It’s not uncommon for a typical teenager to have goals. Pass Algebra, get a driver’s license, cut down on texting.
Same is true for 16-year old Logan Ruffin, 2010 Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the USARacing Pro Cup Series. The Memphis, Tenn., native clinched top-rookie honors in the Keith Whitaker Chevrolet 250 October 9 at Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway and accomplished one of many goals the Turner Motorsports set for the 2010 season.
Along the way, Ruffin had to earn respect from his fellow competitors, a familiar concept for the young driver.
“I’ve been fighting that since I was 13 years old my first time that I ran late models,” Ruffin said. “If you can race around the guys that have been doing it for years and years, don’t wreck ‘em, don’t try to go out there and rough ‘em up, drive with ‘em and be clean, be smooth, finish the races and if you finish well then you start catching their attention to say this is a kind that we can go race with.”
Adjusting to the heavier Pro Cup Series cars has been a challenge for the young driver, whose background is rich in the lighter late model cars. Nevertheless, Ruffin has claimed five top-five finishes and led 184 laps during his first full season in the series.
“It’s my first full season in these cars so it’s been a big learning curve,” Ruffin said. “I feel like the team and I have gotten a lot better. The weight of these cars is a lot heavier than a late model like I’m used to. That’s been really big. The power on these cars is about like a super late model. They have a lot of torque, you have to be easy on the throttle, have good throttle control, it’s a learning curve but I think we’re going pretty well.”
In addition to capturing Raybestos Rookie of the Year, Ruffin and crew chief Kevin Cywinski wanted to get Ruffin more seat time and contend for wins and the series championship. While the series title might be out of reach, parking his car in victory lane at the series finale at South Boston (Va.) November 6 remains a distinct possibility. He scored a fourth-place finish in the Strutmasters.com 250 June 12 at the .400-mile speedway after leading 38 laps.
The Strutmasters.com 300 is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 6 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the gate. They are available for purchase from the South Boston Speedway website and via phone at 1-877-440-1540.
The USAR Pro Cup Series, formerly Hooters Pro Cup, is owned by Interstate Investment Group (IIG) and is based in Concord, N.C. For more information on USARacing, visit www.usarprocup.com.