Andy Papathanssiou is nearing a twenty-seven year career with Hendrick Motorsports – NASCAR’s modern day dynasty. Andy's team building techniques and Over The Wall philosophy have transformed the paradigm of how all NASCAR pit crews operate. Andy employed an athletic mindset which centered on practice and repetition, coaching and review, innovation and process improvement - to result in peak performance. An accomplished communicator, motivator and presenter, Andy's keynotes are about creating hyper-successful teams, innovative thinking and transformational leadership.
Andy has a bachelor's degree in Economics, and a master's degree in Organizational Behavior from Stanford. After college, he discovered NASCAR by sneaking into the garage area and volunteering with a team at the Sears Point (Infineon) Raceway in Sonoma, CA in 1990 - where he saw his first pit stop. He joined Hendrick Motorsports in 1992 as the #24 DuPont team's pit crew coordinator; a first in NASCAR.
Papathanassiou sought pit crew members with athletic experience. He had them practice frequently and undergo teambuilding exercises as well as strength training. Under his guidance, Jeff Gordon's 1995 pit crew frequently had the fastest pit stops, which contributed towards the team's championship. Other teams took notice, and by the late 1990s most teams had adopted Papathanassiou's methods. Teams now recruit and employ many former college athletes, and pit stop times have decreased from 18 or 19 seconds in the early 1990s to 11 seconds today.
Papathanassiou remains with Hendrick Motorsports as Director of Human Performance, a role similar to a collegiate athletic director. The Hendrick pit program encompasses scouting and recruiting, practice and training, injury rehab, nutritional and sports psychology support for the crew members. In 2006, in addition to his Hendrick duties, he was elected as Executive Director of the North Carolina Motorsports Association (NCMA), a position he held until 2012. The NCMA promotes the state’s six billion dollar motorsports industry through events, business development, education programs, workforce development and public policy. He currently sits on the board of directors. Papathanassiou regularly gives keynote speeches and conducts teamwork/team building seminars about the techniques he has developed and how universally they can be applied.