Freelancing Opportunity

Photo: Jim Sands

By: Kobe Lambeth

My senior year of high school was definitely a year to remember. I finally made it after so many years of school from Kindergarten in Mrs. Dishmon’s class at Wentworth Elementary as a shy little boy to a grown 18 year old man ready to see what life has to offer after walking across the stage at Reidsville High School.

There were so many memories made throughout my high school years. From the highs to the lows, I am truly grateful for everything that has happened to me these past four years. I have grown as a person and will continue to do so as the next chapter in life will be the greatest challenge of all.

When I think of the memories made in high school, Fall 2016 stands out more than a food stain on a white t-shirt. All seniors were required to complete a senior graduation project on a topic that can be applied in real-world situations. I was blessed to have the opportunity to work alongside RockinghamNow Community Reporter, Joe Dexter, who helped mentor me through my project on NASCAR Marketing.

After spending a semester at RockinghamNow working on my senior project, I knew journalism was the right career for me to pursue. I will begin my life at UNC Charlotte in January 2018, which left Fall 2017 wide open for me to find something to do in the meantime. Sometimes, we leave lasting impressions on those who notice our true capabilities.

During the time of my senior project, I left some people at the office very impressed with my passion for motorsports and the willingness to learn the ropes of being a professional journalist. I am very excited to announce that I will be working as a freelancer for RockinghamNow in Fall 2017, primarily focusing on local high school sports.

“It’s great to have Kobe back in the fold here at RockinghamNow,” said Community Reporter, Joe Dexter.

“When he came in for his senior project last year, it was clear that he was hungry to start his journalism career. His determination and willingness to get it right will take him far and help him grow as he starts his career as a freelancer.

Working alongside Joe Dexter, who has been such an inspiration as my mentor throughout the entire process, will continue to provide more valuable information before I make the journey down I-85 to UNC Charlotte.

Some people may believe that freelancing is not the ideal career choice, but it is definitely a great place to start especially for a student straight out of high school, according to Dexter.

“Not only is it a foot in the door, but anybody that is willing to freelance is showcasing their willingness to step up to the plate when needed and get the tough assignments done,” said Dexter.

“That is a huge part of growing as a young journalist and building a name for themselves. Another major part in growth is getting repetition and freelance opportunities allow up and coming journalists to do so in a professional environment.

I will also have the opportunity to work alongside RockinghamNow Sports Editor, Jim Sands, who has been a vital part of my transition to becoming a freelancer. He will teach me the right ways to cover an event in a sports-minded environment, which will require taking high-quality photos, recording statistics. writing recaps of games, and much more.

According to Sands, being versatile in such a competitive industry is essential to having a career that will last for many years.

“Journalism is constantly changing, and if you want to survive and be successful, you have to adapt to the way people chose to consume their news,” said Sands.

“If you don’t learn how to master the new technology and continue to grow, then you could very well find yourself on the unemployment line.

During these next few months, I am anxious to learn from two established professionals such as Dexter and Sands as they will pass on their knowledge to a new generation. It will be crucial for me to absorb as much information as I possibly can and take full advantage of the unique opportunity that I have been given.

Sands considers it a privilege to teach a student fresh out of high school the most important roles in the daily life of a journalist, before the adventure in the heart of NASCAR community begins in just a few months.

“To work with a young man that is willing to put in the time and effort to learn what it is like to compete in such a challenging field, in my eyes, is a responsibility I don’t take lightly,” said Sands.

“Kobe cares about what he is doing and holds himself to a very high standard. That is part of what sets him apart from most people.

 

Cisneros: “Media has impacted NASCAR in different ways”

Photo: Savannah Blanco

By: Kobe Lambeth

Teenagers in high school often daydream about their future following graduation. Patrisia Cisneros, a 15 year old sophomore, at Valley Center (CA) High School, seems like your typical student but has a deep passion for NASCAR. The pre-race prayer, National Anthem, the command to start engines, and the best drivers in the world going to battle every lap fuels Cisneros’ dream to be a part of the sport in some capacity.

“I’ve been a race fan for 6 to 7 years,” Cisneros told Daily NASCAR Scoop and More.

Outside of her love for NASCAR, Cisneros is a member of her high school’s (Valley Center High School Jaguars) Track and Field team, enjoys spending time with family and friends, and helping out others in need. There are many opportunities to be a part of NASCAR and Cisneros has already done her research narrowing her options down to a few possible career choices.

“A few careers that I’m looking into are sports photography and engineering,” said Cisneros.

In general, sports photography is a great way to get to the race track as a photographer taking pictures during race weekends. Journalists at the track will likely need photos for their articles and having a photographer can prevent a journalist from “double duty.” Sports photographers will be needed as “media has impacted NASCAR in different ways”  by providing breaking news and analysis to the fans. Engineering involves hardcore math and science, which plays a major factor into the product viewed on the racetrack.

As sports photography and engineering are the top career choices of Cisneros, it appears that she is clearly comfortable with one over the other.

“I love taking pictures and NASCAR, so I thought why not put the two things together,” said Cisneros. “This year I started learning some things about photography and it’s something I would like to do as a career.

NASCAR is the one sport that Cisneros truly loves compared to other worldwide sports. However, there is so much more to NASCAR than the on-track product.

“NASCAR is more than a sport, it’s more like a family,” stated Cisneros.
Her claim can be backed up based on the reaction following Austin Dillon’s terrifying crash at the end of the 2015 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Dillon’s  No. 3 car went flying into catchfence, ending a wild crash filled race at the iconic speedway. Crew members from other teams ran onto the track to check on Dillon immediately after the crash. Teams may be rivals for over thirty weeks out of the year, but NASCAR is a family sport at the end of the day.
The atmosphere of NASCAR has truly sparked Cisneros’ confidence to be a part of the sport after she completes her studies. In ten years, she intends to make her dream a reality.
“I see myself living my dream, traveling, and having a great job that I’ll enjoy for years to come.”

2016: Year in Review

Photo: Jim Sands

By: Kobe Lambeth

Dear 2016,

Where did the time go? It felt like I was celebrating the beginning of a new year yesterday and here we are again. A lot has changed in 2016 and I would love to take some time to reflect on a year that has been like a roller coaster at an amusement park.

In November 2015, I launched my own website Daily NASCAR Scoop and More after a very brief stint with The Apex. Many lessons were learned at the start of a new chapter in my life. Previously, I wanted to be a mechanical engineer for a race team, but sometimes we must be brutally honest with ourselves. I finally decided that it was not in the cards to be an engineer as I do not have the math skills to be successful in this area.

This left me wondering if I cannot be a mechanical engineer, then what will I do after high school? Every morning before school, I typically check motorsports news-based websites such as Sportscar 365 to start my day. There are a plethora of extremely talented journalists today in the world of motorsports. Articles written by those individuals made me realize something special about myself.

Throughout my years in school, teachers have always praised my writing skills, so why not pursue a career as a motorsports journalist? I carefully researched the position and discovered that I am truly capable of making it my career. A fellow high school student named Aaron Durant, who has similar aspirations approached me with the idea of joining The Apex. It was very intriguing so I took the offer, although the relationship did not last very long. During my brief stint with The Apex, I learned so much about myself, which led to my decision of starting Daily NASCAR Scoop and More. The experience helped expand my writing skills and I grew tremendously as a person. I would not be where I am today without Durant and The Apex pushing me to improve each and every day.

Now, I reflect on this entire experience as 2016 is nearing its final destination. It has been a fantastic 13 months of writing, building connections, and expanding my horizons in many areas. In general, 2016 has been a challenging year with more responsibilities, difficulties, and interesting circumstances as I am close to entering the world of adulthood. Overcoming any challenge is always a victory.

One word to describe my senior year of high school at the halfway mark is “busy.” The year has truly gone by extremely fast, but shocking revelations about life in the future weigh on my mind. College applications, scholarships, and the senior graduation project caused plenty of stress this semester, which is totally normal for high school seniors around the country.

I chose NASCAR marketing for my senior graduation project and it was quite an experience. We had to do a research paper, portfolio, product, and present our findings to judges, in order to prove that we are the expert on our topic. My most memorable experience from completing this project is learning from a community reporter for RockinghamNow named Joe Dexter.

Many days after school, I went to the newsroom and Dexter shared his expertise and knowledge of journalism with me. Throughout this entire process, I learned the importance of ethics of journalism and maintaining a “never quit” attitude to accomplish all of my goals and dreams. As one of the judges of my presentation told me as I was about to leave, “You and your mentor had a special experience where one professional journalist is passing on knowledge to an aspiring student who wishes to be in the same position.” Knowledge is power.

There are not words to describe how special it was working with Dexter for my project. I am truly thankful for the opportunity to learn the correct way to becoming a professional journalist. Speaking of opportunities, I have received multiple offers to join various websites as one of their contributing journalists. Honestly, I did not expect for my articles to gain so much attention this early in my journey, but I am blessed that others are interested in my services. In my best interest, I believe it is best to continue with Daily NASCAR Scoop and More for the immediate future and help my writing skills grow, before pursuing a better opportunity as I progress through the ranks.

On Christmas day, I appeared in my local newspaper, the Reidsville Review, discussing my goals of covering NASCAR as a motorsports journalist. However, I am open to opportunities in open wheel and sportscar racing. The article was published online the day after Christmas and the rest is history. Family and friends were so excited to see the quiet, small town kid following his heart to pursue his dreams of making it to the race track.

I want to thank my family and friends for believing me and my abilities. Words cannot describe how grateful I am to have such wonderful people in my life supporting me. 2016 has been a wild year filled with ups and downs. The year ended on a positive note with people in my hometown of Reidsville, North Carolina noticing my true potential, excelling in academics, and knowing I have the support of others as I move towards a future of unknowns.

A close friend gave me some special advice about heading into 2017 and beyond as 2016 is coming to a close. The answer was quite simple. Ride the momentum.

Sincerely,

Your friendly neighborhood future motorsports journalist

Game Review: NASCAR Heat Evolution

Photo: Gamespot

By: Kobe Lambeth

On September 13, 2016, I purchased NASCAR Heat Evolution just like many NASCAR fans who were eagerly awaiting the newest NASCAR game. Based on the feedback I have received by gamers, the overall response to the game as a whole is not good. Some people referred to the game as “a waste of money” or a “massive disappoint.” In my opinion, the game definitely has its flaws as every video game does, but I certainly see much potential in Dusenberry Martin Racing and Monster Games. Please take into consideration that this is their first game.

When I started playing the game, I loved the fact that we have the opportunity to pick our favorite driver, and have the option to use other drivers at any point. At first, one massive disappoint was unlocking tracks instead of having them all available at first. Also, the graphics and physics were not as “authentic” as I expected. An example of a questionable moment was Martin Truex Jr running in the mid-30s at some tracks. Why is a Chase contender running so poorly? Also, a certain driver is finishing in the top 15 consistently, while driving for an underfunded team. Certainly, it is cool to see an underfunded team finish well at a 1.5 mile track, but is that really realistic at a non-restrictor plate track? At this point, I was seriously thinking about quitting the game and completely give up on it. Then, I started thinking how much it reminded me of my days on PlayStation 2. The days of being a seven-year-old boy enjoying life not caring about the graphics nor physics.

After spending a few hours fiddling around with the game, I began to experience the same happiness I felt as a young elementary school boy learning the ropes about NASCAR racing. Of course, NASCAR Heat Evolution is not perfect because I do not think there is a perfect game in existence.

Close your eyes, think for a minute, clear your mind, and listen to what I have to say. There is a timid boy, who is elected as a section leader in his school’s marching band. However, the other students give him a hard time because they do not think he is capable of being successful. The boy feels awful that his fellow classmates refuse to give him a chance and laugh at the fact that he is a leader. How would you feel if you were in this boy’s shoes? Personally, I would feel terrible and deeply hurt if my classmates thought of me as a leader being a big joke.

I want you to think of the game as the timid boy, who is not given a chance to show his true potential because his classmates are too quick to make assumptions about his leadership abilities. To be honest, this is how I treated NASCAR Heat Evolution and I am very ashamed of myself. My mother taught me not to be so quick to make assumptions about others or something like the video game. As I continued to play the game, I enjoyed it and made some adjustments with the AI to adapt to my skills. I cannot tell you to buy the game or not to buy it because the decision is completely up to you. If you have a special virtue called “patience,” then the game is totally for you. If you are not, then please spend your money elsewhere. Patience is definitely required.

How many of you expected this article to solely be about NASCAR Heat Evolution? If the answer is yes then I have proven my point. Never judge a book by its cover.

Meet: Ryan Repko

Photo: Mary Repko

By: Kobe Lambeth

This is the first edition of the “Meet” series where I will introduce you to the brightest young stars of motorsports under age 18. First, you will meet rising stock car driver, Ryan Repko, who has his sights set on making it the top level of NASCAR in the future.

“I currently race in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and part time in the CARS Tour,”  said Repko.

“I began racing at the age of 8 at an indoor karting track in Mooresville. There I met several families who raced at a quarter midget track called NCQMA Speedway which is owned by Bobby Labonte. We bought a car and in our first year we won several races and a championship. My ultimate goal is to one day be a NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion.”

Ryan Repko, a teenager, looking turn heads as he has hopes of driving in NASCAR’s top divisions in the upcoming years. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is a great place for young drivers to showcase their talent as “you never know who is watching,” according to Repko.

For example, we could see a NASCAR driver like Kyle Busch show up to an event and discover a talented driver like Repko the same way he found Erik Jones. It is good for all young drivers in the lower divisions of NASCAR to try their very best as you could be a lap away from a ride in the top three divisions of stock car racing.

Being a young stock car driver, do you think Repko has a favorite driver or role model?

“My favorite driver is Tony Stewart because he can get in any type of car and be competitive whether it is a sprint car or a cup car,” said Repko.

“My dad is a role model of mine because he pushes me to work toward my goals and to constantly learn and get better.”

It is great that young drivers have a role model in their life to help them strive to be the best they can possibly be on the track. With the inspiration of Tony Stewart and his dad behind him every step of the way, Ryan Repko has a great shot to make the move up the ladder. Away from the track, Repko seems like the typical teenager.

“Away from the track I like basketball, iRacing, and karting,” said Repko.

If you have not heard of Ryan Repko yet, then you definitely will in the years to come as the young teenager pursues his dreams of being a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion.

Fallout from the GEICO 500

Photo: Talladega Superspeedway

By: Kobe Lambeth

The race was fierce at Talladega from start to finish. With a threat of rain throughout the day, the drivers had to race like every lap would be the last. The intensity of this race was remarkable and truly unbelievable. This was one of those restrictor plate races where I did not see the long single file line near the wall at any point during the race which was pretty shocking.

I must admit that the GEICO 500 was the best race that I have witnessed all season long. We had three and four wide action throughout the race. Today’s racing reminded me of spectacular pack racing from the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.

However, it appears that spectacular crashes will overshadow the great racing we witnessed. The first scary incident of the day occurred when Chris Buescher rolled down the Alabama Gang Superstretch. There was nothing Buescher could do as he was a passenger along for the ride.

Next, The “Big One” struck as Kurt Busch got into the right rear of Jimmie Johnson, which took out more than half of the field. Luckily, every single driver walked away. The next accident was only of the scariest yet.

Michael McDowell was giving Danica Patrick a heck of a push, but everything went wrong when she got into Joe Gibbs Racing’s Matt Kenseth as his Toyota Camry was sent sailing into the air, before sliding on his roof and coming to rest on all fours.

For me, Kenseth’s crash was one of the most frightening incidents in recent memory at Talladega Superspeedway. However, it was nothing compared to Austin Dillon’s spectacular crash last July. First, I want to applaud NASCAR for everything they do to keep our drivers safe. It was hard to believe that Kenseth walked away from such a scary crash.

Unfortunately, crashes are a part of racing and they are more than likely going to happen at places like Daytona and Talladega. There is nothing we can do to prevent it. I must admit that I turned my television off on the final lap because I was sick to my stomach. After watching Buescher and Kenseth have frightening accidents, I was afraid of witnessing another spectacular crash coming to the checkered flag.

Naturally, there was a crash and everyone survived thankfully. NASCAR has done so much to make the sport safer, but you are never going to stop cars from flipping over. It is basic science.

I absolutely love restrictor plate racing and hope that it stays around for many years to come. Today, it was almost a little too much for me to watch. However, today’s mayhem will not stop me from watching these events in the future.

Racing is a dangerous sport. Of course, some of the accidents were difficult to watch, but we must move onto a brighter future. The best drivers in the world risk their lives each and every week behind the wheel. Some fans love this form of racing while others believe that it is equivalent to playing with fire.

We might not agree about restrictor plate racing, but we should all be thankful that everyone survived the chaos. Thanks to NASCAR’s improvements, the drivers involved were able to walk away and go home to their families. I am positive that they will continue to search for answers to improve SAFER barriers and better ways to keep cars from going airborne.

I never thought I would say this, but I am so happy that Talladega Superspeedway is behind us and am looking forward to Kansas. The threat of rain caused the sense of urgency today and it produced some amazing pack racing, but the crashes will stick with me from this event. There are better days ahead for the sport and I will be ready when NASCAR returns to the superspeedway in October. Safety is once again the hot topic.

What did you think of the GEICO 500?

 

Talladega: Where Dreams Come True and Chaos Occurs

Photo: Talladega Superspeedway

By: Kobe Lambeth

When some people hear the name, “Talladega,” they think of complete chaos, edge-of-your-seat racing, and destruction. Look at this beautiful photo above and tell me this gorgeous scene is a place where you often see the carnage. If you follow NASCAR often, then you know that “looks can deceiving.”

Many years ago, one of NASCAR’s founding fathers, Bill France Sr, wanted to build a track bigger and faster track than Daytona International Speedway. His dream finally came true as “Alabama International Motor Speedway” was built. As time passed, the track name changed to Talladega Superspeedway.

However, one thing has not changed about this historic superspeedway. This is a place where dreams can come true and chaos is also lurking in the shadows.

Sprint Cup drivers, Brad Keselowski, and David Ragan will tell you about the true beauty of Talladega as both drivers scored unbelievable wins in recent years.

In 2009, Brad Keselowski was battling Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Carl Edwards for the victory when contact between Edwards and Keselowski ended with a spectacular crash as Edwards car went airborne, crashing into the catchfence upside down.

Certainly not the way to win your first career Cup race, but this victory showed the world that Brad Keselowski had the potential to hang with the best in the business. Look where he is today as a champion in NASCAR’s top series.

BK Racing’s, David Ragan, also had a remarkable victory in the 2013 Spring race when he and teammate, David Gilliland, led a Front Row Motorsports 1-2 finish. A great day at Talladega can be huge for smaller teams in the field.

Restrictor plate racing is definitely a unique form of racing, which gives every single driver the chance to pull into victory lane. Drafting is the “great equalizer” and gives underfunded teams an opportunity to have a dream day in the tight, pack racing environment.

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Although Talladega Superspeedway is a unique track that can change your life forever, it can also break your heart. Whenever NASCAR goes to the “superspeedways” Daytona and Talladega, there is always a chance for the “Big One,” which is a multi-car crash that happens almost every single restrictor plate event.

The reason for these spectacular crashes is due to the intensity of the tight pack racing. Drivers try to make the move to the front and things happen. Unfortunately, they are unlucky at times. You could ride along in the pack almost the entire race, but get caught up in someone else’s mistake to end your day. It is safe to say that it might take a little luck to be successful at Talladega Superspeedway. There is nowhere to hide.

Restrictor plate racing is risk versus reward.  The best stock car drivers in the world will take the green flag in the Geico 500 as 40 drivers will battle for glory at one of NASCAR’s fastest tracks. The event should provide great edge-of-your-seat racing from start to finish. Will someone battling for the win on the final lap make a mistake and send the field into flames? Is it worth taking that kind of risk just to get the reward?

Some drivers go into Talladega race weekend with the goal of surviving and others see it as an opportunity to make or break their career. When the checkered flag falls on the Geico 500, will we see the usual suspects from Joe Gibbs Racing or Hendrick Motorsports in victory lane? Can an underdog pull off an upset?

Whoever pulls into victory lane will definitely have earned a hard fought victory. The ingredients to success on restrictor plate tracks: stay out of trouble, be confident, make bold moves, hope that lady luck is on your side, and make smart decisions.

No matter what a driver does, it is extremely difficult to put together a “clean” race at Talladega. 188 laps of intense three and sometimes four wide racing in a tight pack is a recipe for disaster. We have 40 soldiers ready to go to battle. Every soldier has a shot to be victorious and make their dreams come true. On the other hand, others might not survive to see the checkered flag as the “Big One” is lurking in the shadows.

This is Talladega.

 

A New Beginning For Ryan Ellis

Photo: NASCAR

By: Kobe Lambeth

On April 24, 2016, Ryan Ellis will fulfill a long-time dream driving for Ron Devine’s BK Racing team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Richmond International Raceway.

“The deal with BK is something we’ve been working on for several years,” said Ellis.

“Ron Devine and I have been friends for quite a while because we’ve grown up in the same area – Northern Virginia. I knew it would always help to have a bit of sponsorship coming in, and ScienceLogic and I have meshed very well. I am very excited to have brought them together and I really hope we get to run some more races this season and can works towards a full schedule in 2017.”

Ellis made his Sprint Cup debut last season at Phoenix International Raceway where he finished 40th driving for Circle Sport Racing. Despite the finish, there is plenty for Ellis to look forward to as the Trucks and Xfinity Series veteran is ready to take on the best stock car drivers in the world.

“I think my experience in Xfinity and Truck benefits me in many ways,” said Ellis.

Obviously, it helps to have driven similar cars in the past and learning the way they react to certain inputs is beneficial when getting in the Cup car. As different as they are with suspension-travel, power, aero-wise, and overall handling, they are still very close in nature. It helps to have driven these tracks before so I can focus on learning the Cup car and all of the new features they have. I’ve never driven a Cup car with adjustable track-bar and never used the new dash system.”

Despite new features on his No. 93 ScienceLogic BK Racing Toyota Camry, Ellis is ready for the challenge of competing on Sundays and proving that he belongs in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

“I think I’m in a great position with BK Racing with their new equipment and the people they already had, and the people they’ve brought in,” said Ellis.

“Ron has made some great changes to put everyone in a phenomenal position this year and the results have shown that. I want to soak up as much as I can from Matt Dibenedetto and David Ragan. They’re two very different people and two very different racecar drivers. David is a veteran who is very calm and reserved and been everywhere in the NASCAR garage. Matt is a hungry second-year driver who drives on the ragged-edge every lap. I think I can learn off of their contrasting personalities and driving styles and work my butt off to prove that I belong in the Sprint Cup garage.”

Ryan Ellis has a tight bond with his BK Racing teammate, Matt DiBenedetto.

“We’re both very racing-oriented and career-focused so we definitely find that 90% or more of our conversation is racing-based, but can definitely disconnect from that as well,” said Ellis.

“We live about an hour away from each other but the two of us, Tanner Berryhill, and Alex Bowman tend to find time to hang out. I’ll be moving closer to Tanner Berryhill soon so I have a feeling we’ll be spending a ton more time getting into trouble. It’s great to have close friends in this sport because I knew absolutely no one when I moved to NC a few years ago.”

If Ellis has a spectacular season for BK Racing, could he possibly move to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series full-time in 2017?

“It’s hard to say,” said Ellis

“The charter-deal has changed the landscape in Cup so much. I would like to think we could do it, but I’m not involved much on the financial side. It’s definitely something in the back of my mind for sure.”

36 full-time Sprint Cup teams were awarded prestigious Charters, which allow these teams to race every week without the fear of having to qualify on time. However, the third BK Racing entry does not have a charter, so they are not guaranteed a spot in the race if there are more than 40 cars on the entry list. Ryan Ellis had plenty to say about the new Charter System.

“The charter system has changed the landscape in Cup quite a bit,” said Ellis.

“Not as much in the front of the pack, but more-so for the lower-funded or up and coming teams. A year or two ago, our ScienceLogic deal could’ve led to more of a full-season deal or much more, but it isn’t a financially sustainable business model (for most people) to run a non-chartered car without a substantial budget or massive amounts of sponsorship.”

It appears that the Charter System is hurting the smaller teams in NASCAR. Despite the challenge, Ryan Ellis definitely has the potential to overcome every obstacle in his way. Previously, on “The Troubles of Making It as a Race Car Driver Part Two,”  Ryan Ellis told me about his struggles making it to the top levels of stock car racing. It is absolutely exceptional that Ellis has come a long way and not let his financial struggles stop him from achieving his dreams. According to Ellis, it is extremely difficult to survive in NASCAR if you do not have significant financial support.

” It makes everything hard,” said Ellis

You want to focus harder on your career but there are many times when you’re not making enough from the NASCAR-side to even pay rent and food. If you take away focus and work side-jobs like I have over the last three or four years, it can affect your ability to work on sponsorships and get more races. I don’t think there’s a right or a wrong way to stay in the sport, but I’ve been very fortunate to get the opportunities I’ve had. A lot of these drivers are very lucky in that they have the family support to buy a top ride for a few million dollars, but I see my situation as a blessing. I think my position creates a situation where I’m never comfortable, and by never being comfortable, I’m forced to out-work them by a ton to counter their money and/or huge connections. I have great friends and family who help me and have helped me financially from time to time to stay afloat, and without them, I would’ve been forced to give up on this goal a few years ago.”

“The Troubles of Making It as a Race Car Driver Part Two” Starring: Ryan Ellis

https://thescoopwordpresscom.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/kobes-daily-scoop-the-troubles-of-making-it-as-a-race-car-driver-part-two/

 

NASCAR Media Day: Roundup

Photo: http://www.jayski.com

By: Kobe Lambeth

*One of the biggest announcements today was the introduction of a chase format to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series format will feature eight drivers and three rounds that consist of seven races. Round one tracks will be Loudon, Las Vegas, and Talladega, while Round two tracks will be Martinsville, Texas, and Phoenix. Homestead will be the finale of course and the only race in Round three where four drivers will battle for the championship. We will go from eight drivers to six, down to the Final Four. Also, 2015 Chase for the Sprint Cup drivers will be ineligible to run the finale at Homestead. Honestly, I do not know what to think of this format. There are pros and cons to this “experiment.” How cool would it be to see a guy like Norm Benning win at Daytona and become eligible for The Chase? It would be great to see drivers who do not have equipment like Kyle Busch Motorsports or ThorSport Racing compete for a championship. Also, I am a bit disappointed that we will no longer see young drivers learn the value of maintaining a points lead over the course of a season. Oh well, maybe it is a time for a change! “Win and you’re in” is definitely something special. Finally, I want to commend NASCAR for banning Sprint Cup stars from entering the season finale. The finale is all about the season regulars and it will be fantastic to see them battle for the championship among themselves.*

*The NASCAR Xfinity Series chase format will feature twelve drivers and three rounds that consist of seven races. Round one tracks will be Kentucky, Dover, and Charlotte, while Round two tracks will be Kansas, Texas, and Phoenix, with Homestead as the season finale in Round three. Two Dash 4 Cash wins will also lead to a chase berth other than simply winning races. Also, 2015 Chase for the Sprint Cup drivers will be ineligible to run the finale at Homestead. It will definitely be an interesting year in the NASCAR Xfinity Series as we see if this format will work for years to come. My first impression is not too cheery, but I will give this new idea a chance before making any more negative comments.*

*The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will use the new “Caution Clock” concept this upcoming season. When the green flag drops, there will be twenty minutes of green flag racing, then a mandatory competition caution. If a caution waves before the twenty minutes expire, then the clock will be reset. This new “experiment” will be used at all races except for Eldora, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, and Pocono Raceway. To be honest, I think that this is a foolish concept, but it has the potential to make restrictor plate racing more exciting than it already is. Hard twenty minutes of pack racing is definitely going to be a sight to see! Other than that, I do not see how it will be beneficial to the sport. I do not know who came up with that rule, but they probably had plenty to drink!*

*The Dash 4 Cash in the NASCAR Xfinity Series will have a new look this year. Bristol Motor Speedway, Richmond International Raceway, Dover International Speedway, and Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host the four events that make up the Dash 4 Cash. Drivers must be Xfinity regulars to be eligible. Qualifying for these events will set the forty car grid and also lineups for two heat races (something exciting). The odd-numbered qualifiers will race in the first heat while the even-numbered qualifiers will race in the second heat. I love this idea as it has the feel of a Saturday night dirt track!*

*Martin Truex Jr. will see a familiar sponsor return (Bass Pro Shops) for nine Sprint Cup races this season. Furniture Row will also be supported by Joe Gibbs Racing. Could we possibly see Erik Jones run a few races as a teammate to the Number 78 team?*

*Richard Petty Motorsports released Brian Scott’s Number 44 Ford Fusion to the public. I am so happy to see this number return to the track.*

*The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will use “crate engines” as a way to help underfunded teams reduce the costs of an engine. They will lease an engine from NASCAR, which will save them tons of money. I applaud this move as it will definitely help underfunded teams and it could potentially bring more teams to the sport.*

*Blake Koch will join forces with new Xfinity Series team, Kaulig Racing, which has formed a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing. Koch will pilot the Number 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet Camaro. I am interested to see how Koch will fare with equipment from Richard Childress Racing. He could be this season’s “David Ragan.”*

*Front Row Motorsports has confirmed that Landon Cassill will drive the Number 38 Ford Fusion as a teammate to rookie Chris Buescher. I am so happy that Cassill is going to a team on the rise. Could this possibly be the “big break” Cassill needed to prove that he belongs with the heavyweights of NASCAR?*

*Did you really think that Matt Kenseth could avoid questions about his feud with Joey Logano? It appears that Kenseth is ready to move on from the incident, but he will never forget it if Logano fails to give him enough space on the track.*

*Tommy Baldwin Racing has announced that Alex Bowman will not return to the team, and Regan Smith will replace him in the Number 7 Chevrolet SS. First, I am happy that Smith was able to find a full-time ride, but I really feel awful for Alex Bowman. A couple of days ago, he was excited for the beginning of the season, but it does not look like that he will be a part of the Sprint Cup field. However, he will run a few races for JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. This could possibly be a chance to show that he belongs in a top notch ride, so he can have something put together for 2017. On Friday morning, rumors came out that Bowman found out that he was fired via twitter and did not have a face to face discussion with team owner, Tommy Baldwin. If this is true, I would be so shocked and surprised by the mishandling of this situation. What do you think NASCAR fans?*

*Leavine Family Racing has formed an alliance with Circle Sport Racing to form “Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing. After spending the last few seasons with Ford, Leavine switches to Chevrolet horsepower. They will be supported by Richard Childress Racing, which is a great move for these two merging teams. Ty Dillon will also drive for the team in the Daytona 500 and a few more races. Michael McDowell will continue his partnership from Leavine Family Racing and drive for the team in a second Chevrolet SS. Great to see two teams merge and form an alliance with Richard Childress Racing. Hopefully, their performance on the track will start to improve.*

*Tommy Joe Martins will race full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with his newly formed team, Martins Motorsports. He will drive the Number 44 Chevrolet Silverado. Diamond Gusset Jeans will sponsor Martins for the first four races of the season. I remember watching Martins in a Xfinity race at Talladega a few years ago. He was very impressive as he was able to have a nice run in the draft. I wish him a successful first season as an owner in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.*

*As NASCAR Media Day comes to a close, there are a few things to get excited for and a few head scratchers. From a chase format in the Trucks and Xfinity Series to the “Caution Clock” concept, there are many things to think about for the upcoming NASCAR season. What do you think of the announcements NASCAR fans? Is the sport headed in the right direction or will they lose even more fans than last season?*

For more details on NASCAR Media Day, go to: http://www.nascar.com

Kumpen to make Daytona Debut

Photo: http://www.bostonglobe.com

By: Kobe Lambeth

Dreams do come true! 2014 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series champ, Anthony Kumpen, will make his restrictor plate racing debut on the high banks of Daytona next month in the NASCAR Xfinity Series season opener.

He will drive the Number 46 LeasePlan Chevrolet Camaro for Precision Performance Motorsports. Kumpen’s dream came true thanks to the Nexteer Road to Daytona, which is designed to bring European drivers across the pond to NASCAR in the United States. I love that there is a program in place for foreign drivers who wish to pursue a career in America. In the future, I hope we see more drivers from foreign nations make the move to NASCAR. It appears that Kumpen cannot wait to race at the historic Daytona International Speedway.

“We worked all year to get the approval to do Daytona and it is fantastic to finally be able to race there. To race at Daytona is a dream for every NASCAR driver. It is a very special track, and for a European NASCAR driver, it is even more special. I’m proud and happy that we can be there. It all started thanks to the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and I am grateful for this. I want to thank everybody involved from sponsors to NASCAR. I am the first NASCAR Whelen Euro Series driver to go to Daytona and I hope this will be an inspiration for young drivers to join the NWES.”

I wish Anthony Kumpen the best of luck as the Belgian race car driver will have the opportunity to race at one of the most historic race tracks in the world. Also, Kumpen confirmed that there are not plans in place to run the ARCA race at Daytona. However, it could be beneficial to get some more experience in the draft. Well, anything is possible in NASCAR!

For more information on this topic, go to: http://www.ppm646.com