Gresham Motorsports has announced a 12-race Pro and Super Late Model Stock Car schedule with rising talent Gene Kirila as the driver.
Kirila will make his GMS Pro Late Model debut this Saturday, April 17, at Gresham Motorsports Park.
According to Gresham Motorsports team manager Gene Roberts, Kirila, a 17-year old Hermitage, PA native, has the talent to rise to the highest levels of the sport.
“Gene is exceptional,” said Roberts, a longtime NASCAR Cup and Nationwide crew chief and team manager. “I’ve worked with a lot of drivers and Gene’s communication skills from the cockpit are exceptional. He has a racing vocabulary of a much more experienced driver. If his driving skills in the races matches up to his ability to communicate what’s happening with the car in the testing we’ve done, Gene is going to be very, very good.”
Kirila has been an active racer for 10 seasons starting his competitive career in Go Karts at the age of seven. By 2005, Kirila had mastered the karting world and was ranked No. 1 on dirt surfaces and No. 2 on asphalt by the World Karting Association.
The ‘Kirila Gorilla’ made the jump to Legends cars in 2005 and by 2007 was winning major events in the Summer Shootout Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In all, the then 14-year-old won five Legends features that year and the Pennsylvania State Semi-Pro Legends Championship.
A switch to the Late Model ranks followed in 2008 and last year, Kirila wheeled a David Stremme-owned American Speed Association Late Model in five events scoring two Top-10 finishes. Kirila also worked on and drove a big block dirt modified in 2008 learning valuable car control.
This season, Kirila hopes to roll on to bigger and better things through his new association with Gresham Motorsports.
“This is a huge opportunity for me,” said Kirila, who will be a senior high school student in the fall. “To be in equipment this good is a lifetime opportunity for me. Our testing has gone very well. I’m confident.”
“Last year, I had an excellent car with David Stremme Racing, but I didn’t get to run that many races,” Kirila continued. “They kept me practicing and the ‘Gorilia’ was caged. This year, I am ready to race with Gresham Motorsports. I think the expectation is high for going out and running well.”
Kirila will take his first laps in competition behind the wheel of a Gresham Motorsports Pro Late Model this Saturday in a 100-lap main event. Opening ceremonies at the Jefferson, GA half-mile oval are set for 7 p.m. Eastern Time.
Gene Kirila/Gresham Motorsports 2010 Schedule
Sat. April 17 - Gresham Motorsports Park Jefferson, GA PLM
Sat. April 24 - Montgomery Motorspeedway Montgomery, AL PLM
Sat. May 8 - Lanier Nat. or So. Georgia MP PLM
Sat. May 15 - Gresham Motorsports Park Jefferson, GA PLM
Sat. June 5 - Montgomery Motorspeedway Montgomery, AL PLM
Sat. July 3 - Lanier Nat. or So. Georgia MP PLM
Sat. Sept. 18 - Gresham Motorsports Park Jefferson, GA SLM
Fri. Sept. 24 - Five Flags Speedway Pensacola, FL SLM
Sat. Sept. 25 - Mobile Int. Speedway Mobile, AL SLM
Sun. Oct. 3 - Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, TN SLM
Sun. Oct. 17- Winchester Nationals Winchester, IN SLM
Sun. Nov. 14- Gresham Motorsports Park Jefferson, GA SLM
Sun. Dec. 5 - Five Flags Speedway Pensacola, FL SLM