Wyben Native Enjoying Opportunity In NASCAR

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Levi Porter a native out of Wyben works as a Race Engineer on Daniel Suarez’s # 19 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series car owned by Joe Gibbs Racing.  Wyben is a part of Westfield. Porter talked about his visit to 22News when the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series visited a couple weeks ago. 

Porter grew up on a dairy farm in Wyben. He grew up without having cable TV.  

“You don’t miss what you don’t have. We were lucky we had a 70-acre dairy farm and could always go and play in the woods and play outside. That’s just what we did growing up but not having cable. One of the only things that was typically on was NASCAR races on Sunday. Kind of grew up watching those,” said Porter. 

Porter was always into mechanical things. He thought after college he would try to get a job with an auto manufacturer like Chevrolet or Ford. He ended up meeting the guys he works for now in Michigan. Porter made the move to North Carolina 10 years ago and the rest is history. 

Porter was valedictorian when he graduated from Westfield Technical Academy back in 2004. His younger brother also graduated as a valedictorian. His sister and older brother also to Westfield Technical Academy.

Porter did not go to the short tracks in the area growing up mainly because of the dairy farm. 

“We we’re always so busy with work. It was hard to get away even for a day or an afternoon so we never went to races or baseball games or anything like that growing up,” said Porter. 

Porter told 22News that it’s been a fabulous 10 years working for Joe Gibbs Racing. 

“Coach (Joe Gibbs), and J.D. (Gibbs) and Coy (Gibbs) are all great. They all make you feel like your part of it. Just one big family the whole shop,” said Porter.

Porter said it has been a lot of fun working Daniel Suarez.  Last year Porter worked with Matt Kenseth. He started working for Suarez this season. 

“It’s been a unique experience going from a veteran driver to a younger driver that’s kind of coming up in the sport. Kind of watching him grow and learn has been very exciting,” said Porter. 

Porter worked with Kenseth for three seasons as he was part of Kenseth’s win at the Magic Mile. The one in 2015 was a big one where he beat Kevin Harvick and won the Chase race. 

“That’s was one of the great memories at Joe Gibbs,” said Porter. 

To win at his home track where Porter’s events were there to witness. It was a special one.  

Before Porter went to start working for Joe Gibbs full-time, he saw Joey Logano capture his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win back in June 2009.  Porter was enjoying a little bit of summer. He moved down to North Carolina full time and came out to hang out with his buddies. They were watching and the rain came that day as Logano scored his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win. 

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races 36 weeks out of the year.  Porter told 22News it can get tough at times. 

“It has its ups and its downs but I think every week being different and each track having its own unique challenges. It’s kind of what keeps you excited for the next week and the next week. We have a couple off weekends sprinkled in there. Kind of breaks it up. When you’re in Charlotte, you don’t have to really travel. You get to sleep in your own bed. That makes it nice too. Its definitely a tough lifestyle but its a lot of fun too. Kind of balances it out,” said Porter. 

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will head to the Finger Lakes Region this weekend in Watkins Glen, NY and you can catch the race on 22News on Sunday at 3 p.m. 

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