Showing posts with label Landon Cassill. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Landon Cassill. Show all posts

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Day When Everything Goes Cray: Five Questions for Talladega

(Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images)
Hide your wife, hide your kids, because Talladega’s fixing to get crazy up in here.

We all wanted this day to come, and it has finally arrived: the cut-off of the second round. Talladega Superspeedway’s date. The Day When Everything Goes Cray.

There’s so much to discuss, so I’ll skip the rambling and get on with it. Five questions, five responses from yours truly. Fairness, retaliation and goodbyes are all discussed in this week’s column.

Will we see Charlotte-related retaliation? In case you’ve been living under a rock, Charlotte Motor Speedway ended in a melee between Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth. There was even tackling! It was a great example of the emotions the new Chase format conjures. Denny Hamlin was also involved in a scuffle with Keselowski, and there was a slight tiff between Joey Logano and Danica Patrick. Will we see any responsive actions this weekend? Not only is the answer "no," but it’s "heck no." It would be preposterous to attempt payback at Talladega. The carnage will garner enough entertainment itself. If you’re looking for payback, tune in a week from Sunday; Martinsville Speedway is the perfect place for some rumbling.

What was the reasoning behind Stewart’s penalty? There was another thing that came out of Charlotte: penalties! NASCAR announced Tuesday that Keselowski received a $50,000 fine for his actions, and Tony Stewart’s fine clocked in at $25,000. Both are also on a four-race probation. Many fans are confused on why Stewart was dragged into this mess and what the mainstream media would take away. As expected, news outlets exploited the fine and tied it back to the fatal incident with Kevin Ward Jr. What exactly was NASCAR thinking? Well, they approached it as they would any other driver; they specified that the driver of the No. 14’s actions on pit road resulted in the monetary punishment. The fact of the matter is, he backed into Keselowski around other drivers that had their belts and HANS devices off. This happened after Keselowski sideswiped Kenseth, and the latter driver was mad because he felt endangered. I feel that NASCAR took that into consideration when they divvied out the penalties.

Can an underdog do the thing again? "Do the thing" obviously means winning. Drivers such as David Ragan are great at restrictor plate tracks and have the ability to steal a win. Anything can happen, so don’t count the small teams out. Two others I’m focusing on are Casey Mears and Landon Cassill. Mears knows how to work the draft well; Jimmie Johnson has used him as a dance partner many times. That’s a pretty big seal of approval. Cassill is an enigma to me because he is on the cusp of doing great things. If he had the chance to run for a high-end team, I have no doubt he could do a solid job. This could be the weekend he highlights his skills, which are phenomenal at plate tracks. A spoiler might be in the near future.

If Earnhardt Jr. doesn’t make the Chase, is NASCAR at a disadvantage? Earlier this week, I read an article that talk about the backlash if Johnson made it into the next round. I’ll save you a click: fans wouldn’t be happy. Why? Because that means Dale Earnhardt Jr. would be out of the picture. Look, I understand some people would be disinterested, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world. The ratings would probably dip more, yet there’s much more excitement to be had in the final four races. However, this isn’t applicable until Junior officially misses the cut-off. No pressure!

Is it fair that Talladega is the cut-off race? This is a question many have been asking since the format was revealed. So many scenarios could kill title hopes. What if a huge wreck happens, and all these drivers get caught up in it? I’m going to be honest: it’s a bit off-putting. Despite that, we also need to remember that LIFE IS NOT FAIR. If these drivers wanted to be locked in and have it easy, they should’ve won one of the past two races. Also, driving like an idiot would increase their chances of not getting eliminated. Drive aggressively, but don’t overdo it, guys. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Fast Facts: Landon Cassill

credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for
Texas Motor Speedway
Landon Cassill, currently competing in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series in 2013, has been racing for two decades – and he’s just 23 years old! Find out about this young driver’s lengthy resume in this week’s Fast Facts.

  • Landon Douglas Cassill was born July 7, 1989 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He began racing ATVs at age 3, then moved into go-karts. Cassill won two Kart Series national championships and four International Karting Federation championships on both dirt and asphalt.
  • After a successful karting career, Cassill moved up to the ASA Late Model Series in 2003 while still in high school, also racing Legends cars and Modifieds during his teens. He won his first ASA Late Model race in 2006 at Lake Erie Speedway in Pennsylvania.
  • In December 2006, Cassill signed on as a development and test driver with Hendrick Motorsports. He made his Nationwide Series debut in July 2007, and in 2008, while driving for JR Motorsports and Phoenix Racing, earned the series’ Rookie of the Year honors. He also made his debut in the Camping World Truck Series that year.
  • In 2010, Cassill competed in all three of NASCAR’s top series, making his Sprint Cup Series debut at Michigan for Phoenix Racing; he also drove for TRG Motorsports and Max Q Motorsports that season.
  • In 2013, Cassill is driving the No. 33 Chevrolet for Circle Sport in the Sprint Cup Series and the No. 4 Flex Seal Chevrolet for JD Motorsports in the Nationwide Series.
  • Learn more about Cassill at his website, www.landoncassill.com.  

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Love Is In The Air and "It's Official" ... NASCAR Weddings

“Love is patient, love is kind...” (1 Corinthians 13:4)

As we all know, the NASCAR season is a long, busy eventful one. Most of the off-season is spent taking well-deserved vacations, enjoying the down time with family and friends or saying “I do.”

A number of couples have been wedding planning (at least one year in advance) and counting down the days until they walked down the aisle. Two NASCAR competitors who tied the knot this month include Sprint Cup drivers David Ragan, No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford, and Landon Cassill, No. 83 BK Racing Toyota. 

Pictured: Mr. & Mrs. David Ragan (Photo Courtesy of @JacquelynRagan Twitter)
  
David Ragan and fiancĂ©’ Jacquelyn Butler officially tied the knot on December 15, 2012 in Charlotte, NC. Mrs. Ragan shared a picture of the newly married couple via Twitter with the caption “The best night of @DavidRagan & my life celebrating with family and friends.” 

Pictured: Mr. & Mrs. Landon Cassill
 (Photo Courtesy of @landoncassill Twitter)
 
Landon Cassill married his fiancĂ© Kaitlan Linsted on December 28, 2012, and shared their picture via Twitter with the caption “Here we are! Newlyweds! Me and my beautiful wife @katelinsted.”

Congratulations to both couples on their nuptials!

Until next time …


Unique Hiram is an Associate Editor/Contributing Writer/Media Rep for Skirts and Scuffs. Additionally, she is also the author of "Fast Lane Poetry" which was published April 2011. Unique can be contacted via email or through Twitter.

Monday, August 6, 2012

NASCAR drivers help bring attention to two missing girls from Iowa

Travis Kvapil prepares to be interviewed by
ESPN. Photo credit: BK Racing Facebook
On July 13, 2012 ten-year-old Lyric Cook and her soon to be nine-year-old cousin Elizabeth Collins went out for a bike ride at about 11:30 a.m. and never returned, they were reported missing later that day. The girls were last seen riding their bikes in Evensdale, Iowa by the lake around 2 p.m. The girls' abandoned bikes and a purse were found by the banks of the lake just hours after they were reported missing. Missing for a little over three weeks now, FBI agents are very hopeful that the girls are still alive. This story caught the attention of three NASCAR drivers,  Michael Annett from the NASCAR Nationwide Series and BK Racing drivers Landon Cassill and Travis Kvapil.

Michael Annett, driver of the No. 43 Northland Oil Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports, raced at Iowa Speedway on Saturday featuring pictures and contact information for the two missing girls on the deck lid and C-posts. Of note: Annette qualified this special car in the 25th position and finished the race in fourth.

Landon Cassill, driver of the No. 83 Burger King/Dr. Pepper Toyota, and his teammate Travis Kvapil, driver of the No. 93 Burger King/Dr. Pepper Toyota, also featured pictures of the two missing girls in the Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway.

Cassill, who is from Cedar Rapids, Iowa said, "Being from Iowa, and having some other folks in the sport from Iowa, we are all pulling together to raise as much attention as possible to help locate the two missing girls." Cassill continued to say, "I really want to do as much as possible and this is one step. I can't thank the team enough for doing this." Cassill qualified 22nd and finished 26th.

Kvapil was hoping that the efforts would put a national spotlight on the investigation. He made the statement, "As a parent, I want to do anything I can to help the families locate their children. I'm pleased that we have the special decals on our cars this weekend and I hope that this will aid in the search." Kvapil qualified 37th and finished the race in 25th.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

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 (https://www.facebook.com/landoncassillfans) 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.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Under the Spotlight: Phoenix Racing's Landon Cassill Earns Career Best Finish at Michigan

Cassill walks around across pit road at Pocono
Karel Zubris for Skirts and Scuffs

This season the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has been full of the unexpected. With 10 different winners in the past 14 races and the change of the series point system, race results have been pretty unpredictable.

In Sunday’s Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway, no one, including Landon Cassill himself, expected to see the No. 51 running in the top 15 for much of the race.

For a driver like Cassill, who drives the No. 51 Security Benefit/Thank a Teacher Today Chevrolet for Phoenix Racing, owned by James Finch, simply crossing the finish line on the lead lap is a great accomplishment for the team.

Up until this season, the 21-year-old driver, who was the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year and is a former Hendrick Motorsports Development Driver, was barely able to finish a race, let alone compete with some of the highest funded teams in the sport.

Sunday’s race at Michigan marked the one-year anniversary of Cassill’s competing in the Cup Series.

Last season, Cassill competed in 16 races and had 15 DNFs with an average finish of 39.5 compared to this year’s 31.1.

The last couple of years have been start-and-parks for Cassill, but driving for Phoenix Racing in the same car that was previously driven by Bill Elliott (formerly the No. 09) has provided Cassill with much needed seat-time and the exposure he needs to gain the attention of his peers and higher level Cup teams.

The full-time ride has also helped Cassill to remain consistent and keep Phoenix Racing within the top 35 in owners’ points.

Before Sunday’s race, Cassill had not finished higher than 24th this season and on Sunday he managed to finish 12th in his best career finish. He also started the race in the 12th position, qualifying ahead of other Team Chevy drivers such as Ryan Newman, Jamie McMurray and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

“It was great and we were really fast at some parts of the race and we kept getting the balance on one side or the other and we had a little bit of racer luck there that put us in position to put us on four tires there at the end and that is what made it for us and that was awesome,” said Cassill following Sunday’s race at Michigan.

He also had a good start in the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega starting from the 6th position, although he ended up finishing 31st. Just a couple of weeks ago at Pocono, Cassill lead a few laps late in the race and despite finishing 25th, he was happy to say that he actually lead a race in the Cup Series, something that didn’t seem possible this time last year.

"Right now my goals are to stay in the car every week and keep building with this team,” Cassill said in a recent interview. "There really are no guarantees in this sport right now with the way the economy is. Right now we’ve got to exceed expectations as much as possible and put as much (confidence) in my team that they know I can do it."

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pole Report: DRIVE4COPD 300


Qualifying for Saturday's DRIVE4COPD 300 was held Friday with Clint Boywer (49.773 seconds/180.821 MPH) capturing the pole.  Landon Cassill starts alongside Bowyer, who will pilot the #33 for Kevin Harvick Inc. Teammates Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick will be in row two, with Justin Allgaier rounding out the top-5. 

With a time of 49.867 seconds (180.480 MPH) Patrick was on the provisional pole until Landon Cassill took the track recording a time of 49.834 seconds (180.600 MPH). Although Earnhardt, who earned the pole for Sunday's Daytona 500 was fast, his time of 49.836 seconds (180.592 MPH) was only good enough for third. 

This is Bowyer's second pole at Daytona International Speedway.

Saturday's Nationwide race should be very exciting and full of Whoa’s and Ahh’s. Let’s go racing boys!

The following is the complete starting lineup for Saturday's DRIVE4COPD 300 from Daytona International Speedway:

  1. Clint Bowyer 
  2. Landon Cassill
  3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  4. Danica Patrick
  5. Justin Allgaier
  6. Joey Logano
  7. Trevor Bayne
  8. Kyle Busch
  9. Carl Edwards
10. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
11. Brian Scot
12. Brad Keselowski
13. Michael Annett
14. Tony Stewart
15. Aric Almirola
16. Reed Sorenson
17. Sam Hornish Jr.
18. Joe Nemechek
19. Elliott Sadler
20. Kasey Kahne
21. Steve Wallace
22. Jason Leffler
23. Bobby Santos
24. Shelby Howard
25. Kenny Wallace
26. Michael Waltrip
27. Mike Wallace
28. Jeff Green
29. Jeremy Clements
30. Mike Bliss
31. Josh Wise
32. Kelly Bires
33. Donnie Neurenberger
34. Eric McClure
35. Patrick Sheltra
36. Todd Bodine
37. Kevin Lepage
38. Robert Richardson Jr.
39. Morgan Shepherd
40. JR Fitzpatrick
41. Derrike Cope
42. Scott Wimmer
43. David Starr

Failed to qualify: Brett Rowe, Jennifer Jo Cobb

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cassill, Braun eager to get back on track at Dover

After a short absence, two Nationwide Series drivers will climb back into their respective rides for Saturday's Heluva Good! 200 at Dover International Speedway: Landon Cassill at JR Motorsports and Colin Braun at Roush Fenway Racing.

Cassill returns this weekend to the No. 7 Go Daddy Chevrolet after a three-race hiatus. He piloted the entry at Phoenix and Texas, where he finished 35th and 18th, respectively.

He is scheduled to run at least one more Nationwide event for JR Motorsports this season as part of a four-race deal.

Cassill had been slated to drive the No. 7 at Talladega and Richmond, but vacated the ride so JRM development driver Steve Arpin could get seat time. Arpin made his Nationwide debut at Talladega and competed in the next two races at Richmond and Darlington.

In three Nationwide starts at Dover, Cassill's best finish was 18th in fall 2007. His average finish at the track is 22.7.

“I’ve always enjoyed racing at Dover. It’s basically a bigger, wider version of Bristol. I don’t think my past results show that I like running there, but I do. This Go Daddy team is more than capable of running well at these tracks," said Cassill, the 2008 Nationwide Rookie of the Year, in a team press release. "If we race smart and take care of our equipment, we should be just fine.”

During the break from racing, Cassill said he gained experience spotting and spent time at JRM's race shop.

"The best thing a driver can do for themselves, even if they don’t have a ride for a given weekend, is still to show up at the track. It lets people know that you’re willing to make the effort to be there and continue to learn as much as you can," Cassill said.
"So since my last race in the No. 7 at Texas, I’ve been at the racetrack spotting for other drivers. Even if I’m not spotting, I go up to the spotter’s stand. You can learn a lot by just watching practice or the race from up there. I want to take full advantage of that. I’ve also been spending time at the JRM shop with Tony (Eury) Jr. and the guys. Just doing what I can to help out in any way.”

Other drivers who have sat at the helm of the No. 7 this season are Danica Patrick and Scott Wimmer. J.R. Fitzpatrick will step into the driver's seat for the three upcoming road course events. The No. 7 sits 26th in the Nationwide owner standings.
Over at Roush Fenway, Braun returns to the No. 16 Con-way Freight Ford after sitting out for two races. Teammate Matt Kenseth, the 2003 Sprint Cup champion, competed in the Nationwide events at Richmond and Darlington.

In eight Nationwide starts this season, Braun had five DNFs, all due to wrecks. His season-best finish of 13th came at Texas Motor Speedway.

Braun is set to drive the No. 16 in the remaining Nationwide races where Con-way Freight or 3M serve as the car's primary sponsor. The Heluva Good! 200 marks his first Nationwide start at the Monster Mile.

Braun has two starts in the Camping World Truck Series at Dover, where he has one top 10, an eighth-place finish in 2008. In last year's event he was leading with 15 laps left, but a cut tire relegated him to a 22nd-place finish. His average finish at Dover is 15.0.

During his two-week hiatus, Braun observed Kenseth with the No. 16 team.

“I’m definitely excited to be getting back in the Con-way Freight Ford at Dover this weekend. While it’s been hard for me to kind of be on the sidelines and observe these past two weeks, I definitely believe that I’ve learned some things from Matt (Kenseth) that I can put to use when I’m in the car," Braun said in a Roush Fenway press release.

He is optimistic about the team's chances for a good finish at the Monster Mile.

"The No. 16 guys were really great on pit road last weekend in Darlington too and so I’m hopeful we can take all of the momentum into Dover and put together the whole race and get a solid finish,” he said.

The No. 16 is currently 31st in Nationwide owner points.

The Heluva Good! 200 will be broadcast Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET on ABC. Green flag is set for 2:45 p.m.

_________
Photos of Landon Cassill, top, and Colin Braun courtesy of NASCAR Media