Wade Day has been a champion in every level of racing he's ever competed at, and his sights are set on winning not only one title, but two during the 2007 racing season. Day and the Bristol-based Highlands Motorsports team are gearing up for a full-time run with the Hooters Pro Cup Series, as they will campaign the No. 96s Ford Fusion in the Southern Division. Day, from Elizabethton, Tenn., and team owner Wade Lopez are setting lofty goals for the upcoming racing season.
the wheel with him into the Hooters Pro Cup Series. He's a former World Karting Association national champion, winning over 800 go-kart races before moving up to the Late Model Stock ranks. His rookie season in 1999, competing at Kingsport (Tenn.) Speedway, Day finished second in the point standings while winning six features. The following season was a banner campaign for Day as he captured the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Blue Ridge Region Championship, winning 14 feature events while recording 18 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes in 19 starts.
During the 2002 season, competing at Lonesome Pine (Coeburn, Va.) Raceway, Day captured the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Atlantic Region Championship on the strength of recording 18 feature wins. But that's not all, as he was crowned the International Sport Compact Auto Racing Series (ISCARS) Dash Series champion for 2005. Besides his duties at Highlands Motorsports, during the 2006 racing season Day served as crew chief for Hooters Pro Cup teenage racer Trevor Bayne.
"With my racing background I really feel like we (team) can be a championship contender this year," said the 34-year-old Day. "Our goals are to win the series championship and also the Rookie of the Year title. We've got a good team assembled and we have two Hess Race Cars we'll run that will have Allen Powell Racing Engines under the hood. I really believe we'll run well at every event we show up for. Crew chiefing for Trevor (Bayne) last year will help because of notes I have from the different tracks we raced at. So we won't just be showing up and not be in the ballpark on our race setups this year. With all the key ingredients in place with this race team for us to be successful, I'll be very disappointed if we're not a contender for the series championship. We want to win races, that's what it's all about. If you're running up front and in contention to win races, then the points will take care of themselves."
Wade day works on his Super Late Model prior to winning the PASS South race at Orange County last summer. (51 Photo)
Day and the Highlands Motorsports team will be ready for preseason testing in mid-February in preparation for the season opening event on March 10 at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, Fla.
The Highlands Motorsports team for 2007 consists of team owner Wade Lopez, crew chief Larry Collins, car chief Dinky Torbett, shock specialist Kenny Hunley, tire changers Tim Sant, Kent Hunley and Ryan Anglen, tire carriers Richard Beard and Wes Frazier, jackman Mike Ost, tire specialist James Duffy, body fabricator Chris White, and Ray Lopez, Rick Day, Glen Light and Charlie Gray.
"When Wade (Lopez, team owner) and I sat down to talk over what direction we wanted to go with Highlands Motorsports this past fall, the Hooters Pro Cup Series appealed to us both," said Day recently at the race shop. "Over the last couple of seasons we've raced our Super Late Model (PASS South) and Late Model Stock, along with our ISCARS Dash Series car, and we've enjoyed a lot of success. But when you sit and look at what competing with the Hooters Pro Cup Series offers, the television exposure on the SPEED Channel and the caliber of competition in the series, it's all just a good fit for our race team. There's also a break in between events, you never have to race on back-to-back weekends. That's a plus for our race team, because for every event we show up for we'll be well prepared."
Day, married with three children and a native of Whitesburg, Ky., brings an impressive resume behind
The No. 96s Ford Fusion will be sponsored by Lopez Wealth Management Group.
STANCILL STEPS UP
Ben Stancill, 2006 Hickory Motor Speedway Super Late Model Truck Champion, will team with DLP Motorsports to compete in the 2007 Hooters Pro Cup Series, running the No. 24s Dodge Charger in hopes of a successful season.
Stancill, a 17-year-old high school senior, will compete in the Southern Division while setting his sights on winning Hooters Pro Cup Rookie of the Year. Racing since he was seven years old, Stancill has won numerous championships in go-karts and legend cars. Included in his list of achievements is the 2006 Rookie of the Year at Hickory Motor Speedway. When he is not racing, Stancill enjoys fishing, hunting, and taking part in activities at his school.
When questioned, Stancill smiles excitedly and says, "I love driving Pro Cup cars!"
Last year, Stancill had the opportunity to run three races, qualifying on the front row in the first race.
"I learned a lot from that first Pro Cup race, and I know that I will carry more momentum and confidence in this 2007 season," said Stancill. "I will also get more experience this year, running the full season and working with DLP Motorsports owner/crew chief David ‘Buggy’ Pletcher. I am looking forward to working with Buggy; he’s a smart crew chief and has a lot of knowledge and experience to bring to our team."
As Pletcher settles into his new race shop in Mooresville and new position as both owner and crew chief, the pair continues to make plans and is committed to run the entire Pro Cup season.
"I am looking forward to working with Ben, he has shown
Day learned the Pro Cup ropes last year as the crew cheif for Trevor Bayne's #29 team.
some great talent," Pletcher states. "His abilities and dedication are going to help make this an exciting first season."
CABIN FEVER? CATCH SOME PRO CUP RACING ON TV
It’s been nearly two months since the last Hooters Pro Cup car swept across the finish line, and it will be a few more months before the first car takes the green flag at USA Int’l Speedway in Lakeland, Fla., to start the 2007 season. But in the meantime, SportSouth will continue to air last year’s events until the new season starts.
"We’ve been very pleased with our affiliate package over the last few years," said Tony Cox, USAR Series Director. "Since acquiring the services of CAP Sports Group to help with our affiliate programming, we added 57 million households to our TV package. And most of the affiliates are airing our races multiple times in primetime viewing hours."
Ben Stancill (51 Photo)
"The CRA Series was a major stepping stone for me and I hope to use all that knowledge and experience we gained and take it to the Pro Cup," Jackson said. "We’ll have some major challenges in 2007. The Pro Cup drivers are some of the toughest around. And while I’ll never underestimate and opponent, I plan on winning some races and finishing in the top five in the point standings this year."
The team plans to attend the eight Northern Division events: April 14, South Boston, Va.; May 3, Shenandoah, Va.; May 26, Madison, Wisc.; June 9, Mansfield, Ohio; June 30, Salem, Ind.; July 14, Radford, Va.; July 28, North East, Pa.; and August 11, South Boston, Va. In addition, the team is tentatively scheduled to attend the first Pro Cup event of the 2007 season, Saturday, March 10, at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, Fla.
The Pro Cup season concludes with five Championship Series events. Jackson would like to attend all of these races, pending sponsorship funding.
The USAR Hooters Pro Cup series is a short, circle track stock car series, consisting of both experienced pro racers and young drivers trying to make a name for themselves. The races are broadcast on SPEED, offering a great television package and incentive for sponsors with a regional or national audience.
In addition to this season’s CRA "Rookie of the Year" moniker, Jackson has amassed several achievements in a short time. He received the 2005 ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series "Rookie of the Year" honor, winning once on the series that year in Middlebourne, W.Va. He was the 2005 Legends Car Pro Asphalt National Champion. In 2006, he added two more ARCA Truck victories, winning at Winchester (Indiana) Speedway and Kentucky Speedway.
BULLET LOOKS TO RELOAD FOR '07
Bullet Racing will begin the process of finding a qualified driver to pilot their vehicles for the upcoming 2007 USAR Pro Cup Championship Series.
Bullet Racing is an established team based out of
Cleveland, Ohio. The team has a proven track record of
consistent performance, a professional image and can
offer an outstanding program not only to their driver, but
their marketing partners as well.
Bullet Racing maintains its website with frequent
updates about the driver and sponsors, including press
releases, updated race results, same day practice and
qualifying results and stories directly from the track as
it happens. The posts include photos from the autograph
session and race day pictures from every event in which
they participate. In 2006, the website reached the
250,000-visitor mark. Those visitors had an opportunity to
view sponsor and contingency links as well.
The Team will be looking for a qualified and skilled driver who can bring a marketing partner to the program with them. Please send introductory information to email@example.com, or by mail to: Bullet Racing, 4477 Renaissance Parkway, Warrensville Hts, Ohio, 44128.
Gary St. Amant is a previous driver of the Bullet Racing #11.
Actually, "multiple" could be a bit of an understatement.
The Naturally Fresh ® 250 at Kil-Kare (Ohio) Speedway aired 53 times before being shelved.
With the addition of SportSouth’s 8.4 million households, the number of households the Hooters Pro Cup Series reaches has grown to 120 million.
"We value every household that we can reach, but the addition of SportSouth to our regional package is extremely gratifying," said Cox. "SPEED will still provided the bulk of our households next season, but the
more affiliates we pick up will help our drivers and sponsors become more visible in the public eye."
SportsSouth has 8.4 million subscribers in Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and North Carolina.
CRA ROOKIE OF THE YEAR SHOOTS FOR SAME IN PRO CUP
Danny Jackson was recognized as the CD-2 "Rookie of the Year" Saturday, January 6, during the Champion Racing Association (CRA) Awards Banquet in Anderson, Ind.
Jackson, a 23-year-old third generation race car driver from Cincinnati, Ohio, won the award based on his accomplishments during the 2006 CRA Super Series Late Model season, in which he finished 5th place in the point standings. The next closest rookie was ranked 10th.
"This award really means a lot to me," said Jackson. "Not only does it reward my entire team for the things we’ve accomplished this season, but serves as good motivation for me to continually improve as a racer."
Some of Jackson’s accomplishments during the 2006 season include: seven top ten finishes, 13 top twenty finishes, one No. 1 qualifier. He accumulated the second highest ranking in the "percentage of laps completed" category at 87.8 percent for the season. During the final race of the year, he set the Winchester Speedway record with a lap-time of 15.192 seconds.
Jackson recently announced he will race in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup during the 2007 season. In December, the team purchased a Pro Cup car formerly driven by Johnny Rumley, a veteran who’s won multiple USAR and NASCAR Busch Series races.
There will be plenty of winter Pro Cup recaps on SportsSouth.
Jackson (#5) ran in the CRA Super Series last season and was named as their top rookie.