(Auburn, Kentucky 08/22/05): Keeton Hanks continues his "work in progress" rookie season in the ASA Late Model series Presented by GM Performance Parts. The Auburn, Kentucky teenager, one of the coveted "Young Lions of the ASA Late Model Series",...
(Auburn, Kentucky 08/22/05): Keeton Hanks continues his "work in progress" rookie season in the ASA Late Model series Presented by GM Performance Parts. The Auburn, Kentucky teenager, one of the coveted "Young Lions of the ASA Late Model Series", started 12th in the Domino's Pizza 100 on Saturday August 20th at the Sandusky (OH) Speedway in Sandusky, Ohio and after having to make an unscheduled pit stop, the 16-year-old freshman brought his family owned Chevrolet Monte Carlo back through the field and finished 14th!
"We struggled all day to get the car to where I like it, and never really was able to get it there at all." Explained Hanks as he talked about his first ever trip to the ½ mile semi-banked paved oval." We seem to struggle more at the high braking tracks, but we will overcome that before long. Everyone is telling me that it just takes time, but I'm ready to get them figured out now."
Throughout the 2005 season, Hanks has never before seen any of the facilities on the 2005 schedule, so not having that prior experience beforehand has made the 2005 season for the Hanks Racing Team a learning experience to say the least.
Mother Nature played a role throughout the day at the Buckeye State oval as showers wiped out Motive Gear Qualifying after 23 of the 29 cars on hand had taken a time. Hanks was one of the six cars that had not qualified yet when the showers his the speedway. ASALM Series officials then cancelled the remainder of qualifying and lined up the 29-car field by the 2005 Owners Points Standings, this placed Hanks 13th on the grid.
"Since our car wasn't too good, I was happy to start off points because of the track being so hard to pass on." Continued Hanks. "We started off decent, but there was some contact made with my car causing me to fall back and then had to go to the pits to check it out under a caution." He continued.
Hanks charged back through the pack but simply ran out of time in hopes of garnering a top 10 finish. The teenager would go on to finish 14th with an intact race car. " Going to the pits, that put us to the rear, but then we came back up to 14th and stayed on the lead lap." He continued. "I'm not happy with the finish, but I didn't tear anything up, so that's always a plus!" Hanks stated.
The 2005 season with the ASA Late Model Series will now take a well deserved weekend off after a grueling stretch of six races in six weekends, including the rained out event at Mansfield (OH) Motorsports Speedway. Despite his 14th place finish, Hanks maintained his position in the Pat Bourdow Memorial Rookie title chase by remaining seventh in the freshman title chase.
The Bluegrass State driver also maintained his points position in the overall series points chase. Hanks remains 12th, 70 points out of the top 10. The next event for the Keeton Hanks Racing Team in the ASA Late Model Series will be over the Labor Day Holiday weekend and both events will be amongst the farthest road trips of the season for the Kentucky based team!
"I'm looking forward to this weekend off, it's been a lot of traveling for us coming from Kentucky, this time will give us a chance to go over the car a bit." Hanks added. "I'm looking forward to getting back on the road though, those trips to Iowa and Minnesota will be a lot of fun, I've heard a lot about both Hawkeye Downs and I-94 and can't wait to race at both places." He stated. "Every track we go to is brand new to us, that's a lot of fun right there, to go to all these new places. Next year we'll be a lot better off having some seat time at some of these tracks." Hanks ended.
Friday September 2nd the ASALM Series will venture West and into the Hawkeye Downs (IA) Speedway in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for the Barron Motor Supply 100. Three days later, the teams will then travel North up into the state of Minnesota and the I-94 (MN) Speedway in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. The Minnesota Labor Day 100 will be contested on Labor Day Monday afternoon, September 5th.
For the 2005 season, Hanks is carries limited sponsorship on the side of his Chevrolet Monte Carlo from the family company, Hanks Construction Company as well as some support from Mother's Polishes-Waxes, and Cleaners, Lava Hand Cleaner, A.R.P. Aluminum Racing Products, Parrish Auto Parts, T.P.M. Environmental, Franklin Transmissions, Simpson Performance Products, and M.P.H. Motorsports Inc., are all on the side of his Randercar Chassis. In addition, Keeton and his family are also heavily involved with the Shriners Hospitals for Children.
The Hanks Racing Team is still actively seeking sponsorship for the remainder of the 2005 season as well as looking ahead to the 2006 campaign.