Braeden Havens, the 2011 Inland Northwest Super Stock Association champion, will team with four-time late model touring champion Gary Lewis, as the Washington state drivers have been named to represent Virginia-based Racing Dynamiks in this weekend’s MDCU 300 at Martinsville Speedway.
Havens will drive the No. 14 Western Rail/Racing Dynamiks Chevrolet while Lewis will campaign the company’s No. 73 IPM/Racing Dynamiks Toyota Camry.
“To race Martinsville is something that may only happen once in a driver’s career. Being a teammate with Gary Lewis, one of the best late model drivers in the country, makes the trip even better,” Havens said. ‘I’ve learned a lot from Gary with all the advice he’s given me in my career and following him on the race track. I believe that will help me in the MDCU 300 and will give our Racing Dynamiks team a good chance to win this weekend.”
Havens, like Lewis, sees similarities to Martinsville and Spokane County Raceway’s half-mile. In fact, the college sophomore notes that Sprint Cup driver Kurt Busch used SCR in 2013 as a test track for the STP Gas Booster 500.
“When he (Busch) was out here last year they worked on brake packages and handling. That tells me that Martinsville, like SCR, requires a driver to have those items at the best they can be to get to the finish,” Havens said. “I know this year we worked on taking care of our brakes and having a car at the end of a race that was capable of going to the front. I expect to take the same approach this weekend.”
Travis Sharpe, a Virginia native who now makes his home in Kalispell, Montana, will lead Racing Dynamiks entries in the MDCU 300. Sharpe has wins in the Idaho 200 and Montana Raceway Park’s GET Rich 212 this year with his driver Trevor Edmond.
“I’ve gotten to know Travis over the last couple of seasons and his cars are running very well here in the Northwest,” Havens said. “He’s got success in the big East Coast late model races and we believe that together we’re going to be strong at Martinsville. We’ve tested at (North Carolina’s) Ace Speedway to get ready for the weekend and that went real well. With Gary providing his feedback on adjustments and ideas we’re sure to be solid right off the trailer.”
One of Sharpe’s specialties is setting up a car to have adjustments throughout a race weekend, Havens added.
“I like to be able to have a car that the team can work with to get right on that edge of being fast while also cornering well. This gives me a baseline for consistent lap times and that has been one of the keys to my success in recent years. Travis has really refined Emond’s program with that in mind and it shows in the results. I believe in what he’s going to give Gary and I in Martinsville and can’t wait to get out there and give it a go.”
- Braeden Havens Media Relations press release. Photo credit: Killer 'B' Racing Facebook