Profile: Thompson Motorsports Employee, Willie (“Big Willie”) Norman

By R. A. Fariello

Willie Norman, a Thompson Motorsports Racing mechanic, has been a member of the TMS workforce for the better part of 6 years.  Today he holds the title of Senior Shop Mechanic as well as Front Tire Changer when at the Race Track.

Big Willie is a very popular gentleman who brings with him many pleasant dichotomies, both in personality and lifestyle.

Willie attended 2 different Colleges for a total of 5 years and graduated with Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology.  After graduation, Willie accepted a position with Dade Behring (now Siemens) labs where he was employed as a microbiologist.

But 35 year old “Willie” had a different passion, and that passion led to his present career in automobile racing.  “Big Willie”, an ex-football Offensive Lineman with two “All Conference Honors”, is also “Big” being somewhere in excess of 6’3’ and 298 pounds.

However, in spite of an impressive stature, his pet is named “Walter” and is a 5 oz. Chinchilla!  While Willie might appear to be an intimidating figure, the reality is that of a very friendly guy with a huge smile coupled with a gentle and caring nature.

Willie’s transformation from scientist to auto racing began when he volunteered to work with a Modified Team racing out of Roseville CA.  That team eventually moved into the NASCAR Grand National West Division (now the K & N Pro Series) and Willie followed them.  His work with that Team eventually led to his relocation to Twin Falls ID and his current employment at Jerome based, Thompson Motorsports.

Willie lists his favorite racing moment as being a crew member on a Modified Team for which Brett Thompson was the driver.  That car started an important race dead last – and then won it.  Willie says, “racing does not get any better than that”.

When not at work Willie spends his spare time “Woodworking to Country Music with a beer and a pizza next to me”, or, by taking a leisurely ride on his Harley Electra Glide Classic.  For those trips, “Walter” is relegated to remaining at home in favor of some other attractive company!

At Thompson Motorsports we are happy to have Willie as part of our Team effort.  He is appreciated not just for his mechanical skills, but also for his engaging personality.

Photography by Gina Graham Fariello

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One Response to “Profile: Thompson Motorsports Employee, Willie (“Big Willie”) Norman”

  1. Amy Levinski says:

    Some day, I’m gonna be that other attractive company on bike of his.

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