POPULAR SHORT TRACKER WILL MAKE ARCA DEBUT WITH ...
POPULAR SHORT TRACKER WILL MAKE ARCA DEBUT WITH #9 TEAM, WORK FULL TIME WITH TEAM
Hagans Racing and Chris Gabehart to Team Up In 2006
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (January 19, 2006) -- Hagans Racing, along with team owner Matt Hagans, announced today that former CRA Super Series Rookie of the Year Chris Gabehart will pilot the #9 Eagle Creek Aviation Dodge in a limited number of short track and possible speedway races during the 2006 ARCA RE/MAX Series season. In addition, Gabehart has become a full-time team engineer for Hagans Racing and will travel with the team during the entire 2006 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule.
Gabehart, the 2004 CRA Super Series (then the Sunoco Super Series) Rookie of the Year and the 2005 Speed51.com CRA Super Series Most Popular Driver, will run two or three short track events, as well as a possibility of one or more speedway races, during the 2006 season. Gabehart's exact schedule will be announced at a later date.
Gabehart brings a wealth of knowledge to Hagans racing, from both his racing background and the fact that he is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
"I see a future star," said team owner Matt Hagans. "He's got the right attitude, he's a team player and he's extremely intelligent. He is a very competitive guy with a natural feel. He's already proven he can drive a racecar. He's got the same credentials as Ryan Newman; the same degree from the same university (Purdue University, Lafayette, IN). He brings a lot of engineering talent to our team as well.
"He'll help our team with his knowledge of engineering and knowledge of figuring out these heavy cars. We'll benefit from that. We will also put him in the car a couple of times this year on the short tracks, where he is a wizard, and try to work out a deal to get him on at least one speedway and let him show his talents."
Gabehart has an extensive racing background, winning races in go-karts before he was even a teenager. Chris won five national championships and one regional championship with the World Karting Association. In two full-time seasons with the CRA Super Series (Super Late Models), Gabehart has picked up 19 top-10 finishes in 39 starts. In 2005, Gabehart picked up his first career CRA victory, coming at the legendary Winchester Speedway in Indiana.
"I've been racing for a long time and working hard at this for a long time," said Gabehart. "This is just a little bit different of a level for me. It's different cars and a different atmosphere, but a racecar is a racecar. I went to school at Purdue to gain an engineering background so when I entered situations like this, it wasn't so intimidating. I'm learning a lot. I like to think I'm helping them out as well.
"I learned a long time ago I wasn't going to be able to make it the way some other people make it in this business, so I tried to make myself smart enough and versatile enough so that maybe I'd have something to offer someone in some other ways, either with my education or my work ethic."
The United States Playing Card Company, and its Bicycle brand of playing cars, will sponsor Chris during his limited ARCA effort in 2006. The company has been with Chris during his time with the CRA Super Series.
"I look forward to getting my shot in some very good equipment, which Hagans Racing has here," added Gabehart. "I think I can help Donny (Lia) have a successful year and continue the success of the team. I'd like to contribute to that both behind the wheel and behind the wrenches. I've got no problem with that and I look forward to that."
Watch www.hagansracing.com for a complete schedule of the races that Gabehart will compete in the coming weeks.