We've called him General George because he is a fierce competitor and a logistics manipulator, but often the most outwardly display you get from the public George is cordial. From the moment we met him, George has been nothing but courteous. I (Dwight) find that combination of inner intensity and outer poise…a rare combination…Join us as we respect George with this interview…that he was eager to permit. Prior to this interview, I assumed George's biggest problem would be allocating time. We borrowed about seven hours from George while he taught at Frank Hawley's school for Pro Stock motorcycles in Gainesville. We call him the General because he has command of his racing team efforts, but after listening to George teach this class of eight we have to add Professor to his list of credentials. I asked him most of my questions during his forty-five minute lunch break. When your life is based on allocating time in hundredth seconds, a lunch break could seem like an eternity, but General George allocated this time for us with ease. Join us in the Winston Team trailer as I chat with the General who is also a Professor:
Do you have a nickname?
Who are your Heroes?
"John Myers…Dale Earnhardt…Jackie Bryce.
(Jackie's awesome. She's my pal, my partner, mother of my child. We've been together since Junior High School. Whenever I'm asked, how do you get a girl like that? You have to build em.) "
What do you like most about your job?
" The people I work with. The instant gratification of effort. I see immediately the results of my work."
What do you like least about your job?
Many people see you, but don't know you. George Bryce is what?
"Funny. I look serious, but I'm not always serious."
If you could change one thing about motorcycle drag racing, what would it be?
"Control of the weather…It's a lot better than it used to be…I remember Indy in 1985 at an NHRA event. We stayed all day long in leathers in the staging lanes waiting our turn, our motorcycle turn, and we never ran. The NHRA Official would come into the lanes and we'd get ready, only to have him pass by and tell a car-class to get to the line…again and again. A lot of motorcycle racers have never seen how hard it was in the past. Now we run when John Force runs."
What do you do to relax?
"I play golf. Love it. It's the only thing I do that doesn't have an engine on it."
Do you have time for a hobby?
"My hobbies are a part of my business. I'm an artist. I draw stuff that I work with. I drive fast cars. Jackie is a part of my business. People who support us are a part of my business, but toys are really my business. All of my toys are better than Paul Gast's toys, but he's trying to catch me."
What kind of vehicle do you drive?
"Corvette. 700 HP ZR1. A blast! The engine has four cams and thirty-two valves. It's like two Suzuki engines hooked to one crank."
What's most important?
1.Fame 2.Money 3.Thrill/fun 4.Achievement
Do you have any special mental preparations to do your job?
"I share the mental load the drivers do. I stand in their shoes. Lap-link. Share the load. I go through my mind what they have to do. I'm in a sharing mood when I'm teaching at my school. I want all the students grinning."
What ethic, what plan do you stress to your employees to get the most out of your organization?
"I focus on the most important thing. Number one! Make sure the customer gets their money's worth. When we focus on service, success takes care of itself. Do it better than anyone else."
Are you happy?
"Does it seem like it? I've got it made. As a matter of fact, when I met Angelle in 1996 at this school, I told her I'm the happiest person you are ever going to meet."
What could make you happier?
"That the incline of my life continues up. I'm thankful for the direction it's going. Championships are a little icing."
When Frustrated, What do you do first?
3. Try to be cool.
"I erupt more than I should. I'm getting better at it. I try to pause. I'm working on it."
WHERE do you find the most peace in your life?
"At home playing with Julie."
What got you started in Motorcycle Drag Racing business?
"Drag racing cars for a hobby. Then I bought a 75 Z1 and took it to my local drag strip. Well…Ran within a tenth of the IDBA record…went back home and blueprinted the engine by the rules…and set the 1978 IDBA world record and won first place…I've never looked back."
You have to put up with many egos…many people pulling you indifferent directions. How do you deal with these twisting forces?
"The hardest thing I do is balance egos and feelings. I have a dedicated group. I try to keep them all happy. No one else is going to make it happen but me."
The racing task…if you could control anything totally…what would that be?
"My driver's emotions and focus. The team keeps the equipment very close to perfection. The hardest thing to tune is the driver's emotions."
How did you achieve the best endorsement in racing?
"By developing a very long and solid reputation…and hiring a very pretty girl that can drive the motorcycle."
What's your best advice for a struggling racing team?
"Come to our drag racing school…unbelievable information and advice. I'm not smarter than anybody is, but I have a bunch of information. I want to make sure the students get their money's worth. And speaking of money and sponsors… a struggling team should know that it's not what you know, it's who you know…Don't go in the door until you know you can make them money. I get calls every day, too often they just ask for money. Instead they should say…I've got a plan, and for a $10,000 investment for example we can double your money. Your sponsorship is included. Increasing the bottom line is all they want to know. Come up with a way, take it to someone you know, and you will get a sponsorship. No problem."
What's the best advice for your racing team when it struggles?
"Back to basics. It always works. Cures it every time. We're so good. Just get back to basics. Whenever we get off track…go back to basics."
We feature your quotes on www.StripBike.com often because your words in our opinion have meat. How do you find these words that seem to put muscle into your philosophy?
"Been doing it a long time… I'm noisy…Not quiet. I have a lot to say."
How do you balance being an owner, a crew chief, a team leader, a father, and a husband?
"I do it all by choice. I don't have to do it. I want to do it."
When do you sleep well?
"Every night…Here's a sleeping tip…I have a hectic schedule. It's a state of mind. I recall Ken Johnson's statement…' I'm going to rest when I die.'…When I'm thinking too much about the day, and my pulse rises so I can't sleep, I turn on a light reach for the pad I keep by my bed, and write down what I'm thinking about. I download it on paper. Then I decide how much of it I can do now. Usually something on the list doesn't need done at all. Once I do this, I always do go right to sleep."
What worries you most?
"I really don't worry. In Americus Georgia, we call Star Racing … Pro Stock University. We write down our goals and the steps needed to get those goals. It's A, B, C! "
What personal attribute that you know you possess, would you want to pass on to others?
"I want to share the things that make me thankful and teach people I care about and get them there too. I relive my career through Angelle and Fred. I love to share the things I've learned with them."
Can you describe yourself in three words?
"I'm still a kid."…(George knew the answer was four words, and we can add also, but he summed it up well.)
How do you decide which phone call to answer and which phone call to put off?
"I'm on the phone anyway…If I need to talk…I take the call…If I don't, I call back…and I don't take calls."
What do you miss the most when you are not at home?
"If I have the family with me, I'm cool with it. If they are not there, I want to be home."
You're an owner. When you are at the track. What scares you the most?
What would you call your best racing moment?
"My racing career was pale in comparison to being a team owner… But so far, when Angelle got the win in Memphis by running in the right lane, and Jackie was crew chief for Fred Collis in the left lane in the finals. It was awesome!"
What's your favorite time of the day or night?
"Getting up early and going to work. It's awesome…A wide-open opportunity. I look forward to a bigger and better day."
(Just a short note here…I find this attitude…early morning treasure.)
What really means the most to you?
"Julie…Jackie is second now…a close second."
Where and when are your quietest moments?
"Driving down the highway in the big truck…I love to drive the Winston team rig to get my thoughts together, and I don't get to very often, and it's fun."
"After three or four years, I'm still Angelle Seeling's biggest fan. She has to deal with her many fans, while satisfying the Winston Team, Star Racing, and her personal life. It's a tough job. She weighs a hundred pounds. Her bike weighs more than anyone else she races. Her demands and pressures are more than anyone else she races …I've seen her grow and seen the positive impact she has had on the sport as a whole. I don't think I could do it. She does a great job for all of us."
I'm proud of other people who do well. I'm happy. I'm not envious, nor would I trade what I've done or what I have with anybody."
George Bryce is a man who walks many tight ropes…simultaneously with poise. His Star Racing team has many stars. I've chosen adjectives for them like dedicated, steadfast, and radiant, but I've been saving a word for someone stellar in the motorcycle drag racing world, and I believe I've saved is just long enough. I'm not putting more shine on any star member that is not deserved and earned. I discussed the choice of this adjective for General George, for Professor George with Gary and he agreed…George Bryce is…