If you had told Craig Sims he would be involved in NASCAR and dirt track racing at the age of 41, he wouldn’t have believed it.

The Rugby resident says the Hope area is where he was born, lives and will likely die – at least that is his plan. In a recent conversation, Sims, who owns Professional Concrete Cutting, discussed what brought him to the racing scene, how he came to launch PCC Motorsports, and where he sees this latest venture taking him in the future.

Q: So, let’s start at the beginning. How did you get into racing and how did PCC Motorsports come about?
A: I got into it this past summer. My youngest daughter, Tessa, is dating Hudson O’Neal who races Lucas Oil late models. O’Neal had a falling out with the team he was with and we were sponsoring him and saw an opportunity to put a team together. So we did. So and one thing led to another and our competitive nature took over.

Q: How has this first year been for you and the team?
A: Now we are running across the nation in the Lucas Oil dirt series. It’s been very quick progress; we’ve had some decent results but not the ones we are looking for. That obviously takes time to build any kind of team or business or program of any sort.

Q: Tell us about the racing shop you recently opened.
A: We have two tentatively. One is at my house and the other is in Mooresville, North Carolina. That is like NASCAR country. We went down and spent a week with the guys and Joey Logano was in the shop, but that is their everyday life down there. North Carolina is all racing and NASCAR stuff and that is just what they do there.

Q: So what is your day job?
A: I work for Professional Concrete Cutting and Drilling at the junction of State Road 9 east of Hope. We kind of outgrew the industrial park where we were and built a new shop at the junction.

Q: You weren’t always into racing. You used to coach high school sports locally?
A: At the high school level I coached for about eight years. Around traveling, playing softball and basketball altogether I coached about 18 years in the Hope community.

Q: So what would you say if someone had told you that you would be this involved in racing today? Would you have believed it?
A: No. My dad raced and my brother raced at Brownstown. I remember growing up and spending about every Saturday night at the race track. Mom would take us around to the sporting events we had and when we were done we went to the track. After dad kind of semi-retired from racing, I was involved and grew up playing in the dirt, but my objective has always been to make money and racing costs money.

Q: So what is your role with the racing shop at the moment?
A: I help out where I can, but as far as working on stuff, I am pretty much just the owner.

Q: How many team members do you have?
A: We have a total of four, including the driver. That is pretty much full time on the team. And then there are vendors and other outside resources we use.

Q: How often do you travel to North Carolina?
A: We kind of use it as a vacation and go to the race track and get away for a bit.

Q: What do you enjoy most about being involved with racing?
A: You know, I think it filled a gap. I coached for so many years and enjoyed working with kids and enjoyed the competition. When our girls went to college I continued to coach a little bit, but it wasn’t the same. The kids I worked with growing up I knew everyone and they knew me. A lot of stuff changed in the Hope community and the atmosphere changed. When I retired I was kind of lost because I’d done it for so long. I take on more than I can handle, but that is my makeup. And I think that racing kind of filled that gap for me.

Q: What has been the most challenging part of this new venture for you?
A: The most challenging thing is learning. I want to know as much about racing as I possibly can. But obviously, racing isn’t what pays the bills. So my time spent with it studying and learning as much as I can is limited. So I am relying on others. My makeup and mentality is I want to know all about it so I understand it completely. So the hardest part is learning to rely on others to take care of stuff and trust their judgment because my knowledge is not there.

Q: How many hours do you dedicate to being in the shop/to racing?
A: I probably work about 55 hours per week with my normal job and another 15 to 20 hours on the weekend racing side of things.

Q: Is this new racing venture year round?
A: Yes. There is an off season. We were running down in the Carolinas and northern Florida during the off season.

Q: What are your hopes for this? Maybe do full time eventually?
A: All car owners in the dirt division – and it is growing tremendously – are in the same situation I’m in. They own the equipment and set up the sponsorships and the teams do all the work. Ultimately, my goal is this year for us to win the rookie of the year championship and ultimately win the Lucas Oil championship.

Q: Do you plan to stick with NASCAR scene?
A: No, heck no. Number one, I don’t have that kind of money. And number two, their racing is going backwards and it shows. One of the major newspapers recently wrote that dirt track racing is one of the most overlooked markets out there. NASCAR’s ratings have continued to go down and dirt track numbers are up. Dirt track has more excitement to it and it is still an Old School way of racing.

Q: Are there any other thoughts you would care to share?
A: If it wasn’t for my wife, Shannon, putting up with all the crazy hours I spend doing it and money I spend on it, it wouldn’t be happening.