When a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver climbs from the cockpit of his race car in victory lane, it is a safe bet he will credit his victory to several things. Usually among the first to be mentioned are "teamwork" and his car's "set-up."
Custom home builder Ross Mundy has found both of those keys to success apply to the building industry as well as racing in the Fuddruckers Semi-Pro Division during Thursday Thunder, Atlanta Motor Speedway's weekly racing series.
"To succeed at anything, you have to have adaptability," the 30-year-old Mundy said. "We set our product line to reflect the specific needs of buyers and that applies to each different track we race on. Every track requires a unique set-up and we are constantly changing them."
Mundy also finds that teamwork plays an integral role in his success, both on the track and behind his desk, at the company he founded, Ross Mundy Custom Homes.
"You have to be surrounded by good people to be successful," Mundy said. "I am lucky enough to have a great pit crew that helps me out every time I race. My father Bruce, Bob Rahl and David Noble take care of the car and that allows me to concentrate on driving. They all realize the value of teamwork and that is extremely important.
"The same thing applies to everyone we have working here at Ross Mundy Custom Homes. We have a great crew that keeps things running smoothly and we try and instill the importance of teamwork every day."
Unlike most drivers who race around the Thunder Ring, AMS' frontstretch quarter-mile oval every Thursday night, Mundy didn't grow up with a racing fixation. He had never seen a Legends car until he hired a builder in 2003 who used to race them.
"We bought our first car in 2003 and I went to our lumber supplier, Williams Brothers, and presented a plan to have them as our sponsor. They liked the idea so we put their name on the car and went racing."
Like the home building industry, the atmosphere surrounding Thursday Thunder is intense and ultra-competitive, but Mundy said that is the type of environment he thrives in.
"I am a very competitive person," Mundy explained. "I want to sell more houses than anyone in the industry and that competitiveness spills over to Thursday nights when I want to pass every car on the track."
Mundy also enjoys the time Thursday Thunder allows him to spend with his father, away from Ross Mundy Custom Homes' corporate offices in Covington, Ga.
"Thursday nights are a time when my father and I can be together and not talk about building and neighborhoods and developing land and everything that we talk about all day, every day. It is a nice change of pace."
Mundy credits his father for his entrance into the home building market, but admits he wasn't there to hold his hand through his journey.
"My dad worked a variety of different jobs," Mundy said. "He got into the home building industry in 1979 and it was his entrepreneurial spirit that drove me to open the doors of Ross Mundy Custom Homes in 1999.
"He sort of threw me to the wolves at first and waited to see if I was going to sink or swim before he got real involved with the company."
One of the strongest parallels Mundy can draw between racing Legends cars and building houses are the financial commitments and time constraints each presents.
"I can tell you from experience," Mundy said laughing. "It takes a lot of time, money and energy to compete in the housing market. When you start wrecking Legends cars, it takes a lot of time, money and energy to fix them."
For more information about Thursday Thunder, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211.