Q:

Why is Bootie Barker in a wheelchair?

A:

Bootie Barker is in a wheelchair because of a car accident when he was 17 years old in which he broke his neck and became paralyzed from the waist down. As a crew chief, Barker has worked for such drivers as Dave Blaney, Jeff Green, Michael Waltrip and Casey Mears.

After Barker's accident when he was a senior in high school, he went on to study at Old Dominion University. He graduated in 1994 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. A few years later, at the age of 32, he became crew chief for the Jasper Engines and Transmissions Ford team for driver Dave Blaney in the number 77 car. This made him one of the youngest crew chiefs in NASCAR history.

About 3 years after that, in 2006, Barker moved to Haas CNC Racing and became the crew chief for Jeff Green's number 66 Chevrolet. He only stayed with that team for about 2 years and, in 2008, started as crew chief for Michael Waltrip and his number 55 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota.

As of December 2014, Barker is crew chief for the GEICO Toyota Camry that is driven by Casey Mears. He can also be seen on a weekly NASCAR television program as a co-host for NASCAR Performance Weekly.


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