MOORESVILLE, NC (August 6, 2003) -Ryan Hemphill has been tabbed to drive the No. 15 VOKAL Clothing Dodge for the remainder of the 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season. The 21 year-old Apollo, PA native takes over the reigns from NASCAR...
MOORESVILLE, NC (August 6, 2003) -Ryan Hemphill has been tabbed to drive the No. 15 VOKAL Clothing Dodge for the remainder of the 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season. The 21 year-old Apollo, PA native takes over the reigns from NASCAR veteran Mike Skinner who has rejoined the NASCAR Winston Cup ranks. Hemphill has made six previous NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts with a best finish of 10th at South Boston last year while driving for Bobby Hamilton Racing.
"I am thrilled to be driving for Billy Ballew Motorsports," Hemphill said. "Billy has good equipment and good people working on his trucks, but he just hasn't had the finishes he deserves. I am hoping that with all of us pitching in together we can get some really good finishes and help build this program together."
Hemphill has been racing from the time he turned 12 years old. He drove go karts competitively until he was 15. Then he quickly graduated to Late Models, racing at the famed Jennerstown Speedway in his home state of Pennsylvania. Since that time he has run in a variety of touring series including the NASCAR All-Pro Series, the NASCAR Re-Max Series and the American Speed Association. Hemphill clearly sees the advantages of competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
"The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is a great place to learn," Hemphill said. "The tires, the horsepower, the weight and the tracks that you run are all similar to what you run in the NASCAR Busch Series or the Cup Series. That provides a great learning experience for someone who eventually wants to compete in those series. Learning to deal with the business side of this sport, dealing with sponsors and the media is a big responsibility, and the truck series will help a young driver prepare for the future. If you can learn to succeed at this level, then it is only going to help you when and if you get the chance to move up."
Team owner Billy Ballew is excited about the prospects that Hemphill brings. He acknowledges the benefits of the recent four-race stint with Skinner at the helm while casting his eye towards the future.
"Having Mike Skinner come in and help us evaluate our program has been a huge plus for our team," Ballew stated. "I can't thank Mike enough for his willingness to assist us. Mike and I have even discussed the possibility of running him in some additional truck races later in the year if funding should become available. Right now it is time for us to start building a future for our organization, and I think adding Ryan as our driver is an excellent first step. I received a number of calls from people in the racing industry who have extremely high regard for Ryan's talent and his personality. He is an energetic young man who can come in and help us continue to develop. I remain committed to making this team a competitive NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team and I think Ryan can help get us there."
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Nashville Speedway is slated for Friday August 8th at 9:00 pm ET. The event will be broadcast live nationally by the Speed Channel and MRN Radio.