JR Norris Set For Biggest Season of His Racing Career Alabama Driver Will Drive Richie Wauters' Cars in NASCAR Southeast Division Hueytown, AL (March 24, 2004) -- Hueytown, Alabama has produced its fair share of legendary race car drivers. Names...
JR Norris Set For Biggest Season of His Racing Career
Alabama Driver Will Drive Richie Wauters' Cars in NASCAR Southeast Division
Hueytown, AL (March 24, 2004) -- Hueytown, Alabama has produced its fair share of legendary race car drivers. Names like Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Davey Allison, Neil Bonnett and Red Farmer were all members of the famed "Alabama Gang" who hailed from that small town. And they were some of the best to ever climb behind the wheel of a race car. Now, 24-year-old JR Norris is hoping he can become the next famed-Hueytown racer to make it to the big time.
Norris is preparing for the biggest season of his 14-year racing career, as he will compete for Rookie of the Year honors with the famed NASCAR Elite Division, Southeast Series (the former All Pro Series), a class that many of the famed "Alabama Gang" members raced in over the years. Norris will team with Concord, NC-based car owner Richie Wauters for nine of the 12 races on the schedule.
"Oh man this year is going to be awesome," said Norris. "I've watched the All Pro Series ever since I was a kid and seen a lot of great race car drivers come through there so it is going to be really neat to be able to get my shot to be a part of that series too! I can remember watching some of the best from Alabama and all over the Southeast racing with the All Pro Series in the '80s and '90s.
"It is really amazing to be able to be teamed up with Richie (Wauters) for the year too. We were talking at one of the races last year and he said that he'd been watching me and the conversations just went from there. Before you knew it, we had a deal put together.
"Richie has some of the best equipment in the Southeast too! Every time you go to a race and he is there, his cars always unload fast. We are going to run together at nine of the 12 series events. We are still working on a couple deals for the three superspeedway races and I'm sure we'll have something put together before they get here. It is going to be a great year and I can't wait for it to start."
Norris started racing go-karts in 1989. After many wins and championships, he moved on to the Allison Legacy Series, winning the Alabama State Championship in 1998. In 2000, Norris became the youngest track champion at Birmingham International Raceway at 20. In 2001, Norris moved onto the Southeastern-based Southern All Star Series, where he compiled eight wins through 2003, including the 2001 Rookie of the Year title.
"Charlie Bradberry (the 2003 Southeast Series champion) has always been a really good friend of mine; we practically grew up together racing through the years and he's told me that this is a good next step for me. He's hoping to come with me to some of the races when he isn't off racing his Craftsman Truck and help me out to get me ready for the year. I'm not expecting it to be a big change, though, because I've raced some pretty long races with the Southern All Stars and in some of the big Super Late Model races around the country too. I know I'll be able to adapt to the cars pretty good."
Norris will also spend time in his family-owned #1 Super Late Model when not competing with the Southeast Series. Norris, who nearly won the Southern All Stars opener at Birmingham in late February, will race a number of SAS and various other big-money Super Late Model shows throughout the year.
"I'd like to get back up to the North vs. South race at Nashville this year because we qualified second there last year and had the field covered before something gave out in the rear end. We are looking at a bunch of other races that we might go to as well, including the World Cup 300 at I-70 Speedway and of course, we'll hit the Snowball Derby at the end of the year."
The Rookie of the Year title in the NASCAR Southeast Series is one of the prizes JR Norris has his eye on in 2004, although he is also aiming for the championship in a combined effort with car owner Richie Wauters. If you would like more information on JR Norris and his 2004 efforts, check out jrnorris.com.