March 2, 1971 |
Robert "Bootie" Barker III (born March 2, 1971) is a crew chief in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car racing series. Barker is the crew chief for the No. 13 Germain Racing GEICO Ford Fusion driven by Casey Mears. In the past, Barker has worked for Ashton Lewis, Bill Davis Racing, Jasper Motorsports, and Hendrick Motorsports. Barker was also a television co-host on NASCAR Performance a weekly program on the now-defunct Speed Channel.
Barker graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from Old Dominion University, in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1994. He began his motorsports career working in the Late Model Sportsman Series for Ashton Lewis while still in college. He was paralyzed from the waist down after suffering injuries in a car accident while a senior in high school (South Boston, Virginia). Barker has since overcome his injuries to be a respected crew chief and one of NASCAR's most brilliant minds.
For most of 2006, Barker was the crew chief for the No. 66 Haas CNC Racing Chevrolet driven by Jeff Green. His visibility to NASCAR fans increased in 2006. Barker wrote a weekly column for NASCAR.com titled "Urban Legends," in which he addressed myths and questions about various aspects of racing. Barker is also a frequent guest on NASCAR RaceDay, a preview show for weekly NASCAR events on the Speed Channel.
In August 2007, Johnny Sauter, Barker and the #70 team were featured as part of ABC's NASCAR in Primetime, a television show that gives a behind-the-scenes look at the preparation, logistics, drama and competition of NASCAR.
On October 1, 2008, Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) announced that Barker would be the crew chief of the #55 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota driven by two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip for the 2009 Sprint Cup Series season.