Boswell to Drive for Dale Jr. in Pro Cup This Season
Rookie To Pilot Champion Chevrolet for JR Motorsports
There’s an old saying that “luck is where opportunity meets preparation.” It’s not Richard Boswell’s mantra just yet, but it could be before the season is over.
Boswell will climb into the seat of the #88 in Pro Cup this season. (USAR Photo)
Boswell, 23, knows he’s lucky. Now, he’s ready to show he’s prepared for the next step in racing after being tabbed to drive the potent No. 88s Champion Spark Plugs/NAVY/Snap-On Chevrolet out of the JR Motorsports stable in 2007.
“This is an awesome opportunity; people wait for years for something like this to happen,” said Boswell, a native of Friendship, Md. “I was in the right place at the right time, and I got lucky. There are guys out there that are as deserving, or even more deserving, to be in this position.”
But the lucrative ride didn’t just fall in Boswell’s lap.
Since the age of nine, Boswell has been honing his skills, winning the 1998 and 1999 Virginia State Championship go-kart title as well as the 1998 World Karting National Championship.
After jumping to Late Models in 2000, Boswell continued his successes behind the wheel, picking up the rookie-of-the-year honors at Old Dominion Speedway with his family-run team. In 2003, Boswell picked up one win, nine top-five and 14 top-10 finishes in 19 starts. His impressive stats turned the head of JR Motorsports, who signed Boswell to drive the No. 72 R&B Chevrolet in 27 Late Model races last year.
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte graduate posted one win, seven top-five and 17 top-10 finishes, and collected two pole awards in 2006. But it was impressive starts in Pro Cup that proved he was ready to advance.
Last year, Boswell ran in the top five in his Pro Cup debut at South Boston before being caught up in a wreck late in the event. In his second start, Boswell finished with a fourth-place finish at USA Int’l Speedway.
“It was a big advantage for me to run those races last season,” said Boswell. “A lot of people think Pro Cup cars are like Late Models, but they are a whole lot different.”
Boswell will be joined in his jump from the Late Model ranks by his crew, Jeff Caudill, brother of Late Model ace Jamey Caudill.
“Jeff’s just an all-around smart guy,” said Boswell. “We worked well together last year and I think that will continue into this season. We’ve been testing and things are clicking along.”
While there will be lots of firsts for Boswell this season, he’ll continue to have a familiar face in his corner. Boswell’s dad, Dickie, who made 61 stars in the Busch Series, will offer moral support throughout the season.
“He’s, without a doubt, the biggest part of my success,” Boswell said of his dad. “Even when we go test, he tries to get off so he can go with us. You get used to seeing him there. It’s gotten to the point that we’re learning a lot of the setups for the first time, but it’s good to have him there for support.”
With all the pieces in place for a stellar rookie campaign, Boswell understands the pressures that come with driving a high-profile car. But he also knows the potential of his team.
“I know it’s all about performance,” said Boswell. “JR Motorsports has grown into a team that is as good as anybody in the Pro Cup Series. They built themselves into a championship-caliber team. It would be awesome to win the rookie title, but I don’t want to limit our goals to that. I think that would be letting Dale Jr., Kelley [Earnhardt Elledge] and everyone at JR Motorsports down. Champion Spark Plugs is back with the team this year, and we’d like to get them the championship they deserve.”
And that would certainly prove that Boswell is lucky and good.