Chase Austin Completes Eight Nights of Racing at New Smyrna Speedway's World Series of Asphalt Rookie Hendrick Development Driver, Chase Austin, completed the World Series of Asphalt event at New Symrna Speedway racing in the ...
Chase Austin Completes Eight Nights of Racing at New Smyrna Speedway's World Series of Asphalt
Rookie Hendrick Development Driver, Chase Austin, completed the World Series of Asphalt event at New Symrna Speedway racing in the #11Delphi Super Late Model. The nine consecutive nights of racing began on Friday February 11th and ended Saturday February 19th. The annual event drew entries from some of the most experienced and talented late model racers in the country. For the young newcomer, Chase Austin, it was a roller coaster ride of ups and downs of luck. But he and the SS Racing crew never gave up night after night.
The event's first race was quickly over for Austin when he was caught up in a wreck just after taking the green flag. "I was heading into to turn one and the four cars in front of me got into each other and I just had no where to go." Said Austin. It was the third restart of the race after two previous crashes that Austin amazingly avoided. Crew Chief, Deon Deneau and his crew went to work right away to fix the car for the second night of racing.
Austin qualified 16th in the second race and quickly began to pass cars after the green. He was running a very solid race until he was forced to go up high on the track to avoid a wreck happening in front of him. He got into the marbles causing his car to break loose and brushed the outside wall coming out of turn four. It appeared he was going to regain control until another car came up from behind hitting his left rear and literally driving over the entire driver's side of the car. "I could hear that cars motor go by my window and I knew he was close"! Said Austin.
Once again the crew worked day and night to get ready for race number three. Austin took the green in the third race and had a good run considering he wasn't able to participate in practice or qualifying. Starting at the rear of the pack he raced his way to a 25th place finish in the 25-lap event. The SS Racing crew was smiling and enthusiastic with Chase's performance heading into the fourth race. But the bad luck monster wasn't ready to leave just yet.
During the practice session of the fourth event the motor suddenly let go taking away any chance of racing that night. Amazingly the crew put any frustration aside and immediately began working together to replace the motor. The team had the car rolling again by the start of race five.
Despite the string of bad luck the young Chase Austin kept looking forward as he spoke to his crew chief about their goals for race night five. "Nothing gets to this kid! I have worked with a lot of drivers who have much more experience than Chase and they would be so frustrated or mad right now. But not Chase, he just puts it behind him and moves on. It's really amazing! I mean it when I say that his attitude carries over to his crew guys and is going to take him far in racing." Said Crew Chief, Deon Deneau.
Race five proved to be better as Austin Qualified 20th and finished 17th with a clean race car. In race six Austin appeared to be headed for another clean finish. But with just twelve laps to go another car bounced off the outside wall striking Austin's car and sending him hard into the inside wall which tore apart the front suspension. "I thought we were headed for a top fifteen finish. I feel really bad for my crew as they have been working so hard all week to keep us going." Said Austin.
Most teams would have gone home, but the SS Racing team went hard to work fixing the car and staying determined to finish out the remaining races of the event. Without any practice before race seven Austin still qualified an impressive 14th and finished an event best 15th place. "It was good to get a solid finish and have a complete night". Said Chase. During a practice session for the final eighth race an incident ended their day early and completed the event.
Chase Austin had his first experience working with a professional crew chief and team. He previously had only worked with his Dad. And at only fifteen years old he succeeded in communicating with his crew chief while keeping the teams spirits up in the peaks and valleys all race teams experience. "I learned a lot over the last several days. And even though I would have liked for things to go differently I feel very blessed to be with such a great crew and part of this development program with Hendrick Motorsports." Said Austin. With their never give up attitude this newly formed team has a very promising season ahead.
As the SS Racing team rides off into the sunset leaving the warmth of Florida's New Smyrna Speedway behind, they can look forward to their upcoming events in the ASA Late Model Series. Chase Austin will continue to be fielded by the SS Racing team as part of its alliance with Hendrick Motorsports Driver Development Program. Austin's next event is schedule for May 7th at Baer Field Raceway in Indiana. Stay tuned to www.ssracingonline.com for all the latest updates and news of Chase Austin.