AUSTIN, TX (September 9, 2003) -- Casey Smith hasn't been seen or heard from in the ASA circles as of late, but that doesn't mean the 18-year-old is just sitting around idle, twiddling his thumbs. After Smith's team announced they would save...
AUSTIN, TX (September 9, 2003) -- Casey Smith hasn't been seen or heard from in the ASA circles as of late, but that doesn't mean the 18-year-old is just sitting around idle, twiddling his thumbs. After Smith's team announced they would save their rookie eligibility for the 2004 season, the youngster decided to keep his skills honed by competing around his homestate of Texas in a variety of racecars, including Late Model Stocks and Modifieds. In addition, he is maturing on the business side of racing as he aids the team in its sponsorship search in their quest to compete for the $50,000 prize of next year's ASA Rookie of the Year honors.
"It's been hard sitting on the sidelines and watching the ASA races on SPEED Channel each week," said Smith, who graduated from high school earlier this year. "But trust me; I haven't been just sitting around doing nothing. I've tried to get as much track-time as I can by running a Late Model Stock and a Modified car for a couple friends of mine. It isn't quite like racing with the guys in ASA, but it keeps my skills sharp and keeps me behind the wheel."
While many recent high school grads spend their summer preparing for college and goofing off with their friends, Smith has taken a different summer track to success. He has spent lot of time working on both the Late Model and Modified in the team's shop as well as trying to find sponsorship for his ASA efforts.
"It is very humbling to try and find sponsorship for the ASA car or anything we are running," said Smith. "It is tough, but I know it is tough for everyone right now. We've just got to continue proving that we are a good program for someone to get involved with. That is another reason I have stayed behind the wheel; we can't be rusty when we return to ASA. We have to be right where we left off, which was on the brink of being a top-five car every week."
Smith showed a lot of promise in ASA by notching two top-10 finishes in just four starts, including a career-best third at Lanier National Speedway in Georgia. Yet, the team fell short on sponsorship money to keep them on the track for the remainder of the season.
"I haven't had a lot of time to work on the ASA car, but I'll get it back out here soon. We'll get a few things changed on the car and we'll take her out to a local track and shake it down and test a couple of new things we are working on. I've also been busy working on our Super Late Model that we are going to run at three big races later this year."
The new Hamke Super Late Model will be piloted by Smith at the ASA-sanctioned "Patriot 200" on Saturday night, October 18 at the Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, the night before the ASA season finale. Smith will also run the car at a $15,000-to-win show at Concord (NC) Motorsport Park and at the annual Snowball Derby inn Pensacola (FL).
Smith will return to ASA action at Illiana Motor Speedway on September 20. He will also compete in the season-finale at Nashville on October 19.