Casey Smith had a rough go of it in Southern Super Series competition during the 2014 season. When he had a bit of luck on his side he was able to produce a couple strong finishes, but more often than not the luck he had on his side was of the bad variety.
Whether it was a motor issue at Gresham Motorsports Park (GA), a brake issue at Montgomery Speedway (AL) or getting caught up in crashes not of his making on multiple occasions, you name it and chances are it happened to Casey Smith in 2014.
But it’s a new year, and the new season is right around the corner as The Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway is just over a week away on Sunday, March 15. All that bad luck is in the past. At least, that’s what Smith hopes.
“Just more than anything we just need luck,” Smith said with a laugh. “Then I think the wins and the top threes and stuff will come into place. I think we have really good equipment this year. We always have good equipment but I think with Butch VanDoorn’s help and all the stuff we’ve been doing during the offseason I think we have a good shot this year.”
At this point, Smith is heading to the season-opening Southern Super Series event with just one thing on his mind: winning. He’s hoping to run the full season and compete for a championship, but there’s a chance that may not happen.
“I would love to sit here right now and say we’re going to race every race because that’s what I’d love to do,” Smith told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “But unfortunately work comes before pleasure. It just kind of depends on how our workload is and if we can get away. And also we have to make sure we don’t tear up any race cars throughout the year that would make us miss a race or something.”
Smith’s family runs an excavation and paving business. He said he’s normally home around 5 p.m. from his day job, and then he goes to work on the racecar until about midnight.
“It’s not that bad as long as we don’t tear anything up,” he said. “But when you do tear things up, then it’s tough to keep up with it. I’ve also got a good friend who comes over for two nights and on the weekends who helps. Most of the people that are racing have at least one or two people working full time in the shop to keep the cars up. It’s definitely a chore, but I enjoy it and that’s why I do it.”
One way Smith would enjoy it more is if he can break into victory lane this year. He came close last year with a second-place run at Mobile International Speedway (AL), which he then followed up with a third-place run at Montgomery.
“I’d like to win at least one race or a couple races but I’d like to at least say we had a shot at winning every race,” he said. “The Southern Super Series is probably the toughest Late Model racing in the country. It’s a bit cocky to say you want to go win a whole bunch even though that’s what everybody’s goal is. But if we can just win a race or two I’d be happy.”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Northeast Editor -Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com