Jackson Boone enters this weekend’s 100-lap Pro Late Model race at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville (TN) tied for the lead in the track championship in the division, on the strength of consistent finishes. Still, the Franklin, Tennessee native is hungry for his first Pro Late Model win.
Currently, Boone shares the track’s points lead with one of the top Late Model racers in the Southeast, Casey Roderick. To the 19-year-old, it is an honor to share that spotlight with a racer of Roderick’s caliber.
“It’s always an honor to be tied for the points championship,” Boone told Speed51. “Casey Roderick, he’s someone I’ve looked up to going back. Now I’m racing against him, it’s crazy. I look up to someone and now I’m tied for the points championship with them. It’s crazy how things change.”
While Roderick is not expected to be at Nashville Saturday, there are still plenty of hungry competitors such as Dylan Fetcho or the most recent Nashville Pro Late Model winner, Davey Coble, looking to insert themselves in the title picture.
Boone knows it is important to remain composed going into Saturday’s race and not get too wrapped up in the points battle.
“I’ve got an excited but also laid-back approach to this weekend,” said Boone. “You can’t get too ruffled up because if you get excited, then you can make a couple of mistakes. It’s always good to look at that stuff and realize you’re one of the top people there, and that’s always an honor.”
Furthermore, Boone is hungry for his first Pro Late Model win. He has two runner-up finishes in three races at Nashville this season, as well as three second-place finishes during the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway (FL) and a third-place finish in the Alabama 200 at Montgomery Motor Speedway (AL) in March.
Boone badly wants to get the monkey off his back and get to victory lane.
“Me and my crew chief have been coming up with different strategies,” said Boone. “Even Chase Elliott said, ‘You don’t finish second eight times by chance.’ It’s no question or secret I’ve been frustrated we haven’t been there, but we’ve come up a couple of different strategies.”
Still, Boone is cautious to not let that hunger or zeal for a victory get in the way of a strong finish.
“The biggest thing is to approach this race like a normal race, because it is,” said Boone. “You can get wrapped up in winning, and get wrapped up in it too much and impact the way you perform. We want to stick to the main goal, which is compete for points.
“I’m very hungry for a win,” added Boone. “I’m quite frankly dying for one, and I will do what it takes to get one when it comes down to the end.”
Perhaps that win will come this weekend at Nashville, a track which holds special meaning for the young Tennessean, as both a student of racing’s history and someone who grew up watching races at the Fairgrounds.
“It’s been said so many times, but there are so many legends and really big names that have come and gone through that place and are still going through that place,” said Boone. “It’s no secret. Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt raced there, it’s the real deal. Driving through that tunnel, it’s still surreal every time. I was a little kid watching cars go around that track, and now I’m one of them.”
General admission tickets are just $5 this Saturday at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville for Back to School Family Race Night. There will be also be free school supplies, free popsicles, balloon art, face painting and bouncy houses for young race fans.
For more information, visit www.fairgroundsspeedwaynashville.com.
Fans unable to attend Saturday’s race will be able to watch the Pro Late Models on Summer Thunder TV, presented by PFC Brakes. Click here to join the Speed51 Network today and tune in to more than 70 live races during the summer months as part of the Summer Thunder TV series.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo