In just as many seconds as it will take you to read this paragraph aloud, he can perform his principal duty on a 16-second, four-tire pit stop during NASCAR Busch Series competition.
This year he's moved up to be a mechanic with Jeremy Mayfield and the Ray Evernham Dodge in Nextel Cup.
But back to those few seconds he used on that Busch team. In no more ticks than a class sprinter can cover the 100-yard dash or the time it takes professional football quarterback to call for the snap and get a forward pass off to a wide receiver, Allen Mincey had done his job. That's 10 seconds of actual jacking and work.
And without Mincey's contribution, arguably the most important on a stop, all might be for naught on a typical pit stop.
"We have that all broke down in a chart and I would say probably 10 seconds out of those 16, I'm actually working or very, very busy,"
Mincey said of his '05 duties. "And the rest of the time I'm waiting for the other people, the tire changers or carriers, to do their job. From right post to left, it takes me like four seconds with the jack. From the time we drop the jack on the right side I should have the car jacked up in four seconds on the left side. That's my goal time, (that) it is four seconds or under."
Mincey, 6-2, 210 pounds, is the veteran jackman on the crew of the No. 19 Jeremy Mayfield Dodge. Last year he was with the No. 25 Rensi Motorsports/U.S. Marines Ford driven by Ashton Lewis Jr. in the Busch Series when Evernham came calling. But wait, you say, that four-tire pit stop may take about 16 seconds.
What was that 32-year-old doing when he's not actually pumping the handle of that jack or moving from right to left?
"As far as being a jackman, that's the fun part, the adrenaline rush of performing the stop and helping the driver get back on track as quickly as possible," Mincey says. "I also helped with the tire change during the pit stops, by clearing the tires (from pit road) when I'm not actually handling the jack."
That latter duty also eliminates the possibility of somebody maybe coming over the wall, without a protective helmet and a member of the over the wall crew, trying to retrieve a used tire. As we know, that's worth a stop-and-go and the pit stop would be zilch.
Mincey is a prime example of following one's dreams, to be a crew member in a major NASCAR division and then on to Nextel Cup. And this goes back, like so many of today's crew members, to short tracking--half mile and less ovals--where the work is at night and on Saturdays, so as not to interfere with the bread-earning day-job.
His 10-second work stints had their beginnings back there, and it didn't involve going to any school, taking a correspondence course or studying a CD to learn about race cars. You might call it Hands On Short Tracking 201.
For Mincey, that was in Florida, with Mike Franklin and the Florida Pro Series. That was Racing 201 for Mincey, on the same tracks that were being covered earlier on by Joe Nemechek, David Reutimann and their cohorts, including Robbie Loomis.
How does Mincey get ready?
"We worked out an hour every morning on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday," Mincey says. "We left for the track on Thursday, but we have a pretty strict workout program, from seven to eight those other mornings.
"We lift weights, you know, do cardio, and run... run like a mile," he details. "Yeah, I guess you could say it is like Marine boot camp . I've never been, but I can imagine. It's pretty close sometimes, I think."
That's not the toughest part of the job, he says.
"The toughest part of the job is all the hours and the constant feeling of being on the go," says Mincey, although he's not married and has no children. "As far as being a jackman, that was the fun part, the adrenaline rush of performing the stop and helping Ashton get back on track as quickly as possible.
"The most rewarding part is winning races, without a doubt. And I hope to do that here with Jeremy and the team."
A typical day for Mincey at the races is busy and perhaps physically challenging enough to put into play that exercise regimen practiced back at the Rensi shop earlier in the week.
"We started early as the garage opens generally around 7 a.m. and doesn't close until 7 in the evening most of the time," he says."We have some down time, like during qualifying and now with the impound rules, but generally we are scrambling to work on the Mayfield Dodge." And now, a retrace of Mincey's Road to Rensi: First, Mincey's dad, Dave, was a racer, so he came by it naturally, after accompanying him to races as a youngster.
Mincey, right, worked with...
Mincey, right, worked with driver Mike Franklin while moving up in the sport. He now works with Ray Evernham and driver Jeremy Mayfield.
"Well, basically, it was just I had been around Florida like my whole life, been to every race track and felt like I'd done everything I thought I could do and decided to move to North Carolina." Mincey says. "Doug Bland was the marketing guy at Homestead Speedway and he was friends with Gene Christenson, who owned the truck team Bobby Dotter drove for. When I moved to North Carolina he (Bland) called me and said he'd talked to Gene and they needed a fabricator. So we made contact."
Mission accomplished. The first year Mincey worked as a fabricator and was car chief the second year in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. As we know, the fabricator works on the body of the car, as well as other particulars.
"I got to know Fred Wenke, crew chief on the Busch car," he recalls. "Then while I was still in the Truck Series I became good friends with a guy named Troy that worked with Fred on the Ultra truck. When Fred moved over to the Busch car, Troy moved over with him.
"At the end of '02, I decided I wanted to go Busch racing, so that gave me the opportunity to go and talk to Fred. He hired me as a fabricator there at Rensi. But I knew two people who worked over there. Troy talked to Fred and found out what they needed for people." You can insert the noun jackman here, along with fabricator during the week and Mincey spent three years with the team. Mincey's journey this point began with a No. 72 Late Model and the previously mentioned Mike Franklin in south Florida.
"I first met him at the Hialeah track in 1996 when he was helping a fellow competitor and we struck up a friendship," says Franklin, who currently is driving a Super Late Model for Eddie Hamby out of Ft. Lauderdale, and also is driving for Action Glass out of Cape Coral, Florida. "The next year Allen was still helping another guy, but we had an All-Pro race at Homestead and I asked him if he would be interested in helping me. He did and what a asset to our team he was," Franklin recalls.
"At that point I knew I had to have him on my team. After that weekend at Homestead he would come down to the race shop after he got off work and help us on the race cars. Mind you, he lived in Ft. Lauderdale and me in Homestead. That's an hour drive one way and he did it after work at least two times a week. He started going to some Super Late Model races with me when it didn't overlap with the other team.
"In 1998 he left the other team and committed to me for the year. We were running for the Florida pro championship, which we won in '95, again that year.
"About 4 months into the season he quit his job and came to work full time on my race cars," continues Franklin. "His day to day job was to get our cars ready and we had a little race shop where we built Modifeds and maintained other race cars.
"We won the championship and a lot of the credit goes to him."
At this point of my career I had started getting burned out and he was what the doctor ordered; he did all the stuff we asked and did it well. The next year we traveled out of state more and he was there for it all.
"Going into the 2000 season I had a gut feeling it would be my last one as a car owner/driver. So we wanted to make it a good one. We won a bunch of races with Allen as my crewchief and at the end of the season we sold all our stuff.
"Allen was ready to go up to NASCAR country and I didn't want to hold him back. In a nut shell, when I met Allen I saw something you don't see in a lot of in people...a burning desire to succeed in this sport. He has come a long way in a short time, went from stocking vending machines to jacking on pit road for a high profile Busch team. I like to think I helped him live out his dream of winding up with a major Nextel Cup team."