Ballew Breaking Boundaries (April 25, 2007) - Momentous milestones will be made in racing when Billy Ballew Motorsports takes to the track at the Kansas Speedway fielding two diversity drivers in Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series...
Ballew Breaking Boundaries
(April 25, 2007) - Momentous milestones will be made in racing when Billy Ballew Motorsports takes to the track at the Kansas Speedway fielding two diversity drivers in Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. This will mark the first time an African American and a female driver will compete on the same team. Billy Ballew, an independent team owner, brings together veteran NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers Bill Lester and Kelly Sutton for the running of the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 at the Kansas Speedway Saturday, April 28, 2007.
Ballew fields the No. 15 Chevrolet Silverado team with Bill Lester who has piloted the truck since the season-opening race at Daytona. In Kansas, Kelly Sutton will be behind the wheel of the No. 51 Team COPAXONE (glatiramer acetate injection) Chevrolet Silverado. Sutton will be making her first start since Nashville in 2006 and is scheduled for three additional Craftsman Truck Series races in Mansfield, Texas and Milwaukee with Ballew this season.
"It speaks volumes for where racing is headed," Ballew said. "But I really don't consider Bill or Kelly to be any different because of their diversity background. I've known them both for several years; appreciate their efforts on and off the track, and think of them as drivers. The opportunity to be the first team in NASCAR with two diversity drivers piloting our trucks is exciting, but seeing them both bring top finishes out of Kansas this weekend would be even better."
Ballew has had a vast amount of success in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series including five wins, two poles, 17 top-five finishes and 35 top-10 finishes. The team has six starts at the Kansas Speedway with one top-10 finish in 2005 (John Andretti) with his highest starting position of 17th in 2004 (Shane Hmiel). Sutton has three starts at the Kansas Speedway where she led a lap in 2006. Lester, with the most success at the 1.5 mile tri-oval just outside of Kansas City, Kansas, has earned one pole award, a fifth place and a tenth place finish.
"Kansas is a fun race track where I've had some success," Lester said. "I've had a pole, three top-five starts as well as a top-five and two top-10 finishes. Kansas is a mile-and-a-half, fast track with room to pass. It's smooth and fast and suits my driving style well so we are looking for a strong run and solid results. We are excited to break the streak of bad luck we have had the last few races and I really believe we can do it at Kansas Speedway."
"We've had a couple bad races," Ballew said. "I am really hoping to shake the bad luck and bring home a strong finish in Kansas. Bill has a pole here, several good starts and finishes so we are looking forward to a good night."