After hundreds of applicants and an interview process that involved driving, on-camera work, and a one-on-one with Goldberg, we caught up with Dodge's new Chief Donut Maker (CDM), Preston Patterson as he was headed out the door to the 2022 Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Colorado.
NHRA: How'd you become a car guy?
Preston Patterson: I've lived in North Carolina nearly my whole life, I was born and raised in a very small city of Salisbury, North Carolina, and I've lived in Charlotte since I graduated from UNC Greensboro.
NHRA: North Carolina is as big a motorsport area as there is right now.
Preston: That was pretty obvious growing up. My dad was into cars, so I went to car shows with him at a very young age and it's just something that kind of snowballed into being a love of mine. Once I started playing with hot wheels, watching him work on vehicles, and acting like I was working on vehicles myself, it is something that I just kind of got into. As I grew up, my first vehicle was an Acura Integra, and that's where I learned how to be a mechanic. To be honest with you, I had a lot of fun and a lot of success. Things just kind of just escalated from there. My cars upgraded, upgraded, upgraded, as I got more into the car scene, and you know, cars are endless where you can do whatever you want with this thing and turn them into any type of vehicle you want.
NHRA: They're an artistic expression. Preston: Yeah. NHRA: What aspect of cars do you enjoy most?
Preston: Driving. Early on I was interested in how the mechanics of a vehicle work. The mechanics then propelled me into the driving aspects because I was like, "All right, okay. I can put this turbo on this [naturally aspirated] car and make it do this amount of power or speed on the dragstrip." And that right there then got me into more horsepower. I then got into going sideways and all this other stuff on the track. I also enjoy the conversations with the people that you meet that are into cars. That's something I thrive off of because you can have a conversation with anyone that's into cars, and there are no barriers to that conversation. You just have one general purpose and love, and that's the car that you're talking about.
NHRA: Can you describe your job? What do you do for Dodge?
Preston: Honestly, this is my favorite question right here, and this is literally what I tell people. My job, in the shortest amount of words, is "totally kickass." That's literally what I always say because not only am I getting to go to all the biggest events out there, not only am I getting to drive a '22 Challenger Hellcat, I also get the experience of meeting and building relationships. And people that personally know me, know that is one of my strongest assets, being able to build a relationship and being able to talk to anybody. So to me, this is one of the greatest jobs that I could have ever. This is a job that when you're little, and you're writing down on a paper in kindergarten what your dream job would be—this is literally that job.
NHRA: Top Fuel or Funny Car?
Preston: Top Fuel, definitely. You’re going 330 mph in a convertible.
NHRA: What have you driven on behalf of Dodge?
Preston: I've driven every Dodge vehicle with a Hellcat motor in it, except for the [Jeep] Trackhawk. That includes the Durango and the [Ram] TRX, the Challenger Redeye, the Dodge Demon, the Jailbreak Challenger, and I’ve personally owned a Hellcat Charger since before this contest. So I've, I've literally touched them all. I haven’t driven the Drag Pak yet, but that's on my list. So I can tell you first and foremost that these cars are the muscle cars to own in a world of muscle cars. And keep in mind that before I had this role with Dodge, I reviewed cars for a living [https://www.instagram.com/exoticcarblacklist/?hl=en]. So if it’s been on the road in the last few years, I've probably driven it and I've probably reviewed it.
NHRA: Where do people go to see all the content that you're making now?
Preston: @ChiefDonutMakerOfficial on Instagram.
NHRA: What should people know about you before they meet you?
Preston: I just want everybody to know I'm completely approachable. I’m just a normal guy. I want to remind people that if there's ever anything that you want to go after in life or pursue life—pursue it. Because you never know where your passion and your love will take you.