By Phoenix Racing
Cassill Back in the Saddle Coming Off Career-Best Finish, Cassill Ready to Race Daytona
After a one-week hiatus to let Boris Said tackle the Sonoma road course, Landon Cassill will return behind the wheel of the No. 51 Security Benefit/Thank A Teacher Today Chevrolet for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway (DIS). This week's event will mark the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native's first Sprint Cup Series event at the famed 2.5-mile high-banked speedway. He comes in with a lot of confidence after finishing 12th two weeks ago at Michigan. The finish was his best in Sprint Cup competition.
Prior to heading to Daytona, Cassill will spend this Thursday at the National Education Association's convention in Chicago, Ill. He will represent Security Benefit's Thank A Teacher Today program, signing autographs and taking pictures with thousands of dedicated educators. Mike Bliss will practice the car for Cassill on Thursday, before Cassill assumes driving duties on Friday.
Cassill has two prior NASCAR series starts at DIS with his most recent in 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series competition. Cassill, driving a James Finch-owned Chevrolet, started in second-place and finished in third-place. He also competed in the 2010 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at DIS, starting 23rd and finishing 36th, following a wreck.
Phoenix Racing will be unloading the same car that they used at Talladega Superspeedway earlier this season. Cassill qualified the machine to a sixth-place starting position, but finished 31st after he was sidelined in an accident.
In 24 starts at DIS Phoenix Racing has achieved two top-fives and four top-10s. The team's best finish at DIS, third place, came in 2002 with Geoffrey Bodine at the helm.
Cassill Discusses the Coke Zero 400 at DIS:
"This has the potential to be a fantastic week for us. Phoenix Racing has an awesome superspeedway program. They've shown that they can compete for wins; that's all you can ask for as a driver. I know that when the green flag drops, I'll have an awesome car that can take me to the front of the pack. I hope that I make the right friends along the way. If we can partner with the right people, and put ourselves in position, we should be in good position at the end.
"Restrictor plate racing is a chess match. It's all about finding the right partner and making your move at the right time. And it's so different now. It's just two guys pushing each other and if you don't have a partner you're in big, big trouble. So, you just rely on having someone around to push or you have someone to push. There is lot more communication between the drivers during the race now. It's just different, but it's still pretty fun.
"I'll be spending Thursday at the National Education Association's conference. It's really cool to be a part of it and I'm honored to attend. I'll be in Security Benefit's booth with my show car. I think the teachers will enjoy it and hopefully see how much we appreciate what they're doing. Maybe we'll make a few new NASCAR fans along the way too."