Brewco's drivers are the really young guns By Matthew Leach CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Jan. 14, 1999) Casey Atwood is so young that if he weren't racing in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division, he'd still be in high school. Kevin Grubb is...
Brewco's drivers are the really young guns By Matthew Leach
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Jan. 14, 1999) Casey Atwood is so young that if he weren't racing in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division, he'd still be in high school. Kevin Grubb is such a fresh face that he admits he actually enjoys meeting hordes of media members. And neither one is old enough to consume the product made by their series' primary sponsor.
Yet both Atwood, 18, and Grubb, 20, firmly believe they belong in the NASCAR Busch Series. And as teammates for Clarence Brewer's Brewco Motorsports team, both feel they can challenge for the circuit's championship.
They figure if Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Matt Kenseth -- last year's headline-grabbing young guns -- can do it, why can't they? Of course, Atwood and Grubb are quite a bit younger than Earnhardt, 24, and Kenseth, 26. You might say they're trying to out-young-gun the young guns.
"If we can do what they did at a younger age," Atwood said, "that would kind of break the record they set. But you know, we're not going out there to do that. We're just going to try to go out there and do the best we can every week, stay consistent and stay in this business a long time. We just got to do the best we can."
Both had outstanding 1998 seasons in limited duty, and both will be running a full season in NASCAR's junior circuit for the first time this year. Atwood won two Bud Poles in just 13 starts, and finished second in the season's final event at Homestead. Grubb won one Bud pole and posted five top-10 starts and five top-10 finishes in 18 races. He finished sixth or better three times in his last four starts. Now the two good friends are anxious to show how much more they can do.
Both met the media Thursday morning as part of the 1999 Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour presented by UAW-GM Motorsports. And while the two are similarly talented, and have quite a bit in common on the track, they definitely have different approaches to their new full-time jobs.
Atwood is businesslike. He was a touted prodigy before his first start in the NASCAR Busch Series, and a minor star after his second start -- in which he started first and finished second at Nashville Speedway USA. He doesn't mind meeting the press, but to him it's just another part of making a living as a racer.
"It's just something that I knew I was gonna have to do when I first got into racing," Atwood said of answering question after question. "It's gonna be my first full year and I have to satisfy sponsors and everything, so it's gonna be a little hectic. But it's just something that I've dedicated my life to and I'm ready to get started."
Grubb, on the other hand, may be a little older, but he's also a little more wide-eyed.
"It's the first time we got to come to the breakfast," Grubb said with a smile. "I'm looking forward to going over to the Busch Preview in Hickory. It's neat, walking around talking to all the media, things like that.
"I'm getting ready to run my first full season, with a brand new team, new sponsor. Everything's kind of new to me. I'm looking forward to it."
Atwood and Grubb are good friends, and both are enjoying themselves -- as you would expect from school-aged young men living out their childhood dreams.
"Oh yeah," Atwood said. "Still having fun right now. Just having a ball right now."
"It's pretty neat," Grubb said. "Me and Casey are two of the youngest in the series. That's a pretty neat deal. We started talking and hanging out a lot last year, and never knew we were gonna be teammates. I think we'll communicate real well and help each other out, go out there and fight with the old dogs."
Of course, those "old dogs" aren't much older than the young ones. And if the young ones run like they think they can, you may not be able to tell much difference at all.
Source: NASCAR Online