Texas Teenager Casey Smith Set For Asphalt World Championships Will Use $15,000-To-Win Race as a Warm-Up for Snowball Derby AUSTIN, TX (November 19, 2003) -- Casey Smith, the 18-year-old prodigy from Austin, TX, has taken on the best short ...
Texas Teenager Casey Smith Set For Asphalt World Championships
Will Use $15,000-To-Win Race as a Warm-Up for Snowball Derby
AUSTIN, TX (November 19, 2003) -- Casey Smith, the 18-year-old prodigy from Austin, TX, has taken on the best short track racers in the country in his brief career and beaten a lot of them. He competed part-time with the American Speed Association Series this year and has shown he can compete for the win. This coming weekend, Smith will compete with more of the best, in terms of the top racers in the Super Late Model ranks from around the country. Yes, this weekend Casey Smith will race in the inaugural Asphalt World Championships at Concord Motorsport Park in North Carolina.
Even though this weekend's race is being eyed upon by many decision-makers in the heart of NASCAR country (Concord is miles away from where many NASCAR teams are based), the youngster is using the event as a tune-up for one of the most historic races in the country.
"This is a big race for us in getting ready for the Snowball Derby and Snowflake 100," said Smith, who is entered for both races at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL next month. "But we aren't just using the race to help us prepare; we are going out there to win them. We aren't coming all the way up from Texas just to have a test session. I think we stand a pretty good shot at coming out of there a winner and that would be big for us.
"I love running at Concord. It has to be one of my favorite tracks around. It's a very tricky place and it makes you become a better racecar driver. Plus, we'll have an added advantage as my crew chief, Robert Hamke, is based down in that area."
Smith finished eighth at Concord in April after starting 27th in the ASA Racing Series. In six starts with ASA in 2003, Smith earned two top-10 finishes and four top-15 finishes, including a career-best third at Lanier National Speedway (GA).
Now Smith is looking to let his foot do the talking behind the wheel of his Hamke Late Model at both the Asphalt World Championships and Snowball Derby.
"There are going to be a lot of big names at Concord which should make the weekend even better," said Smith. "If you can go out there and race against some of the best, like Bobby Gill and Rick Bickle, then you are proving that you belong. I think Freddie Query is the guy all of us are going to be looking to beat though; he is really good at Concord."
Smith has been behind the wheel of a racecar since the day of his fifth birthday when he raced a Quarter Midget. After a championship there, Smith got more titles in Legends Car competition at Lowe's Motor Speedway (NC).
Smith then raced Super Late Models through the 2001 season, where he claimed several wins in a number of different local and traveling series. In 2001, Smith competed in his first Snowball Derby in 2001, where he qualified 14th and was running second when he was involved in an accident.
After NASCAR mandated the 18-year-old age requirement, the Smith team chose the ASA Series as the best way to continue Casey's career. Smith began the ASA season in hopes to run the full campaign for Rookie of the Year honors, but the team's sponsorship fell through, they were forced to pull out and save their eligibility for 2004.