Kentucky Speedway Next.....Live on SPEED!!........

Crum Candid345(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – January 19, 2011) - Wayne Hixson returned to his race shop in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee following two days of testing last week at Daytona International Speedway with a grin on his face that was hard to conceal.  The numbers may not look very impressive to the casual observer, but Hixson is not the casual observer.  Looking down the speed chart, you do not come across Hixson’s familiar #23 until the 48th position out of 58 cars that took laps.  Next to that, the speed of 179.594 mph may be equally unimpressive, but to Hixson, it speaks volumes. 

“This car will be ready to run with ‘em next month,” Hixson said as his crew went over the car back at the shop.  “We have a few little things to do, gotta get the race engine in it, get it painted, and stuff, but overall I am happy with it.” 

No car gets itself around the track, though, and the young man that posted that lap was a fellow Tennessean.  Nineteen year old Jake Crum, from Newport, made his first laps around Daytona Int’l Speedway and impressed the car owner and crew.  Crum participated in the test so that he would be eligible to race next month, and came away feeling very comfortable in the car.

 “I can’t wait to get back in February,” Crum said.  “The car was comfortable, and I really enjoyed working with Wayne (Hixson) and his guys.  That lap was during single car runs on the first day, and we didn’t participate in drafting, so we thought it was a pretty good lap.  I’m ready to go.” 

Crum is hoping to build on a racing resume that dates back some 14 years to when he was 5 years old.  Crum started out in Go-Karts, and advanced to Bandaleros, Legends, and Allison Legacy cars.  From there, it was on to late models, where Crum won the 2008 UARA Championship, the youngest driver to accomplish that feat.  He is also a winner of the Bailey’s 300 late model race held at Martinsville Speedway.  Last year, Crum competed part time in the K&N Pro Series East, and also made one start in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Bristol, starting 12th and running as high as 8th before mechanical problems sidelined him.  Crum has one previous start in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, at Mansfield Motorsports Park in 2009, where he started 4th and finished 6th

“Right now we are planning to run Daytona and a few other races,” Crum added.  “We are looking for some help to hopefully put together a full season, so hopefully a good run at Daytona will get us off on the right foot.” 

After Crum tested on Day 1, Day 2 saw another young man climb through the window of the #23.  Eighteen year old Levi Youster, from Toledo, Ohio, also took his first laps around the World’s Center of Racing.  Youster, who competed in a limited short track schedule in ARCA the past two seasons, was looking to earn approval to compete on the superspeedways.  Youster’s lap of 176.982 mph accomplished that. 

“That was different,” Youster commented about Daytona’s high banks.  “The car felt good, but they told me I was binding it up to much in the turns.  It was definitely a lot different from the tracks I am used to, but I learned a lot.  Right now we don’t have the funding in place for me to run Daytona, but getting to test and getting eligible to run was a big step.” 

Now, Hixson and crew, including Youster who works full time at the race shop, will make the final preparations for next month’s race.  The 2011 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season will be Hixson’s 23rd year on the tour, which ironically matches the number 23 that his cars carry.  It will also be Hixson’s 13th consecutive year of fielding a full time entry in the series.  And when the teams roll into Daytona next month, look for that #23 to be right in the middle of the pack. 


Roy Shipley

Dave Williams

We're looking forward to Daytona too.  Dinner will be at our place Thursday evening.  See you all there.....Thanks Mr. Hixson for all you do for us.