Families are heart and soul of WRS

Families are the heart and soul Of the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series presented by Dodge. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 2, 2002) - The family that races together, stays together. So the saying goes. Whether it's a family that travels to the Daytona...

Families are the heart and soul Of the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series presented by Dodge.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 2, 2002) - The family that races together, stays together. So the saying goes. Whether it's a family that travels to the Daytona 500 each year, or works on a Late Model Stock Car in the garage, fathers and sons, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters keep NASCAR traditions alive.

In the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series presented by Dodge, family is everything. Teams rely on volunteer labor to keep their cars on the track; family members often serve as crew members. Sometimes, the racing"bug" spreads to other relatives and they'll start new teams - pitting fathers and sons or even brothers and sisters against each other.

"NASCAR racing has always been, and will always be, a family sport," said Chris Boals, director of the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series presented by Dodge."The Weekly Racing Series is designed for fun, for learning and it's always been the perfect weekend activity for families that are passionate about motorsports. There are 80 participating tracks across the country, so it's easy to get involved in the series."

Nearly every track is filled with stories of relatives pitching in at the track, or racing against each other in a friendly rivalry....

* At Tucson (Ariz.) Raceway Park, Alan Levin races in the Factory Stock division, as does Alan's son Mike. Alan Levin's other son, Matt, competes in the Late Model division.

* Brothers Roy and Larry Cook compete against each other in the Modified division at Ace Speedway in Altamahaw, N.C. Roy currently leads the point standings with four victories while Larry is eighth in points.

* Rich and Dick Attasani are a father and son team at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Dick, a veteran driver in the Bullring's NASCAR Outlaw Stock division, is currently ninth in points. Rich, the 1995 Modified track champion, now competes in the Late Model division.

* At Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway, Bill and Brian Clarke, a father and son duo, have dominated the Sport Truck division for the past few seasons. Bill is a longtime competitor at Seekonk and has captured three victories this season. His son, Brian, is a two-time defending track champion in the Sport Trucks and is favored to win his third title this year.

* Dusty and Darrin Parrott are teenage brothers who race at Elko (Minn.) Speedway. Dusty is second in the Bomber division while Darrin is a top-10 competitor in the Sportsman division. Their father is the crew chief for both cars.

* Janice Wood, of Benson, N.C. is the crew chief for her husband Stacy's Street Stock entry at Southern National Speedway in Kenly, N.C. The Woods have been married for 24 years, and Janice's technical ability helped her win the 2001 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series True Value Mechanic of the Year Award.

The presence of these teams serves as a welcome reminder that much of weekly racing is about fun, family and working together. Although a $1.7 million annual point fund is distributed among the top finishers in the series, these hometown teams race for the experience and the time shared at the track.

For the Parrott clan, racing at Elko is a tradition that dates back two generations. Dusty and Darrin's grandfather and father both raced and now 16-year old Dusty and 18-year old Darrin are the family's drivers. Rounding out the racing activities, their mother works in the speedway office.

Listening to Dusty, a student at Northfield (Minn.) High School, it is clear that racing is an enjoyable Parrott family activity.

"My brother and my father know a lot so they teach me, so I can learn to do things with the car on my own. I'm still learning but I try to do what I can," Dusty said.

"My father has been teaching me how to set up the car, how to keep it running. He taught me how to drive and helped me build my first car. My mother, she's more nervous but I guess that's more of a' mom thing.'"

Tucson, Ariz. businessman Alan Levin has found the perfect outlet to relieve his workaday stress - Factory Stock racing at Tucson Raceway Park. Ironically, it was Levin who followed his son's footsteps into the sport, not the other way around.

"My son, Matt, started racing in the Factory Stock division three years ago and I was his pit crew. I figured, if I was going to be out at the track, I would get my own car so I could race and have fun," Levin said.

The Levin clan is now a prominent fixture at the 3/8-mile Tucson oval. Alan continues to race in the Factory Stocks, while Matt has moved on to the NASCAR Late Model division. Alan's other son, Mike, also competes in the Factory Stocks. Alan's brother, John, has also raced in the Factory Stock division.

"I'm the oldest of seven children, so family is very important to us," Levin said."We've carried that over into our racing. My wife, our daughter, our grandchild and my brother and his wife are our biggest supporters. We've got our own little cheering section in the stands."

"I've learned an awful lot from Matt about how to setup the car and how to drive it. With his help, I've won the feature race in the past two weeks."


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Drivers Brian Clark