Each year football teams around America hold try-outs to search for that hidden talent that nobody else has found. Football players showcase their skills in high-school and college tryouts with the hopes of one day making it to the big leagues. In racing, those try-outs are rare or non-existent, until now.
A new program, Short Track Auto Racing Tryouts, or STAR Tryouts for short, is being conducted by Crooks Racing as they analyze short track racing talent in an effort to put a driver in the team’s Super Late Model program in 2017.
Crooks Racing is asking for drivers to send in their applications to possibly be selected for their program. However, this isn’t any ordinary application process. Crooks Racing will host a “gong-show” style of event to determine who will race for the team for in 2017.
Up to 12 drivers will be named as finalists at this year’s Performance Racing Industry trade show in December. Those finalists will then be given the opportunity to show a panel of judges what they’ve got.
Drivers will be judged on their abilities on the race track, but also off the race track in the realm of media applications as well.
After the finalists are selected, Crooks Racing will take the group to an unspecified racetrack. The process is simple; each driver will make a 10-lap run to get acclimated to the race car and track before debriefing with the team to discuss any changes that may be needed. After that the driver will then be given three runs of five to seven laps. Once that is completed, the driver will make a 30-lap run and then a mock-qualifying run.
All drivers will be judged on consistency, communication, adaptability, attitude, enthusiasm, feedback and speed. Judges will consist of Gary Crooks (team owner), as well as known-driver and media member to be named at a later date.
The STAR Tryouts will also be video-taped and a show will be post-produced by Speed51.com.
“We get multiple inquiries a month regarding our Driver Development Program, and in preparation for the 2017 season, we thought it would be a fun and exciting way to provide an opportunity for each of the selected candidates to showcase their potential on and off the track,” said team owner Gary Crooks. “As a true Driver Development Program, our goal is to provide an opportunity for talented young men and women to hone their skills and to help prepare them to be able to capitalize on potential racing opportunities that may be presented to them in the future. With so many young, talented race car drivers out there, we feel this is the best way to make it fair for those who express serious interest in our program.”
Upon completion of the event, Crooks Racing will announce a winner for the upcoming race season. The winner will receive a contract of a minimum of 20 races in a combination of the Super Late Model events, including but not limited to, PASS and the CARS Tour. The races must be within 350 miles of the Crooks Racing headquarters in Mooresville, NC.
All applicants must be self-funded and are required to be able to pay a sum of $4,500 to cover testing expenses if chosen to take part in the STAR Tryout event.
The driver that receives a contract will also be required to pay an amount of $14,750 per event to cover all expenses, such as tires, fuel, hotels, etc. Each driver will be asked to provide their own travel to and from each event and pay for any damage incurred at each event. The driver will receive 30% of the prize money for each event.
Crooks Racing won seven races during the course of the last two seasons. The team finished second in the 2015 Snowball Derby, finished second in the 2015 Pro All-Stars Series South standings and won the 2015 Super Late Model World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing championship at New Smyrna Speedway.
For more information regarding the program, please reach out via email to [email protected]