Catching Up with NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver Landon Cassill in the No. 51 Hauler

Landon Cassill in the No. 51 hauler
Photo by Rosalie Thompson for Skirts and Scuffs
Talking with Landon Cassill, driver of the No. 51 Thank A Teacher Chevrolet for Phoenix Racing in the Sprint Cup series, one quickly realizes that he is not only thankful for the opportunity James Finch has provided him to race this year but he does not intend to let it slip away.

“It’s been exciting.  It’s been a good year,” Cassill said while chatting with a Skirts & Scuffs reporter in the No. 51 hauler on a recent race weekend. 
Cassill, who turned 22 this week, has been willing to take whatever avenue came his way to prove his ability on the track and secure a ride in the Cup series.  From testing for Hendrick Motorsports to driving for a start-and park team, Cassill has paid his dues but he views every step along the way as both an opportunity and a learning experience.
The Cedar Rapids, IA, native started the 2011 season driving a start-and-park car for Germain Racing.  By late March, Cassill was driving for Phoenix Racing and drove to a 24th place finish in the Thank A Teacher Today/Security Benefit Chevrolet the first weekend he was in the car.
Cassill said because smaller teams such as Phoenix Racing have less people, they have to work really hard but he is enjoying the opportunity to drive for them.  “It’s really fun driving for these guys, especially in the Cup series,” he said.
The Sprint Cup driver is not only having fun Cup racing, but he also enjoys keeping his fans entertained and informed through social media with tweets to his more than 8,000 followers (@landoncassill) and posts to his more than 3,000 Facebook page fans ( while at the track and on his days away from racing. 
Cassill feels social media provides fans with a more direct, inside look at what their favorite celebrity or driver or athlete is doing.  Cassill does his own Twitter posts, unlike some drivers who have assistants who do most or all of their updates.   “I enjoy it.  I do all my Twitter stuff.  I think it gives the fans even a little more of what they want.”   He said it also gives reporters new stuff to write about. 
He keeps fans (and reporters) updated on subjects as diverse as who he is hanging out with, where he might be heading for dinner,  how he feels about his race results or how it felt to swallow his gum (it hurt).  Fans share with him congratulations for good race results, encouragement when things don’t go as well as he would like and this week flooded him with birthday wishes.
The Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year in 2008, Cassill earned the honor while driving for JR Motorsports and he still calls on JRM owner Dale Earnhardt Jr and the other Hendrick drivers for help when he needs it.  Phoenix Racing uses Hendrick Motorsports equipment so the five years Cassill traveled to tracks testing cars for Hendrick has been a bonus.
Cassill said his main goal for the 2011 season is earning the respect of drivers and car owners in the Cup series. A few top-ten finishes, however, would probably also be welcomed.
Catching Up with NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver Landon Cassill in the No. 51 Hauler Catching Up with NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver Landon Cassill in the No. 51 Hauler Reviewed by Rosalie Thompson on Tuesday, July 12, 2011 Rating: 5