One thing every short track driver hopes for is that their talents get noticed by well known and successful NASCAR Cup team. Tommy Cloce, the 2009 Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil ASA Member Track Champion, will get his opportunity on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, SC, an ASA Member Track, with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Cloce, who races weekly at Adirondack Speedway in New Bremen, NY, an ASA Member Track, won the championship with an impressive season. In 18 events he won 12 times, finished second three times, finished third twice and one night was involved in a wreck but recovered to finish fourth. While he easily won his track championship, he held off Clint LaFont of Thunderhill Raceway in Kyle, TX to win the 2009 ASA Member Track National Championship.
As the 2009 ASA Member Track National Champion, he has earned a tryout with Joe Gibbs Racing. Not only will he get the tryout, but he will also get to meet JD Gibbs, President of Joe Gibbs Racing and possibly famous football coach and owner Joe Gibbs. He will also get a tour of their Cup and Nationwide shops. "I'm really looking forward to going down there and seeing their operation and meet some key players," Cloce said. "I am really looking forward to talking to JD and hopefully Coach Gibbs as well."
"Everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing, including myself, is looking forward to meeting Tommy Cloce," JD Gibbs, President of Joe Gibbs Racing said. "Tommy has had an outstanding ASA Member Track Championship season and is a proven winner. We are excited that his family owns a Toyota dealership and cannot wait to get him behind the wheel of one of our Toyota Camry stock cars for his tryout."
Cloce will arrive in North Carolina on Monday, November 23rd where he will immediately head over to the Joe Gibbs Racing Nationwide Series shop to get fitted in his stock car in preparation for Tuesday's test. After the fitting, he will get a tour of the shop along with a tour of their Cup Series shop.
On Tuesday, he will travel to Ron Barfield's Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, SC for the test. "For Dillon Motor Speedway to get this recognition, it really means a lot," Ron Barfield, owner said. "Tommy has done a great job especially for winning as many races as he did. I think he is going to make a great champion for ASA National Championship. We are tickled to death to be a part of this especially when it comes to helping the local racers achieve their dreams."
"I'm real excited to go to Dillon Motor Speedway and shake down a Joe Gibbs Racing car," Cloce exclaimed. "It looks like a smooth half-mile racetrack which is my bread and butter."
After his tryout, Cloce will return to the Charlotte area on Wednesday, November 24th to meet with JD Gibbs before returning to his hometown of Canton, NY and back to his full-time job as the General Manager of TJ Toyota in Potsdam, NY, a Toyota dealership that his father Ed Cloce owns. He will also return in time celebrate Thanksgiving with his family and friends where he will more than likely be asked to share his experiences around the dinner table.
He is amazed by the amount of media attention he has received from winning the championship, "I have received a lot of local press up here from the papers, radios, television and national magazines calling me for interviews, so that is a little different for me," Cloce said. "I have really just taken it all in because you don't have this opportunity all the time. I am going to really enjoy each moment of it and really cherish it. Racing is not just what you know but who you know and the people you have around you. I feel very fortunate to get this opportunity."
"We are very proud of our association with Joe Gibbs Racing and appreciate the opportunity they are giving to our 2009 Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil ASA Member Track National Champion for the second year in a row," Dennis Huth, ASA President said. "Last year, they gave Cary Stapp, our 2008 champion and unforgettable experience and I cannot wait for Tommy Cloce to get his experience this year. Tommy will be an excellent champion. He comes from a family that is very involved and instrumental in the advancement of this sport and he will be a great representative of the American Speed Association."
Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil, sponsor of the American Speed Association National Short Track National Championship, is the same oil developed and used by Joe Gibbs Racing. The team sells the oil so racers across the country can have access to the latest technology in racing lubricants.
Joe Gibbs Racing is one of the premier organizations in NASCAR, currently fielding three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams, two NASCAR Nationwide Series teams and a driver development program. Based in Huntersville, N.C., and owned by Joe Gibbs - a three-time Super Bowl winner as head coach of the Washington Redskins and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame - JGR has competed in NASCAR since 1992, winning three Cup Series championships and more than 80 NASCAR races, including three Brickyard 400s and the 1993 Daytona 500.
The American Speed Association Short Track National Championship is another step by the industry leader in creating new and innovative programs. This follows the recent announcement about extending the insurance coverage for ASA members traveling to, from, and during an ASA-sanctioned event. For updated ASA National Points, just click on the "Points" link at www.asa-racing.com.
ASA members in good standing are eligible for a $500,000 Excess Medical Benefit as well as a $20,000 Accidental Death and Dismemberment Benefit. Coverage for the member begins while traveling to a location promoting an ASA-sanctioned event and continues until arrival home again. The American Speed Association, in conjunction with WSIB Motorsports Insurance, is the only sanctioning body to offer insurance coverage which extends beyond the boundary of the racetrack itself (complete details are available online at www.ASA-Racing.com).
The ASA Member Track program is comprised of more than 35 short tracks around the United States, as well as a variety of regional and national touring series. For more information, call (386) 258-2221 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. For news and information from all the racetracks and tours involved in the ASA, visit www.ASA-Racing.com.
ASA™, ASA Racing™ American Speed Association® are trademarks of Racing Speed Associates, LLC. ASA International, LLC or Racing Speed Associates, LLC are not related to or affiliated with ASA Late Model Series, LLC.