NASCAR Driver Ray Black Jr. Elevating Both His Careers with Father’s Support
FLAGLER BEACH, Fla. (June 15, 2016) – Not everyone is lucky enough to pursue two completely different passions and find success in both of them, but NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) driver Ray Black Jr. has been able to do just that in his careers as both the driver of the No. 07 ScubaLife.com Chevrolet and a commercial diver thanks to the support of his father, Capt. Ray Black Sr.
Black Jr.’s love of diving came early in life, as his father had served in the USMC and USN as a Saturation Diving Officer and trained allied countries to perform deep diving operations. After retiring honorably, Black Sr. opened multiple diving businesses, including Blacksmith Marine Offshore and the CDA Technical Institute (CDA) which happens to be the only commercial diving school in the world owned and operated by an actual working commercial diver.
Since becoming certified as a fully-licensed commercial diver and supervisor, Black Jr. has taken on ownership of Blacksmith Marine Offshore and become more involved with the CDA, especially in the construction and development of the school’s new international location in St. Kitts, West Indies.
“Every chance I get I’m down in St. Kitts with my dad helping to construct the newest location for the CDA,” explained Black Jr. “Lately I’ve been helping load supplies, build docks and put boats into the water for the first time. It can be stressful work, but I really enjoy spending the time with my dad down there. It’s something we both really love doing together.”
Black Sr. echoed his son’s appreciation for the time they spend together while developing the next stage of the CDA’s legacy.
“Jr. has been very helpful every time he comes to work, as it gives me a little bit of a break,” said Black Sr. “Last time here he managed the shallow water surfaced supplied diving installation and constructed the docks for the crew boats to facilitate the DSV (Diving Support Vessel) Surveyor, in addition to a handful of other tasks. It’s really a blessing to spend time with my son while doing something we both love.”
Black Jr.’s other passion and career as a full-time NASCAR XFINITY Series driver takes up a good chunk of his time, and while father and son aren’t actively working together in the industry it still is the source of a strong bond between the two.
“I still call my dad before every race, right before I hop in the car,” stated Black Jr. “He always has some great words of advice for me. The biggest way he supports me is just by letting me do my own thing with racing. He’s there when I need him to be there, but also lets me be independent with it.”
With his son’s move from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series to the XFINITY Series this year, Black Sr. has continued to be his son’s biggest fan and is impressed by all he and his team have accomplished this season.
“My son and I both agree that you have to keep advancing on your journey and that’s why we made the move to the XFINITY Series,” Black Sr. said. “Sure it is a tougher schedule and tougher competition, but Jr. isn’t mediocre. He strives to be the best every day and every race, and you are only as good as your competition.”
“Jr. and his team have set out in uncharted waters in the XFINITY Series,” he continued. “They have made every race on their own performance and have traded paint with the best of the best while documenting solid consistent finishes! They have the attitude of ‘Don’t worry about the mule, load the wagon’ and I admire that! They ‘Hold the Line’!”
Additionally, Black Sr. explained that while some may not think racing and diving have a lot in common, he’s seen the two different industries come together to help his son grow.
“I know it is sometimes like a tug of war on Jr. since he is so passionate about both his careers,” said Black Sr. “But I am proud to see he has found balance in both of them and manages his life so efficiently! I feel NASCAR has taught him patience and responsibility, and I see him blend all of his learned skills in all of his day-to-day activities! I am very proud and honored to experience life with him.”
Black Jr. will be putting those values of patience to the test this weekend as the NASCAR XFINITY Series makes their first visit to Iowa Speedway. Black Jr. has one previous Top-15 finish at the 7/8-mile track.
“Iowa Speedway is very fast for it being under a mile long,” explained Black Jr. “It’s a fun one. If your car handles well there then you will do well in the race, but one slip-up can really hurt your momentum. It’s a nice challenge.”
The American Ethanol E15 250 will take place on Sunday, June 19 at 1:30 p.m. ET at Iowa Speedway. Fans can tune in via FS1 or MRN Radio for live coverage.