Mark Martin Sings Jason Hogan's Praises After Roush Truck Test 22-year-old Pumped After Making the Elite of Roush's "Race for the Ride" CONCORD, NC (February 2, 2005) -- NASCAR Southeast Series driver Jason Hogan is at the top of his class ...
Mark Martin Sings Jason Hogan's Praises After Roush Truck Test
22-year-old Pumped After Making the Elite of Roush's "Race for the Ride"
CONCORD, NC (February 2, 2005) -- NASCAR Southeast Series driver Jason Hogan is at the top of his class according to NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Mark Martin. The 22-year-old Hogan was one of 10 drivers selected to participate in the final round of Roush Racing's "Race for the Ride," (also known as the "Gong Show"), in hopes of landing a ride with Roush Racing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
The Roush Racing ride search began with more than 400 applications. That list was then narrowed down through several different levels to a group of 26 drivers who were invited to North Wilkesboro Speedway (NC) to test in a Roush truck. After the test, the list was trimmed to 10 finalists, who were invited back to Darlington Raceway (SC) for the final test.
"It was an honor and a privilege to test with Roush," said Hogan of the experience. "I was very excited just to get the chance to test with a great bunch of guys and to drive their trucks. It was a great opportunity. I was thrilled to be invited and to be selected in the top-10 from over 400 applicants. It was a good stepping stone and a good learning experience for me."
During the final test, Hogan and the nine other drivers were under the watchful eye of not only team owner Jack Roush, but a couple of his current drivers, including NASCAR star Mark Martin.
"He was absolutely spectacular," said Martin, one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers. "He did an awesome job at Darlington under the circumstances with such limited opportunities to get laps there. He had ten laps, then got a new set of tires and had to make a 15-lap run. Jason actually put down the best run of everybody. He didn't get the ride, but he did a great job. He's truly a spectacular young racecar driver."
Hogan, who has spent the last several years racing full-time with the NASCAR Southeast Series and in various Super Late Model shows around the country, also tested Craftsman Trucks for Rick Crawford (#14 Truck) and Billy Ballew Motorsports (#15 Truck) this past year.
"The Roush test pretty much showed me that I was as good as any of the drivers they had there. That just pumps you up and gives you a lot more confidence in yourself. I know that something good is right around the corner. That is what I'm digging for.
"I'm digging for an opportunity to race in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck or Busch Series full time. I want to be competitive. I don't want to settle for being in the top-20. I want to be a top-10 driver each and every week. I know I can do it."
Hogan had a breakout year in the Southeast Series in 2004, picking up two wins in the series' first three races and led the points for much of the first half of the season. However, a string of mechanical problems during the second half of the year dropped him out of the title hunt during the 13-race season.
During the last three years, Hogan has two wins, 10 top-fives and 22 top-10 finishes in the Southeast Series. He was also crowned the 2002 Southeast Series Rookie of the Year.