As many racers from all over North America make their way down to Florida for the World Series of Asphalt Racing at New Smyrna Speedway, perhaps no driver’s trip is longer than the one Denver Foran is making. Foran’s trip from his hometown of Edmonton, Alberta to New Smyrna Speedway will consist of roughly 2,800 miles of travel.
Foran is, for the most part, accustomed to making long trips in order to race Super Late Models. The senior at Jasper Place High School in Edmonton will be racing full time in the Southern Super Series with LFR Chassis, a team he is now a development driver for.
“It’s just part of the game for a Canadian racer who wants to go run in the south,” Foran told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.
While travel certainly is part of the game, that doesn’t mean that Foran and his family aren’t looking at ways to try to cut down on the distance as much as possible.
“We are definitely looking into the option of me moving down, but I’m still in high school,” said Foran. “I’m still in grade 12, so once I finish that up then maybe I could possibly move down, but I’m not 100-percent sure. The races are so tightly put together that it might have to be done.”
There are times when Foran is forced to miss a lot of school for racing, like in the upcoming weeks when he’ll be in Florida racing his new LFR Chassis Super Late Model. Fortunately, for Foran, he’s in a program at school that helps out athletes who sometimes have to miss quite a few days at a time for sports-related activities.
“I’m in the program called the Elite Athlete Program,” he said. “They help me out whenever I get back. They’ll give me whatever I missed. It’s a lot of work, but it’s doable with this program that I’m in. All the athletes that are in the school are in this program. Whenever we come back there’s a guy that makes sure we have all of our homework caught up on. And if we need extra help the school provides tutors.”
The Elite Athlete Program is a huge part of what is keeping Foran on track to graduate high school in the spring, even after missing a number of days due to his racing schedule. Foran said after high school he may take some online courses to get himself a business degree. But otherwise it is full steam ahead for a career in racing, and that starts this week at New Smyrna.
Foran was recently announced as one of the drivers in LFR Chassis’ new driver development program. Foran said that his relationship with Jeff Fultz, LFR’s coach for the Late Model division, was a huge reason as to why he was brought into the program.
“I’ve raced for him for the last year,” Foran said. “He helped start LFR, and he pointed me in that direction and we just went from there.”
Since making their debut with their cars midway through the 2014 season, LFR Chassis’ have been strong everywhere they’ve raced, whether in the Modified ranks or in Super Late Model competition. Foran knows this, but said there isn’t any pressure to perform. At least not any added pressure.
“I think there definitely is pressure, but I think there’s pressure for every driver who shows up at the race track,” Foran said. “Running for a different car, you can’t get too frustrated with your performance while learning its maximum ability. I’m so excited to run their car that the pressure doesn’t really bother me.”
Foran has raced at New Smyrna Speedway many times in the past. He holds the record for being the youngest Canadian racer to compete at the World Series. While he’s quite comfortable at the race track, he now has to get used to working with a new team. Since he lives so far away, Foran hasn’t even been able to test with the team.
“This will be the first time I’m at a race track with them,” he said. “I’ve seen one of their Late Models, but never gotten to drive it, never sat in it. I’ve never even heard it run.”
But Foran doesn’t see that learning curve as the hardest part of the World Series. He thinks that will go quite well, actually.
“The hardest thing about New Smyrna Speedweeks is the amount of racing in the two weeks,” he said. It’s just unreal. You race almost every night.
“I’m just really hoping I can improve and the team works together and the team will fit in with my driving style and everything. It may be hard at first just getting everyone used to everything. Once that is accomplished I think we’ll be good.”
The 49th Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing begins on February 13 and continues until February 21.
For more information and a full schedule of events, visit www.newsmyrnaspeedway.org.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com