One of the most recognized names in American motorsports, Sammy Swindell grew up watching his father behind the wheel at many of their local Memphis, Tennessee dirt tracks. In 1971, at the age of fifteen, Sammy took to the dirt at Riverside Speedway in West Memphis, Arkansas. In his rookie season, the oldest of two racing Swindell brothers won eleven feature events.
His background is engineering and is mostly self-taught. Although he spent two years in college studying physics and engineering, his race winnings were what paid the bills, but to be successful in racing took a lot of preparation time. "I found myself in a "catch 22" situation. I didn't have the money to go to college without racing and racing took up too much time to go to college. I had some successes in racing, so I decided to stay focused in racing and learn along the way. I don't ever regret making that choice though."
Inherently, Swindell is a shy and private person. Over the years he has earned the reputation of being "all business" at the race track, and much of that reputation can be attributed to a very focused approach to his chosen profession. The best description of Sammy may have come from legendary sprint car owner, LaVerne Nance, the man with whom Sammy won two "World of Outlaws" championships. "When he's at the track or working on the car, it's a living to him and he takes it real seriously. A lot of people don't understand that. He has worked hard all of his life to be successful in racing."
Away from his job, Sammy can relax and chat away for hours on a variety of different subjects. That's a side that most people will never get to see. It's the side where he and his son, Kevin, work on Kevin’s cars or he and close friends just sit and chat away about racing. Also from a racing family, his wife Amy has been a companion since they grew up together around the dirt tracks of Memphis. Amy has been through the exciting times and also the heartbreaks that take place in a successful racing career.
When it's time to race, though, Sammy has an uncanny ability to block out the world and focus on the job at hand. He's always had a hand in preparing and fine tuning his race cars, so it's very common to see him bent over the engine or personally changing the shocks.
From an engineering standpoint, he's been on the leading edge for years. His driving record speaks for itself. Few people demonstrate excellence at either skill, but Sammy Swindell combines the two like a director. It is a very unique talent!