RYAN MOORE ASSUMES FAMILY TEAM LEADERSHIP; SETS SIGHTS ON 2005 BUSCH NORTH TITLE STARTING WITH WHELEN 150 AT LEE USA SPEEDWAY, SUNDAY, MAY 15 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 29, 2005) -- The time has come for Ryan Moore to assume the mantle of ...
RYAN MOORE ASSUMES FAMILY TEAM LEADERSHIP; SETS SIGHTS ON 2005 BUSCH NORTH TITLE STARTING WITH WHELEN 150 AT LEE USA SPEEDWAY, SUNDAY, MAY 15
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 29, 2005) -- The time has come for Ryan Moore to assume the mantle of leadership for his family's NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series team. For two years he has served the unique apprenticeship of driving a second team car alongside his father Kelly Moore, the leader in every Busch North Series career statistical category. Now Ryan steps to the plate, hoping to bring Moore Racing a second Busch North title to add to Kelly's 1995 crown before he moves on the next stage of his own career, as a Dale Earnhardt Inc. development driver in the NASCAR Busch Series.
As a sort of spring training camp in preparation for their 2005 Busch North Series campaign, Ryan and crew chief Jamie Lorfano, who handled the same duties for Kelly Moore in recent seasons, made the long trip from Scarborough, Maine to the Arizona desert to compete in the recent NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series event at Phoenix International Raceway. "I just wanted to have the chance to do a little racing," Ryan explained, adding "It's a pretty long winter here in the northeast without being able to race. We just wanted to get to the race track before the Busch North season was ready to go. We have a couple of new guys on the team and Jamie and I haven't worked a lot together so it gave us a chance to work and got the team working together."
The exercise in team bonding almost became an exercise in victory lane celebration as Ryan battled side-by-side with former West Series champion Scott Lynch on the final lap before Burney Lamar passed both for the win. "We were really happy how it went. In Phoenix we had a car to win all weekend and wound up with a good top three finish," he said.
The Busch North Series title is Ryan Moore's number one priority in 2005, but in looking forward to following Busch North graduates like Ricky Craven and Martin Truex Jr. into the national spotlight, he has other projects on his plate as well. "We're definitely going to run the full Busch North season for the championship and pick five to seven Busch Series races that aren't going to interfere," he noted. "There are also some pro stock races we're going to run, so it's going to be a full summer."
Aside from the enthusiasm that comes from being a 21-year-old star in the making, Ryan has sound reasons for wanting to race as much as possible. "I really want to be in the car once or twice every week whether it's going somewhere to test or racing. It doesn't matter," he said looking ahead to the demands placed on a NASCAR Busch Series or NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver. "I just want to be sure I'm in the seat twice a week just to stay fresh all the time."
One track where Ryan Moore has plenty of seat time and is looking forward to 150 laps more is Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Maine, the birthplace of his own racing career and the birthplace of the Busch North Series in 1987. "It was where I started my career and I've won a lot of races there. The Busch North Series used to go there eight times a year and it's time to get back," he observed of the track where the eagerly-awaited return of the series after a 12-year absence is scheduled for August 27.
The story of Ryan Moore in the Busch North Series is really an extension of the story of Kelly Moore, who after sitting out only a half-dozen races in the first 18 years of the series' history plans to run a limited schedule in 2005. "We finally got him to slow down a little bit," Ryan said with a chuckle. Turning serious, he added, "He's going to sit back and oversee everything. He's going to run a few races; he's a long way from being ready to walk away from it. But for the most part he's just going to be in the background helping us."
Ryan Moore is counting on that help, along with that of his crew, sponsors R.C. Moore Transportation and Bill Dodge Auto Group, and the legion of fans the Moore family brings to every Busch North race, to help him over the top to the 2005 Busch North Series title.
The Busch North Series kicks off its 19th season on Sunday, May 15, with the Whelen 150 at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, N.H. The one-day program includes practice and Busch Pole Qualifying as well as racing for Lee's regular NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series classes. Race time is 4:30 p.m. with live high-definition coverage on HDNet, followed by a later enhanced rebroadcast on SPEED Channel.