It all started when Joe Liesfeld (a.k.a. Joe Fields), Billy Ottley, and Larry Nelson met back in 1979. The three had a deep-rooted passion for motor sports, which quickly forged the foundation of their long friendship. They initially worked on Joe’s Grand National car and then went on to build and race late-model stock cars.
“We were a small budget team but we had big budget imaginations when it came to prepping the car. It’s a good thing no one got hurt with some of the stuff we tried.”, said Larry.
But they honed their skill and expertise, and before long, they were running with the best in NASCAR Winston Cup. This would lay the foundation for the deep pool of knowledge utilized by Fields Racing today.
“We had some success and we had some major failures, but we always had fun. Blown motors plagued us for a few years until we determined it was better to build a proper race motor than to keep building $4000 bombs. That’s when we started winning races, ” recalls Larry. The passion, fun, and all the racing that came along with it, is what kept the pilot light burning during the years when Fields Racing took a back seat to other life demands.
Meanwhile, imprinted by the smell of race fuel and roar of exhaust watching their father race, the next generation of Liesfelds was on a natural trajectory that would land them straight into the driver’s seat.
For Chris Liesfeld, it began over 10 years ago with light competition on the local autocross circuit. This quickly led to interest in performance driving schools, where he was soon joined by his brother Kenny. The two were immediately hooked and quickly signed up for another driving school in South Carolina, where they met up with future crew member Van Everette. It didn’t take long for the conversation to turn to the old circle track car collecting dust back home in the Liesfeld shop. Work commenced immediately upon their return.
The unsettling of the dust caught the attention of veteran Larry Nelson, and the idea to bring in a dedicated road race chassis was born. Along the way, several talented crew members were added to the mix, all working to perfect their Chevrolet Camaro. The car made its debut at the 2011 Trans-Am finals at Road Atlanta. And if the presence of Joe Fields and Larry Nelson serve as an indicator, Fields Racing is back at full throttle.
What is the deal with Joe Fields?
Back in the day, Joe’s mother was not thrilled that her son was involved in auto racing. He needed a cover. Since many folks had a hard time pronouncing Liesfeld (Lease-feld), the decision was easy to adopt the name Joe Fields instead. He could go racing, and his mother could sleep at night. A win-win. The name stuck and the rest is history.