“I’m the background guy,” Mike Costic proudly admits. “I pride myself on being the ‘find-it guy.’ If a part can’t be found, I get a phone call or a text, and I can usually track it down.
“That’s what gives me the most joy in motorsports is being able to get the job done when people will falter,” he says. “That’s my happy moment in racing.”
Costic hasn’t only just been the “go-to-find-it-guy” for racers. Before securing his full-time position with Summit Racing Equipment, the 29-year-old had held numerous roles in the sport and even dabbled behind the wheel as well.
It was Costic’s grandfather who introduced the family to motorsports. He was an infield official at a circle track because he had six sons and wanted to have something all of them could do. It didn’t take long before Costic’s dad found himself at a dragstrip and became infatuated with the quarter-mile, straight-line sport.
Costic couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel, that so much so, right after he received his driver’s license he took his daily driver, a 1997 Chevy S10 single cab, straight to Thompson Raceway Park in Thompson, Ohio.
“It was just a regular street truck. I didn’t do anything different from that until I got into our race car [a 1962 Chevy Biscayne], which is a low-to-mid-9-second quarter-mile car, and that was when I was 19.”
However, when Costic was 16 years old, he found himself in another role at the track.
“I started doing video of our car to get the chassis setup correctly, and another racer saw that I was taking video, and he asked if I had ever taken photos. I was like, ‘No, but I’m not opposed to it,’ and he handed me his camera.”
In Costic’s words, things “went crazy” from there. Before he turned 21, he was published 12 times in four different publications, and even made a Facebook page where he would share his work that quickly gained popularity. Additionally, Costic was the track photographer at Quaker City Motorsports Park in Salem, Ohio, and he’s worked alongside Bryan Epps and Mike Davis, who is the track photographer at Summit Motorsports Park.
Then the pandemic hit and Costic had to pivot.
“I took it upon myself – I was actually sitting in the parking lot at Summit Racing, and I made a video saying, ‘Hey, you know, all these tracks are closed for the time being, and I want to give back in any way that I can to the racetracks. They’ve given us a place to race for all these years, and they haven’t really asked a whole lot of us other than to show up. Well, now is our time to support them.’”
Costic turned his words into actions by volunteering at tracks that were eventually allowed to open during 2020, doing whatever the track needed.
“You need grass mowed, you need a starter, you need this, you need that. I’ll figure it out,” he explains. “Dragway 42 called and said that they needed help in the water box one weekend. Then, I went to the starting line position, and now I’ve been all over the racetrack. The only thing that I haven’t done there is prep and take people’s money at the front gate.”
Now, Costic is proud of his role at Summit Racing Equipment, a journey he began seven years ago.
“I started three days after I graduated from college,” Costic explains. “I went in at the end of college to a job fair at Summit because I knew a couple of guys that worked there.
“My degree is in graphic design with a minor in marketing, and I just went in to have interview experience. Just so happens one of the guys we raced with was the guy that picked up my application,” Costic continues. “I lucked into an entry-level position there as a merchandiser in the retail store in Ohio. I worked from that position to a retail salesman job. I got as much sales experience as I possibly could knowing that my ultimate goal was to end up in the motorsports division. Now, as of the beginning of this year, I transitioned from retail sales to motorsports. I get to talk to some of the biggest names, which is really cool.”
Costic’s future goals are to continue to learn as much as he can while he’s at Summit and continue to bracket race.