NASCAR Driver Acts as Mentor to Next Generation Drivers
FLAGLER BEACH, Fla. (May 25, 2016) – Even while having a “rookie” title of his own, NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Ray Black Jr. has already begun working with younger drivers looking to break into the racing scene. The driver of the No. 07 ScubaLife.com Chevrolet, who will be competing in the Hisense 4K TV 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, enjoys giving back to the community by supporting young racers with opportunities to showcase their talent.
Last year, Black met with aspiring race car driver Kayla Lyons at a local Mooresville, N.C. go-kart track for a race and conversation on how he got to where he is today and some suggestions on how Kayla can keep moving up in the motorsports industry.
He also recently watched 14-year-old arena car competitor Garrett Manes race in Richmond, Va. Black was so impressed by Manes’ style of driving that he offered to put together a Pro-Truck ride for the young driver in an annual December charity race in Florida.
“I really enjoy getting to talk with the younger racers when there’s an opportunity for it,” said Black. “If I’m at a charity race or just at the track and can talk with them I’ll do it. A lot of times I see racing styles or personalities that remind me of myself, so it’s nice to be able to give back and help them out with some advice about how the racing industry works. I feel like I’m in a spot in my career now where I can help them out. It’s a really hard sport to break into, especially if you don’t have a family tie in it, so if I can help out in any way I do it.”
As Black started out with his own racing career, one thing he did not have was a family tie to the sport or a mentor, both of which are common to most NASCAR drivers today.
“I’m the first one in my family to get into racing and I didn’t really have a mentor in the beginning stages of my career to advise me on how tough it can be,” Black explained. “It would have been cool if one of the more experienced drivers had given me some advice about racing and how to break into it on your own. If I can help someone else out with their racing career then that’s a really cool thing for me.”
Black has come a long way since starting his own racing career, as he gets set to compete for the second time in a NASCAR national series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Last year, Black qualified eighth at the 1.5-mile track in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – his best NASCAR starting spot to date.
“I really like racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway,” Black stated. “For being a 1.5-mile track, it really is a ‘driver’s track’ where we can control our destiny. The corners are really long there so I get to stay in the gas pretty much the whole time. It’s a fun place – lots of lanes to run and grooves to try out.”
“It’s also fun to just be in Charlotte for the week with all the events we have going on,” he continued. “There are some additional off-track opportunities like Speed Street that I’ll get to participate in. Since it’s close to the race shop, the schedule is a little more flexible so we’ll likely go golfing one day with team members.”
The Hisense 4K TV 300 will take place on Saturday, May 28 at 2:30 p.m. ET at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Fans can tune in via FOX Sports 1 or the Performance Racing Network for live coverage.