Lisa Smokstad

Lisa Jones Smokstad (born September 6, 1969) is an American tire specialist. She has been employed by multiple-champion NASCAR race car team Hendrick Motorsports since 1999, and has worked for various drivers.


Early lifeEdit

Smokstad was born on September 6, 1969 in Shakopee, Minnesota.[1] She is the daughter of Ellis and Pat Jones.[2] Smokstad began participating in gymnastics and competed in the sport until her early teenage years.[1] She worked as a child advocate in Minnesota's courtrooms.[3] While enrolled at the University of Minnesota, Smokstad found work doing concessions at Raceway Park in 1990 which she did during the weekends.[1][4] The job was secured by one of her friends with whom she attended gymnastic class with.[5] Smokstad said in 2006 that she had not originally intended for an auto racing career: "When I went to college I didn't think I'd be dirty four days a week."[6] It was where she met her husband Craig, whom she married in 1993.[1][4] She obtained the job as she was the only member of her family who could understand tire fractions.[3] In 1992, Smokstad graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor's degree in psychology.[1]


Her career began when she overheard race car driver Ken Schrader was planning to start a new short-track team and required a tire specialist.[4][7] Smokstad and her husband accepted the position and moved to Charlotte, North Carolina in 1996. When two race teams merged in 1999, she was required to look for a new job because Schrader wanted a tire specialist with more experience. He advised her not to send a résumé to Hendrick Motorsports because of her gender.[4] However, she was asked by Jack Sprague and his crew chief Dennis Conner to join Hendrick Motorsports as their tire specialist. That same year, he won the Craftsman Truck Series; the experience strengthened Smokstad's loyalty to team and garnered her admiration for its founder Rick Hendrick.[7] She later worked with various drivers who raced for Hendrick Motorsports.[1] Smokstad coached a gymnastics team while not working in auto racing.[8] She gave birth to her daughter, RaElla, on August 30, 2007.[2] She and fellow crew member Zach Miller were awarded the Cup Series "Consistently Smooth" Tire Specialist Award in 2009.[9] Smokstad was promoted by Hendrick Motorsports in 2010 to focus on strategizing and tire testing.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Lisa Jones Smokstad" (PDF). The Henry Ford. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-10-05. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Births: Sobiech, Smokstad, Rhode, Danner, Fonder, Trujillo and Rathfelder". Shakopee Valley News. October 24, 2007. Archived from the original on 2016-10-05. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Coble, Don (October 6, 2004). "Once unwelcome in the NASCAR garage, women now making an impact in racing". Peninsula Clarion. Morris News Service. Archived from the original on 2016-10-05. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d Fedechenko, Vera (March 28, 2005). "NASCAR tire specialist Lisa Smokstad holds her own in racing's 'good ol' boys' world". Tire Business. 22 (26). p. 10. Retrieved October 3, 2016 – via EBSCO's Academic Search Complete.
  5. ^ Wheeler, Lonnie (July 14, 2001). "Racing Invades Sports Tire Management Key to Understanding". The Cincinnati Post. Retrieved October 3, 2016 – via Infotrac Newsstand.
  6. ^ Parrish, Kathleen (July 23, 2006). "More women feeling the "need for speed'". The Morning Call. p. 3. Archived from the original on 2016-10-26. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
  7. ^ a b "HMS Profile: Lisa Smokstad of Team Lowe's Racing". Hendrick Motorsports. May 20, 2004. Archived from the original on 2016-10-05. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  8. ^ Reusse, Patrick (February 8, 2005). ""Between the quotes"; A Tuesday notes column; Watkins is back in news". Star Tribune. Retrieved October 3, 2016 – via Infotrac Newsstand.
  9. ^ "2009 Pit Crew News". Jayski's Silly Season Site. ESPN Internet Ventures. Archived from the original on 2016-10-05. Retrieved October 3, 2016.