Pressley Races to the Top of NASCAR WAAS National Points NASCAR PR Report
19-Year-Old Continues Family Tradition
When Coleman Pressley gets advice at the track, it’s usually from one voice. That’s because his driving coach is also his car owner, crew chief, spotter and public relations manager. And dad. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt when that person is a veteran of more than 400 combined starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Pressley, the 19-year-old son of former driver Robert Pressley, is in his second, full competitive season running Late Model in the southeast.
“It just makes it that much easier when you have somebody like him,” Pressley said of his father. “He’s able to help me to understand what the car is going to do over a period of time, what line to drive, little secrets of where you can pass people. We’re able to use his experience that he’s gained over the years and translate it to me.”
Pressley’s accelerated learning curve is evident on the track this year, where he has six wins in 13 starts. He was second in the Late Model race at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in Greenville, S.C., this past weekend to vault past Andy Loden into the lead in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national standings..
Pressley has 572 points. Loden, who has picked up a majority of his points running at Hickory Motor Speedway in Newton, N.C., is second with 552. Loden was fifth this past weekend in Hickory’s Bojangles Late Model Stock feature.
Keith Rocco is third at 456 points with a pair of wins at the Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl. David Roberts and Marty Ward, both of Greenville-Pickens, are fourth and fifth, respectively.
At Greenville-Pickens, Pressley leads the points by 12 over four-time track champion Ward and 14 over defending track champion Roberts.
In one of the more unique and memorable traditions in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, Greenville-Pickens paints the name of its track champion each year on the outside retaining wall. A lap on the track is like a trip back through time.
Robert Pressley won the Greenville-Pickens track title in 1988, the year Coleman was born.
“You go around the race track and see names like David Pearson and Ralph Earnhardt,” Coleman Pressley said. “And then you see my dad’s name – my hero growing up. It’s really cool to know you’ve accomplished something at a track with that much history.”
Running with a small team — himself, his dad and two other guys — Coleman Pressley said they plan to take it one week at a time at Greenville-Pickens, and then travel to other tracks in the southeast like Motor Mile in Virginia, and Hickory and Caraway Speedways in North Carolina, and gain as much experience as he can. As a development driver for JTG Racing, Pressley works during the week at the shop in Charlotte on the NASCAR Nationwide Series cars for Marcos Ambrose and Kelly Bires.
Under the point structure for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, the race winner will receive two points for every car in the event up to 25 cars. Second place will receive two fewer points, and so-on through the field. For example, if there are 25 cars, the winner receives 50 points, second gets 48 and third 46. If there are 15 cars, the winner receives 30 points, second gets 28 and third 26. New this year, drivers receive five bonus points for a win. The final day for the 2008 points is Sunday, Sept. 14
Coleman Pressley's #59 Late Model Stock Car. (NASCAR / Debra E. Slater-Manter Photo)