Super Late Model rookie Jett Noland has a new-found sense of confidence as he prepares for the busiest and biggest stretch of his young career. The 15-year-old driver from Groveland, Florida will be racing at New Smyrna Speedway for the Clyde Hart Memorial 100 on July 4, the Southern Super Series Rumble by the River at Montgomery July 6, the Slinger Nationals on July 9, the Redbud 400 at Anderson Speedway on July 15, and Blizzard Series Race Three at 5 Flags Speedway July 19.
Noland has been racing Go Karts since he was seven and moved up into the F-4 ranks of open wheel racing before deciding to ever turn laps on a short track. But just halfway through the 2019 racing season, the young driver for Jett Motorsports has started to turn some heads.
With five races down and five races to go in the Southern Super Series season, Noland still remains within striking distance of the Rookie of the Year crown. But more important than that, he’s beginning to show major improvement behind the wheel.
“I’d have to say the improvement has come from the time I’ve spent with my crew,” Noland told Speed51. “I’m at the shop working with them on the car on a consistent basis, seeing what small changes help to make the car turn better, and learning better ways to communicate with the crew on race day.
“I also owe it to my sponsors Noland’s Roofing and Cypress Ridge Hunting Preserve as they have stepped up big time to get me as much seat time as possible alongside some of the best race car drivers in the country,” he continued. “I have a great team around me, starting with my mom and dad, that try to give me every opportunity to succeed and that all starts with being in the car every weekend so I can continue to learn.”
Noland’s effort in his development continues to shine brightest at his home track of New Smyrna Speedway. After surprising the field with a third-place finish at the Orange Blossom 100 earlier this year, he went toe-to-toe with Anthony Sergi on June 29 in an epic battle for his first career Super Late Model victory, ultimately finishing second but having fun behind the wheel in the process.
“That may have been the most fun I’ve ever had in a Super Late Model,” Noland said. “For Sergi and I to battle hard, bump and run, and not put each other in the fence after 20 laps wheel-to-wheel was awesome. We used each other up but in a respectful way. I’d love to race like that every weekend.”
While Noland has competed in nearly 20 races so far this season, his summer schedule is about to pick up.
“I’m excited for the road trip ahead of us,” Noland said. “Especially going to Slinger. Everyone I’ve talked to has told me it’s an awesome race track, with a lot of character, and a lot of great passing opportunities. The competition will be stiff, but I have a great team behind me that can help me shorten the learning curve.”
With the winner’s circle in sight, Noland is realistic about his chances of coming home with a victory just yet.
“I’ll be happy with a podium finish at any one of these races coming up,” Noland said. “I still have some things to learn behind the wheel, but I’m getting there, and I feel like once we break into victory lane it’ll be hard to keep us out.”
Race fans unable to travel around the country with Noland during his busy stretch will be able to follow along with all five races on Speed51.com.
Speed51 will have Trackside Now coverage of Thursday’s Clyde Hart Memorial at New Smyrna Speedway, a live Summer Thunder TV video stream of Saturday’s Southern Super Series race at Montgomery, a live pay-per-view broadcast of the Slinger Nationals and the Redbud 400, as well as a live Summer Thunder TV broadcast of the Blizzard Series race at 5 Flags Speedway.
-Story by: Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com National Correspondent - Twitter: @AJorgensen24
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo