NASCAR Kids Following Fathers' Tire Tracks during the Summer Shootout Series
Each week several NASCAR drivers, a television reporter and the president of a renowned racing organization spend their Tuesday nights at the Summer Shootout Series at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. However, these men are not there to compete, but rather to watch their children follow in their tire tracks.
The Summer Shootout Series is the site of competitive grassroots racing where NASCAR stars Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Reed Sorenson, David Ragan and most recent Sprint Cup Series winner Joey Logano honed their driving skills.
This year Tyler Green, Austin Green, Matt Wallace, Kyle Grissom, Jesse Little, Myatt Snider and Austin Cindric comprise the group of Summer Shootout Series competitors commonly referred to as the “NASCAR kids.”
Legends Car Bath Fitter Pro division driver Tyler Green is the son of NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Mark Green and the nephew of Nationwide Series champions David and Jeff Green. The 20-year-old, who won the 2004 Summer Shootout championship in the Bandolero Young Guns/Outlaw division, credits his father with helping to perfect his racing skills.
“He’s taught me everything from setting up the cars, to fabrication, to driving,” said Tyler Green. “Everything I know, I learned from him.”
To Green, racing at Lowe’s Motor Speedway is a matter of convenience as he is often gone on weekends spotting for his father in the Nationwide Series. Competing on Tuesday nights allows him to race and still travel to the Nationwide events.
Tyler is not the only Green competing in the Summer Shootout, his cousin 8-year-old Austin Green is trying his hand at racing in the Bandolero Bandits division for the first time this year.
Wallace, 13, is the son of NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series driver Mike Wallace and the nephew of NASCAR drivers Kenny and Rusty Wallace. The teenager races in the Legends Car Young Lions division and his father is one of his biggest supporters.
“My dad tells me to do the best I can,” explained the third-generation driver. “We are just doing this for fun right now.”
His sister Chrissy Wallace raced in the series before moving on to drive in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2008.
“I came down when I was younger and watched her run the Summer Shootout Series and I thought it would be fun,” said Wallace.
With motivation from his sister and the help of his father, the younger Wallace has been racing ever since.
Grissom, the son of the 1993 NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion Steve Grissom, competes in the Legends Car Bath Fitter Pro division.
He started wheeling go-karts at the young age of 4 and at age 8 moved to a Bandolero car. After just one year of racing, Grissom won the 2000 Bandolero Bandits Championship in the Summer Shootout Series at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
The 19-year-old has a well-known last name but does a pretty good job at staying under the radar at the track.
“I have always kept to myself and stayed quiet. I’ve never wanted to be treated any differently,” said Grissom.
As a young boy he accompanied his father to NASCAR races and his father is returning the favor by helping Grissom on Tuesday nights. It seems he is an excellent teacher as his son already has 11 career Summer Shootout victories under his belt.
“Ever since I started my dad has always gone with me as much as he could. Everything I know is what he has taught me, and I couldn’t do it without him,” explained Grissom.
Other NASCAR kids competing in the 2009 Summer Shootout Series:
- Austin Green drives the No. 2 Bandolero in the Bandits division. The 8-year-old is the son of Nationwide Series champion David Green.
- Jesse Little, 12, is the son of former NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series driver Chad Little. He drives the No. 03 Legends Car in the Young Lions division.
- Myatt Snider, 14, drives the No. 2 Bandolero car in the Young Guns/Outlaws division. He is the son of NBC and Turner Sports reporter Marty Snider.
- Austin Cindric is the son of Penske Racing President Tim Cindric. The 10-year-old drives the No. 77 Bandolero car in the Bandits division.
These NASCAR kids are among the nearly 200 Summer Shootout competitors who will be racing each Tuesday night through August 11. Tickets are available in advance at the speedway ticket office and at Gates 4 and 5 on race nights. Parking is free. Admission is just $7 for adults. Children 6-12 are admitted for $3 and kids under 6 are free.
Spectator gates open at 5 p.m. with feature racing at 7:30.p.m. For more information, contact the Lowe’s Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.