Nine NASCAR Kids Competing in Summer Shootout
Nine drivers competing in the Summer Shootout Series at Lowe's Motor Speedway are following in the tire tracks of their famous racing fathers who are either current or former participants in NASCAR's top two divisions.
Tyler Green, son of NASCAR Busch Series driver Mark Green and nephew of Busch Series champions David and Jeff Green, is among the group of NASCAR kids. The 18-year-old driver is a Summer Shootout veteran and enjoys having his family in the pit area during the series of Tuesday night races.
"My dad and uncles are gone a lot on the weekends, so the Shootout is perfect because it's on Tuesdays when everyone is home," Green explained.
"My dad comes every week, and my uncles come when they get a chance. It's a great way to hang out with all of them."
Green, a championship contender in the Verdict Ridge Golf & Country Club Legends Pro division, says it was natural for him to follow his family into the sport. "I love it; I grew up at the race track watching my dad and uncles," he said. "Racing is something that everybody in my family does-it's a way of life."
Green hopes to move up to late model competition or perhaps race an ARCA car, and then make the jump to NASCAR. But for now, the Concord, N.C., resident is focused on winning the Summer Shootout championship while also working for the Richard Petty Driving Experience.
"Racing creates a special bond among me, my dad and my uncles because it's something we can share together. If it wasn't for racing, we wouldn't have that connection," Green concluded.
Also among the NASCAR kids are Jake and Wyatt Dallenbach, whose father, Wally Dallenbach Jr., made 226 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup starts before becoming an analyst for TNT's NASCAR coverage.
The Dallenbach brothers live in Spring Branch, Texas, but are spending the summer here in order to compete in the Summer Shootout Series and work at Roush Racing.
"We wanted to come here for the summer because there's really nothing like racing in the Shootout," said 17-year-old Jake Dallenbach. "It is different from every other track you'll ever race because the competition is so tough."
The younger of the Dallenbach brothers, 15-year-old Wyatt, said racing has always been one of his passions.
"Ever since I first got in a car, I have wanted to keep racing," he said. Interestingly, Wyatt, who drives the No. 11 car in the Legends Car Young Lions division, wants to climb the racing ladder, but envisions a future without fenders.
"I really want to drive an Indy Car," Wyatt said. "My grandfather raced Indy Cars. I've had a chance to drive a Formula Mazda car and I just like them better."
Jake Dallenbach didn't start racing until he was 14, but hopes to eventually compete in the upper echelons of NASCAR.
"I would like to get as high as I can. But if I don't make it, then I would be happy just working in a race shop and getting to work on the cars," he said.
Jake Dallenbach wheels the No. 11 car in the Pull-A-Part Legends Car Semi-Pro division and enjoys having his father at the track when he is able to break away from his television commitments.
"Believe it or not, we don't spend much time together at the race track. We actually spend more time hunting together than anything else,"
Jake Dallenbach said. "But it's fun to have my dad here with us when he can make it." Other children of current or former NASCAR drivers competing in Lowe's Motor Speedway's Summer Shootout include:
. Ryan Blaney, 13, is the son of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Dave
Blaney and the grandson of legendary short-track racer Lou Blaney. He drives the No. 10 car in the Pull-A-Part Legends Car Semi-Pro division.
. Ty Dillon, 15, drives the No. 2 entry in the Pull-A-Part Legends Car Semi-Pro division. He is the grandson of NASCAR team owner Richard Childress and his father, Mike Dillon, is a former NASCAR Busch Series driver who now serves as vice president of competition for Richard Childress Racing.
. Casey LaJoie, 12, is the son of two-time NASCAR Busch Series champion Randy LaJoie and drives the No. 17 car in the Bandolero Young Guns division.
. Jesse Little, 10, drives the No. 03 car in the Fisher-Price Bandolero Bandits division. He is the son of former NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series driver Chad Little.
. Chrissy Wallace, 19, is the daughter of NASCAR Busch Series driver Mike Wallace. She competes in the Verdict Ridge Golf & Country Club Legends Pro Division driving car No. 4.
. Matt Wallace is Chrissy Wallace's little brother. A third-generation driver, the 11-year-old racer wheels the No. 4 car in the Fisher-Price Bandolero Bandits division.
These NASCAR kids are among the more than 200 Summer Shootout competitors who will be in action each Tuesday night through Aug. 7. The series features three classes of Bandolero racing, four divisions of Legends Cars and the Thunder Roadsters.
Admission is $7 for adults. Children 6-12 are admitted for $3 and kids under 6 are free. Tickets are available in advance at the speedway ticket office and at Gates 4 and 5 the night of the event. Parking is free.
Spectator gates open at 5 p.m. with preliminary action at 5:30 p.m. Feature racing begins at 7:30 p.m. For information, visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or call the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.