First-Time Jack in the Box Summer Shootout Series Racer Develops Diverse Racing Experience
Your mother may tell you to stop watching cartoons and play outside, but the world of animation is where Devon Amos, of Rio Rancho, N.M., received his inspiration to jumpstart his racing career.
While many Jack in the Box Summer Shootout Series drivers start racing because of family ties to the sport, something else hooked 22-year-old Amos. When he was 9 years old, Amos began watching the cartoon "NASCAR Racers," which sparked his interest in racing.
"They were going upside down and in these circles. They were flying," Amos said. "I thought, 'Man that's so cool. I want to do that someday.'"
Thankfully, Amos' stepdad set the record straight and showed him a real NASCAR race on television. Amos said his interest in racing took off from that moment.
From racing quarter midgets and Volkswagen Beetles in his younger years to buying a mini sprint car at age 18, Amos has gained a variety of racing experience. Amos, an African-American driver, applied for the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program and joined the Rev Racing team in 2013. The program helps develop minority and female drivers and crew members.
Since signing with Rev Racing, the team has sent Amos to the Jack in the Box Summer Shootout Series on the frontstretch quarter-mile at Charlotte Motor Speedway to help hone his racing skills. He will race in the No. 25 car in the Legend Car Semi-Pro division throughout the summer. The series has been a proving ground for other young racers, including Joey Logano, David Ragan, Reed Sorenson and Darrell Wallace Jr.
His experience with Rev Racing has given Amos the opportunity to travel around to different racetracks and immerse himself in the NASCAR culture.
"Last year I think I went to one [NASCAR race]," Amos said. "This year I've been to probably six or seven because we're constantly traveling and on the road. It's been a lot of fun."
Amos' travels have now brought him to Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he will compete each week through July 30 in the hopes of taking home the Jack in the Box Summer Shootout Series championship in his division. Along the way, he has had assistance from Summer Shootout regular Mark Green, who helped set up Amos' car for the series.
Green and Amos crossed paths because they are both associated with Rev Racing. While Green, a former NASCAR Nationwide Series competitor, is a crew chief for the K&N Series, Amos works on their late models and now has the opportunity to race for the team himself.
Amos said that Green's experience with Legend Cars and the Summer Shootout Series has been very helpful in getting his car ready for this year's competition. However, Amos is still working on his car to ensure that it is ready for competitive racing.
"Not every car is the same," Amos said. "We're still trying to figure out what to do to get it comfortable for me."
The 20th annual Jack in the Box Summer Shootout Series continues Tuesday, June 18, with Mascot Mania. In addition to a full slate of Legend Cars and Bandoleros, fans can see area mascots, including Lug Nut, go head-to-head in specially prepared go-karts.
Tickets to the Jack in the Box Summer Shootout Series are just $7 for adults and kids 13 and under get in 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 starting at 5:10 p.m. Opening ceremonies are at 6:45 p.m. and feature races are scheduled to conclude by approximately 10 p.m.
For tickets to the Jack in the Box Summer Shootout Series, call the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com
For live updates during the Summer Shootout Series, follow #SummerShootout on Twitter. To join in on the conversation, simply include #SummerShootout in your tweet.