ASL: Jay Middleton heads to new series

What Was Old is New Again for Jay Middleton New Crew Chief and ASL Plans Have Familiar Feeling for Florida Driver LAKE CITY, FL (April 10, 2005) -- What was old is now new again for Jay Middleton. The young driver from Florida has a new...

What Was Old is New Again for Jay Middleton
New Crew Chief and ASL Plans Have Familiar Feeling for Florida Driver

LAKE CITY, FL (April 10, 2005) -- What was old is now new again for Jay Middleton.

The young driver from Florida has a new crew chief, but that new leader of the team has also been a trusted crew member for years. He also has a new racing home in 2005 -- the American Stockcar League, but Middleton has found something familiar in that too since he will be able to use the same equipment he ran on the ASA National Tour in 2004.

"We're going to go to I-70 Speedway (MO) for the first race and play it by ear from there," said Middleton. "If we like it, we'll run a limited schedule. We don't plan on running the whole schedule. We'll be doing that and running the Super Late Model. We're going to try and get up to Pensacola and hit some of the Blizzard races (at Five Flags Speedway, FL) too."

Meanwhile, Chris Cater will take over the crew chief responsibilities on Middleton's #74 car.

"Our car chief is now our crew chief," said Middleton. "He's been with us for years. We didn't like the way that the team was going, so we made a change."

Middleton and Cater already have a good working relationship.

"He's a real good guy and he did everything on the car before," explained Middleton. "He knows just about everything on these cars and what he doesn't know, he has help with. For example, he's learning about shocks and Gene Roberts from Pro Shocks is working with us and willing to help Chris out with anything he needs."

Even more important than mechanical aptitude is being able to believe in the guy who is responsible for preparing your racecar. Middleton has no doubt when it comes to trust; Cater is the right man for the job.

"Chris is getting a little nervous," said Middleton. "But I know that he can do the job. We communicate well and we are on the same page. He's one of the only people in racing that I can trust. There's a lot of money being thrown around in racing and you never really know where people are coming from. It's hard to see their true side, but you always see the true side of Chris."

Right now, the biggest thing for Middleton's team is to be able to get their former ASA car ready for the ASL race. They are finding a few minor and unexpected challenges with that task.

"I've been working all week on that car. Some of it is tough. You will call and need a part for the car and they are hard to find. I guess when ASA went under, people stopped making ASA parts. So we are being told that things are on back order. Yeah, they are on back order because they didn't plan on making those parts again."

For many former ASA competitors, their last event came with the season finale of the ASA National Tour last fall at Atlanta. But Middleton has started over a dozen features since then with his Super Late Model, so he is ready to race.

"That's why we have the Late Model; we are always doing some kind of racing," said Middleton. "It's real easy to get rusty. The way that stuff changes in racing, you really need to stay on top of the learning curve with the set-ups and everything. Just since the Snowball Derby, we've learned all kinds of stuff and new parts have been coming out, so it's definitely an advantage to race so much."

Although I-70 Speedway is a new track for Middleton, he already expects to fall in love with the place.

"I-70 sounds like my kind of racetrack," said Middleton. "I loved it in ASA when we went to the speedways. Being that I-70 is a ½-mile, high-banked track, I think that I will really like it and adapt pretty well to it. I've never been there, but they say that you fly around the place."

The ASL race at I-70 Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, April 30th.

-JayMiddleton.com.

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