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Aug 15, 2014 - 06:05 PM
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Getting To Know Devon Amos
Posted by: newsla on Aug 15, 2014 - 06:03 PM
NASCAR News
Getting To Know Devon Amos


Devon Amos starts every day by writing down ten things he’s thankful for. One of those is his opportunity to drive for Rev Racing. He traveled more than 1,400 miles from his Rio Rancho, New Mexico, home to drive for the team.

 

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Amos became interested in racing at 9-years-old after watching a cartoon called, "NASCAR Racers." The show had an ethnically diverse cast as well as both male and female drivers.

"The cars were going upside down in these circles, and they had these rocket boosters," said Amos. "They were flying, and I said I was going to do that someday."

His stepfather later introduced him to the real world of NASCAR, and he was automatically hooked.

Amos began racing quarter-midgets at 12-years-old and then moved on to race a 4-cylinder Volkswagen Beetle.

His mother and stepfather, Christi and Michael Feery, raised the young Italian and African-American driver along with his older sister, SaRae. The 23-year-old learned the importance of work ethic and responsibility at a young age. His parents only allowed him to race if he made good grades.

"My parents did a great job guiding me and my sister as kids," Amos said. "They brought me up to work hard. They taught me that I needed to work for the things that I wanted."

At 15-years-old, Amos stopped racing altogether, but after graduating from Independence High School in 2009, he knew he wanted to race professionally.

He worked at Home Depot and in 6 months, Amos saved $6,000 to buy a racecar to pursue his dream of becoming a NASCAR driver.

"I bought my car, but I didn’t really think everything through. I didn’t know how I was going to do it. I just knew I was going to do it."

He bought his car from Wim Dons who was heavily involved in racing. Dons allowed Amos to travel with his family to compete in races and let Amos keep his car in his garage. Even with a three-year absence from the sport, Amos excelled with help from the Dons, which Amos refers to as his second family.

He first applied for the Drive for Diversity Program in 2010 but needed more racing experience, so he went to racing school in Hickory, N.C. He did well and was invited to the 2011 combine, but was not selected to the team.

"I was really frustrated, but it just pushed me more," said Amos. "Each time pushed me to be better and make it to the next level. I was devastated, but then I was like, ‘I’m going to go to the combine next year and not give them a choice but to pick me.’"

Amos did just that. He persevered and was selected to the 2013 Rev Racing team.

Amos now balances full-time racing and working 25 hours per week. When he’s not at work or racing, he helps out as a mechanic on teammate Daniel Suárez’s crew to learn as much as he can about all aspects of the sport.

As a driver, Amos believes that his ability to work on the outside of the car will help him develop better communication, as well as a stronger chemistry with his own crew, which is vital to team success.

"I have a high standard for myself. I want to do everything that I can to just go fast."

He started racing in the Legend Series his first year, and despite a significant transition from mini-sprints, he secured four top-5 and seven top-10 finishes. Amos advanced to the Whelen All-American Series for the 2014 season.

With a competitive drive to succeed, Amos says he always strives for greatness and optimism. Despite his many accolades in racing throughout the years, Amos, just like every athlete and every person, is sometimes frustrated with his performance, but he refuses to let negativity interfere with his potential and success.

"I give myself positive affirmations. One thing I do is look at my trophies in my apartment. I remind myself that I’ve succeeded before and tell myself that I have to focus on what I want to get to," he explained. "Then I understand that I just have to continue to have faith in God and move forward."

Because his passion for racing requires much of his time, Amos is unable to visit his family and often misses his Southwest home. He says his mother is his biggest supporter, and they talk often. She sends him inspirational books that he reads almost every night.

Though most of his support system resides in New Mexico, he is still able to rely on his girlfriend, Christine, who moved to Charlotte with him when he was selected to the team.

One of the main things he misses about home is looking at the stars. Unlike Charlotte’s busy metropolitan area, Amos lived on the outskirts of Rio Rancho, where he could see the stars for miles.

"I remember spending just about every night sitting on the back wall, looking at the stars. I would just connect with everything and be one with life," he said. "It just felt so good. I would think a lot about being successful and where I wanted my career to go."

To Amos, racing is more than a sport. He believes racing is his purpose.

"I look at racing, and it can help people in many ways, especially with what we’re doing with the Drive for Diversity. There are so many people that can be pulled from different places to achieve goals they never thought they could and make a difference in the community."

He hopes NASCAR’s diversity continues to grow on and off the track. Amos was happy when he learned that Wendell Scott, the first African-American to win a NASCAR race, would be inducted into the 2015 Hall of Fame.

"I think it’s great. I hope there’s more to come," he said. "He paved the way for what we’re working on now. I couldn’t imagine what Wendell Scott went through back then. He’s a true inspiration."

While he admires Scott’s legacy, Amos’s favorite NASCAR driver is Jeff Gordon. He hopes to race for Hendrick Motorsports someday, just like Gordon.

Amos loves watching the Miami Heat and enjoys giving back to the community. He participated in Habitat for Humanity’s effort to build homes earlier this year. And with his experience on both dirt and asphalt tracks, he also mentors Rev Racing’s bandolero drivers.



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