive and engineering company. There, he worked in the company’s aircraft wheel and brake systems division. But his true passion was motorsports, and Chambers was determined to break into the industry.

That break came with Pi Research, a U.K.-based manufacturer of data acquisition hardware and software designed specifically for race teams. Chambers provided product sales, management and support to a variety of series, most notably, NASCAR, INDYCAR and IMSA, as well as for such manufacturers as General Motors and Ford. By 1999, he was the vice president of business development for Pi Research, and with the company’s NASCAR business expanding, Chambers relocated to North Carolina to oversee a new office specifically created to serve the needs of Pi Research’s NASCAR customers.

That NASCAR connection led Chambers to join Richard Childress Racing in 2003, where he took a position within the NASCAR team’s burgeoning engineering department.

But Chambers’ entrepreneurial instincts drove him to start Race Data Solutions, Inc., in April 2014. His company provided data acquisition services to GM Racing and, specifically, Pratt Miller, an engineering and product development company that supports GM Racing’s interests, particularly in sports cars and NASCAR. Chambers’ efforts helped Corvette Racing win the American Le Mans Series GTS championships in 2004-2005, along with the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans in those same years.

Chambers was drawn back to NASCAR in October 2005 when he joined Bill Davis Racing as general manager of the team’s NASCAR Truck Series program. Chambers led Bill Davis Racing to more than 40 combined wins and poles, highlighted by the 2008 Truck Series championship with driver Johnny Benson.

Concurrently, Gaunt Brothers Racing team owner Marty Gaunt joined joined Bill Davis Racing in 2008, serving as general manager of the team’s NASCAR Cup Series operation. When Davis decided to sell the NASCAR team at the end of the season, Gaunt seized the opportunity to not only become a team owner, but an engine manufacturer by also purchasing Triad Racing Technologies.

Gaunt installed Chambers as the general manager, and Triad Racing Technologies grew to become the exclusive distributor of Toyota parts in NASCAR. Triad leased engines to teams across all three NASCAR national touring series – Cup, Xfinity and Truck – as well as the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series, the USAC Silver Crown Series, a handful of dirt modified series, and other customer programs in the off-road community. Triad made its mark, powering 10 manufacturer championships, five drivers’ titles, 112 race wins and 91 pole positions.

With Triad Racing Technologies well established, Gaunt formed Gaunt Brothers Racing in 2010, and of all the decisions that needed to be made to get the team up and running, choosing a general manager was easy. Chambers has been with the team since its inception, and in 2018 picked up his master’s degree from UNCC.

Chambers resides in Huntersville, North Carolina, with his wife, Kim. The couple has two children, Kris and Lydia.

Technical Director – Nick Ollila

Nick Ollila (pronounced Ol-li-lah) is the technical director at Gaunt Brothers Racing, with the motorsport veteran overseeing the team’s engineering department.

Ollila came to Gaunt Brothers Racing in May 2020 after a three-year stint as the technical director for Kelly Racing in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship. The Warren, Michigan-native returned to the United States in time for the resumption of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series schedule, which began May 17 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway as NASCAR became one of the first major North American sports to return to action since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Nick brings considerable insight into what we’re doing with our current inventory of racecars and what we’ll be doing with our NextGen car in 2022,” said Marty Gaunt, president and CEO, Gaunt Brothers Racing. “He has deep experience in all forms of motorsports, specifically in embracing technology and managing people. Nick also has a strong rapport with our partner Toyota, as many of the people he worked with when he was at Red Bull are the same people there today.”

Gaunt first worked with Ollila in 1997 when the two were at Kranefuss-Haas Racing. Gaunt was the general manager of the NASCAR Cup Series team and Ollila was its chief engineer. Their NASCAR paths crossed again 10 years later when both worked at Red Bull Racing – Gaunt as vice president and general manager, and Ollila as chief aerodynamicist.

“It’s the people who make the cars go, and Nick has been making cars go since the early ‘70s,” Gaunt said. “We’re lucky to have a lot of long-term employees who have been with us for 10 years, but scaling up from running a part-time schedule to a full schedule meant bringing in more people. Coming up with the recipe of having all the right people in all the right places isn’t easy, but Nick is a good chef.”

NASCAR is where Ollila has spent the bulk of his career, which includes being the drivetrain specialist at Rod Osterlund Racing in 1980 when Dale Earnhardt won the first of his seven NASCAR Cup Series championships.

“Motorsports is my passion, and I’m proud to have turned it into a career,” Ollila said. “I’ve spent time in a variety of racing series, but NASCAR is the one that intrigues me the most. The level of competition is unmatched, so success is very satisfying. I’ve known and worked with Marty Gaunt and many of the people at Gaunt Brothers Racing for years. They’ve got a great foundation and they’re building for the future, and I’m very happy to be a part of shaping that future.”

Ollila’s racing career began at Team Penske in 1972 as a mechanic. He prepared cars for each of the series in which the organization competed, a lineup that included INDYCAR, NASCAR, Can-Am, Formula 5000, sports cars and Formula One.

NASCAR became Ollila’s focus in late 1976. He joined DiGard Racing as the team’s drivetrain specialist, working with NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip until the end of the 1978 season, whereupon he went to work for Osterlund.

INDYCAR and Penske beckoned in 1982, and Ollila returned as the team’s engine builder, enjoying four championships (1982, 1983, 1985 and 1988) and four Indianapolis 500 victories (1984, 1985, 1987 and 1988).

That Penske connection led Ollila back to NASCAR in 1990, where he became the lead engineer for Hall of Fame driver Rusty Wallace. It was the beginning of a 20-year stint in NASCAR.

Ollila worked at Kranefuss-Haas Racing from 1995-1997 where he established and led the engineering and aerodynamics departments. He then went on to an eight-year career at Roush-Fenway Racing as its chief engineer and director of aerodynamics. In 2005, Ollila moved to Richard Childress Racing as its director of aerodynamics where he implemented Indoor GPS, a laser-based measuring system for large-scale metrology that was a first for the industry.

In September 2007, Ollila joined nascent Red Bull Racing as chief aerodynamicist. His efforts greatly aided the team’s development, a point punctuated by driver Brian Vickers scoring the outfit’s maiden victory in August 2009 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn and qualifying for the NASCAR Playoffs.

Ollila served as a consultant specializing in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and computer-aided design (CAD) from 2010-2016 before heading overseas to Australia, where his first stint was at Arise Racing. There, he was the operations manager and technical director, which segued to his role with Kelly Racing in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship in late 2017.