Excitement is building in the Teddy Jones Racing stable regarding the upcoming debut of team drivers Blake Jones and Nate Monteith competing in the United Speed Alliance Racing Pro Cup Series Strutmasters.com 300 at South Boston (Va.) Speedway on Saturday, Nov. 6. The green flag on the 300-lap event is scheduled to wave at 2 p.m.
Both Jones and Monteith bring impressive credentials into their first-ever USARacing Pro Cup Series start, where they will be chauffeuring former cars driven in the series by current NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Trevor Bayne.
The 13-year-old Jones, an 8th-grade honor roll student at New Center Middle School in Sevierville, will become the youngest driver to ever take the green flag in a Pro Cup Series event. He has recorded championships in go-karts, INEX-sanctioned Bandolero Bandits and Legends cars. Jones just recently wrapped up the 2010 Lonesome Pine (Coeburn, Va.) Raceway Late Model Stock championship and was also named division Rookie of the Year. En route to winning the Late Model Stock title, Jones captured five feature wins. He also recorded three Charger division victories.
“This whole 2010 racing season has been one of firsts for me, what with making the move up to racing Late Model Stocks,” said Jones from the team’s race shop. “It was kind of like starting out racing from the beginning, I had so much to learn in driving these cars. I’ve been racing since I was eight years old, starting out in go-karts, then on to Bandolero Bandits and Legends cars, to making my first-ever start in a full-bodied Late Model Stock car this year. We had a really good overall year and all we accomplished was really awesome. Among our firsts this year; we won a pole position and we won our first Late Model Stock race and also the track championship here in my rookie season.
“Besides making my first start in a Late Model Stock, I also ran my first-ever Super Late Model event (Pro All Stars Series South “Mason-Dixon Meltdown” at Newport Speedway). And while we didn’t bring home the finish (due to an electrical problem) we had hoped for, we had a good run going and would have recorded a top-10 finish. Let me tell you, I’m really pumped up about this coming weekend at South Boston Speedway and my first USARacing Pro Cup Series race. There’s a lot of history with the Pro Cup Series and you’re really racing some tough competitors. Sure, I’d like to get a win my first time out – but I guess realistically if we finish top-10 that would be awesome. To run a 300-lap race, I’ve never gone that distance. It’s going to be a challenge in adjusting to the track and how the car will drive over that many laps. But one thing for sure, the seat-time I’ll get at the race will really pay off in helping me gain experience in racing the Pro Cup cars.”
The 28-year-old Monteith, from Blountville, Tenn., began racing Late Model Stock cars in 1998 competing in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series at Kingsport (Tenn.) Speedway, and in ’99 he raced at Lonesome Pine Raceway. Each season Monteith earned Rookie of the Year honors. He captured Lonesome Pine Raceway Late Model Stock championships in both 2008 and ’08. Monteith made his Super Late Model debut back in the summer at Newport Speedway one for the record books, as he set a new track record in qualifying and also captured the feature win. He has 45 career Late Model Stock and Super Late Model feature wins combined.
Monteith has starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) to his credit, having raced at “The World Center of Speed” at Daytona International Speedway and at Talladega Superspeedway, along with competing on the high banks at the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile” – Bristol Motor Speedway.
“I have really high expectations heading into this Pro Cup Series event,” said Monteith while pondering his series debut. “I’ve been racing for several years now and have driven a variety of race cars, and we’ve had pretty good success. We’ve practiced in the car recently at Lonesome Pine Raceway, getting a feel for it and shaking it down after completely going over the car following Teddy getting them from Trevor Bayne. It’s really good equipment. The car drives really well, we’ve got a good motor – and now it’s just up to me to get the job done behind the wheel.
“We’ll have a day of practice on Friday at South Boston Speedway, and hopefully we’ll get our car working really well for the race on Saturday. There will be a strong field of cars present, but I feel we should be able to have a good run and contend for a solid top-10 finish. That’s our goal, just bring home a good finish. I’ve never run a 300-lap race, but I know going that distance you’ve really got to take care of your equipment during the middle part of the race if you’re going to be a contender there down the stretch. Hey, you never know – if things go our way and we just run our race and avoid trouble, a top-5 run isn’t out of the question. With a little racing luck I believe we can pull that off.”
Teddy Jones Racing teammates, Jones and Monteith, will be using the Strutmasters.com 300 as a springboard to catapult them into the 2011 racing season, where they both will be racing the full USARacing Pro Cup Series schedule.
Sponsors on the Teddy Jones Racing Chevrolet Impalas include AMP Energy Drink, Mountain Dew, WD Performance, Baker’s Wrecker Service, Breeden Paving, Chamber’s Market & Grill, Colonial Loan Assoc. Inc, and Fast Cash Pawn.