With Chase Alves and Shelby Alves (née Frye) expecting their first child, Shelby moved into the role of crew chief. Chase took over steering Shelby’s IMCA sport mod, recently racing it during the IMCA.TV Winter Nationals at Cocopah Speedway in Somerton, Arizona.
“I don’t mind taking a break,” said Shelby. “I get just as much enjoyment and excitement watching my husband drive my car.”
The couple from Casa Grande, Arizona, met in the pits of Peoria, Arizona’s Canyon Speedway Park 13 years ago. At the time, Shelby raced limited late models on the pavement at Tucson Speedway.
“We’d go in opposite directions on Saturday nights,” Shelby said. “It was hard on both of us because we each wanted to see the other race and help each other out. We’d have to juggle schedules all the time — so I decided to give up pavement for dirt.”
In 2018, Shelby joined Chase in the IMCA sport mod class. Since then, she has earned three feature victories. However, the couple struggled to race together.
One time, Chase put a slide job on Shelby during a heat race. She returned the favor to win the heat.
“He was ranked fifth in the IMCA national points at the time — everyone thought he was so much faster than me,” said Shelby. “So, I had to stick it to him whenever I could.”
The couple decided that racing together created too much stress.
“We are both too competitive,” Shelby said. “Chase decided to move to the stock car division. Now, we can help each other and watch each other race.”
Shelby Alves and Chase Alves married last fall. They recently announced Shelby’s pregnancy. For the near future, Chase will return to the sport mods, steering his wife’s car. Shelby intends to return to the seat someday. In the meantime, she embraces her new role as crew chief.
“I can’t change tires or lift anything,” said Shelby, “but I can still be a good crew chief.”
This year marks the Outside Groove Director of Photography’s 50th year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg got his start working for track photographer Lloyd Burnham at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in 1970. Since then, he’s been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.