Casey Smith To Make Run at ASA Rookie of the Year In 2004 Texas Teen Is Planning To Run Entire 2004 Season with Family-Owned Team AUSTIN, TX (February 18, 2004) -- Texas teenager Casey Smith is ready to tackle the big-time. After two years of ...
Casey Smith To Make Run at ASA Rookie of the Year In 2004
Texas Teen Is Planning To Run Entire 2004 Season with Family-Owned Team
AUSTIN, TX (February 18, 2004) -- Texas teenager Casey Smith is ready to tackle the big-time. After two years of running American Speed Association races sporadically, 18-year-old Smith and his family-owned team will compete full-time with the series in 2004 in hopes of capturing the $50,000 Rookie of the Year crown and vying for the ASA National Championship.
"This is going to be a big year for us," said Smith with a smile. "We are really focused on being as competitive as possible and having everything we need to be a top-10 car each and every week. During the last couple years, we've learned a lot about these cars and this series, but it's only now that we'll be able to show our stuff. We've got a new car and all the right things in line for this year, so we're going for it. If you're going to do it, you might as well put everything you have into it and give yourself the absolute best shot and best equipment; that is what it takes to win in this series.
"There is going to be a pretty good rookie crop this year too with Scott Lagasse Jr. and Joey Miller and I'm sure there will be some others too. We know we can compete for wins and even the championship, and if that stuff happens, then the Rookie of the Year battle will take care of itself."
Smith's cars will have a different look this year. The team will run a Dodge-bodied car and will switch from the #08 they've run in the past to #19. They will also have technical help from legendary crew chief Joe Shear Jr., who guided NASCAR Cup Series driver Johnny Sauter to the 2001 ASA Championship and Rookie of the Year titles.
"We're going to be getting a lot of help from Joe as the year goes on. I'm sure we'll be talking on the phone to him several times a week in addition to the times he will be able to be at the track. Joe helped us out at the (Snowball) Derby and it really paid off. He knows how to work with these cars. He's the first guy that has improved the cars during a race weekend by playing with the car instead of changing my driving style."
Smith ran a total of six events with ASA in 2003, earning two top-10 finishes and four top-15 finishes, including a career-best third-place finish at Lanier National Speedway (GA). He capped off his 2003 season with an impressive and eye-opening run at the 36th Annual Snowball Derby, where he finished third behind NASCAR Southeast Series Champion Charlie Bradberry and two-time ASA Champion Gary St. Amant.
The 18-year-old will be put to the test even more so this year, as ASA ventures into three superspeedways, including events at the Lowe's Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway during Nextel Cup Series race weekends.
"I'm real excited about running at the big tracks," said Smith, who's never raced on anything bigger than the ¾-mile track in Memphis (TN). "It's going to be pretty neat. Everyone will really learn a lot during the test sessions that ASA is going to hold before that. It will eliminate some of the nerves people will have from never being on big tracks before. Learning how to draft with the restrictor plate and roof spoiler is going to be the biggest learning curve.
"I think it is going to be a great show though. I raced during Cup weekend events in legend cars but no one in the garage area really wanted to pay attention to that. I think when ASA is on the track, with as many drivers that have graduated from this series, there will be plenty of people on the haulers taking notice. It could be a big opportunity for some of us."
The team continues to search for sponsorship for their run at ASA Rookie of the Year in 2004. For sponsorship inquiries, call (512) 282-6845 and be sure to check out for more information.