Coach Phil Horton/Director of Athletic Performance

Racing became a part of Phil’s life at a young age. As a rambunctious 9 year old,Phil often needed time out on Sundays and was made to listen to the races with his father on the radio. Soon Phil found himself listening for particular drivers and the punishment became a pleasure! Phil was also athletically involved as a youth. He spent a great deal of time involved in high school track and field and distance running. His determination led him to an undefeated regular season and conference title with all conference honors in the 2 mile run. In 1976,at Lenoir High School in Lenoir,North Carolina,he was one of highest ranked distance runners in the western region of the state. Though Phil enjoyed participating in athletics,his heart was in the working behind the scenes of sports. In 1975,Phil attended the Crammer Student Athletic Training Workshop and was introduced to the basics of first aid and sports injury management. This stepping stone made him part of one of the first groups to become nationally certified in the field of athletic training.

Phil graduated from North Carolina A&T State University in 1983 and continued academic studies in the graduate program at Michigan State University. During his time at Michigan State,he was also employed as a Grad Assistant Football Athletic Trainer. In 1985,Phil was hired at Florida A&M University as its first certified Head Athletic Trainer. He oversaw sports medicine for 17 collegiate sports teams and lead a staff that consisted of assistants,grad assistants,and student assistant athletic trainers. In 1990,Phil continued his career as the Head Football Athletic Trainer at Memphis State University,today known as University of Memphis. With a growing desire to pursue a career in professional athletics,Phil left Memphis to become the Assistant Athletic Trainer and Strength Coach with the NBA Milwaukee Bucks from 1991 to 1996.

Phil has experience in an array of sports and events. As a member of 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games sports medicine team (COG),Phil has coached,trained,and motivated some of the world’s best athletes.

In 1989,Phil established the company Athletic Training Concept Inc.(ATC Inc.),a business which involved the merging of coaching,physical fitness,and sports medicine to fit the ever changing needs of the “weekend athlete.”Upon leaving the Milwaukee Bucks,Phil rekindled ATC Inc. As a full time endeavor which led him to become the personal trainer for former NASCAR driver Ernie Irving. His clientele broadened to include pit crew men,as well as 8 other NASCAR drivers and 12 racing teams over the span of 7 years.


Phil is also the former Pit Crew Coach for Chip Ganassi Racing,and driver Juan Pablo Montoya #42. As a 14 year veteran in NASCAR,Phil has accumulated an impressive record with 9 Craftsman Truck,11 Busch,and 15 Nextel Cup series wins with notable drivers such as Rick Crawford,Terry Cook,Jason Keller,and Dale Jarrett,along with Elliott Sadler,and Juan Pablo Montoya. Phil has developed his own coaching philosophy on the fundamentals for pit crew men who service the race cars. One of Phil’s proudest moments was being the pit crew coach for Todd Bodine,who won the Camping World Truck Series championship in 2011.

Phil’s prestigious NASCAR career has made him a commodity to the sport. If anyone has a question about the infamous pit stop in NASCAR racing,Phil is the man to ask! He has been featured in TV specials,such as CBS EVENING NEWS,CNN / Doctor Sanjay Gupta,ESPN / Outside The Lines,Fox Sports South /Around The Track,and The Movie Talladega Nights (Consultant). In 2010,Phil was featured in Black Entertainment Television (BET)’s Changing Lanes:an eight-episode series envisioned by Max Siegel,about the recruitment,training,and coaching of drivers and pit crew in NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program.

In 2011,Phil was recognized by NASCAR as the Industry Ambassador for his commitment to diversity in motorsports. He started the year with the new title of Director of Athletic Performance for both Germain Racing and Revolution Racing. This gave him the new responsibility of overseeing the administration and organization of the coaching,strength and conditioning,and athletic training for both programs.

T.Knight 2007

Check out Coach Horton’s:

Coaching Record

Professional Contributions

1986 –1991 National Athletic Training Association/Chairman Ethic Diversity Council

1990 National Athletic Training Association Symposium Guest Speaker / New Orleans,LA

2000 Virginia Athletic Trainers State Meeting / Guest Speaker Lynchburg,VA

Community Service

1993 founded MLK/ATC Basketball Camp in Lenoir,NC

Sponsor of several sports events with the City of Lenoir Parks and Recreational Department

Professional Accomplishments

1991 presented the key to the City of Lenoir

1994 presented Bill Chisholm Professional Service Award by National Athletic Training Association

2005 Inducted into the Association for Diversity in Motorsports Hall of Fame

2005 Inducted into the Caldwell County Sports Hall of Fame

2011 Honored by NASCAR with the Industry Ambassador Award for his commitment to diversity in Motorsports