Casey Smith Working on Plans To Graduate to The Majors 19-YEAR-OLD TEXAN WORKING ON TRANSITION FROM SHORT TRACKS TO NASCAR AUSTIN, TX (March 17, 2005) -- Any driver that graduates from the short tracks to the big leagues of NASCAR racing has...
Casey Smith Working on Plans To Graduate to The Majors
19-YEAR-OLD TEXAN WORKING ON TRANSITION FROM SHORT TRACKS TO NASCAR
AUSTIN, TX (March 17, 2005) -- Any driver that graduates from the short tracks to the big leagues of NASCAR racing has to undergo a few changes along the way. There is a point in a driver's career when they move from turning wrenches and thinking about the next race to the point where they are almost like politicians or salesmen -- working crowds and trying to sell themselves to potential sponsors and car owners.
That crossroads in Casey Smith's career might be taking place during the current off-season. The Texas teenager ran a full schedule of ASA National Tour competition in 2005 and hopes to move to one of NASCAR's top series this coming season. He's in a good position to do so. Smith can't talk about the details yet, but he's been meeting with several different teams in the NASCAR Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series about driving opportunities.
"A whole group of us have been working hard on my plans for the future," said Smith. "It's very tough to be a dealmaker and the good thing has been that I haven't had to do a lot of it myself so far.
"I've found out that there is a lot more to racing than just driving. You need to market yourself to teams and sponsors to move up. I miss working on my own cars and driving for my Mom and Dad, but once we put a deal together it will be nice to race and not have to worry about money. We've been working towards this since I was five years old and I've been very fortunate to have people looking out for my career along the way."
Financial turmoil made Smith's rookie ASA season a challenge to say the least. Looking back, most teams might wish that they selected another form of racing last year and although Smith wonders about that, he also thinks that running in ASA has helped him as well.
"On one hand, my parents and I wish that we raced Pro Cup or in a NASCAR Touring division last year," said Smith. "But the guy who is helping me the most right now first noticed me because we had good runs at Lakeland and Lanier early in the ASA season. I talked to some people last year about doing something sponsorship-wise and I knew that it wouldn't be fair to bring them into the ASA. Now it looks like we'll be moving up instead."
That will be somewhat of an adjustment for the racer in Smith.
"This year is going to be a learning year," said Smith. "I won't be running a lot of races and that will be different for me."
Working on the opportunity to graduate to the big leagues means that Smith is going to have to discard some of his recent past.
"We are looking to sell our cars and all of our short track equipment," said Smith. "If I don't sell my Late Model, we've talked about running the Snowball Derby at the end of the year. That's a fun place to run and it might be my only short track race of the year."