Defending Kingsport Speedway Late Model Stock and Tennessee State NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion Nate Monteith of Blountville is excited about being invited to compete in the very prestigious Denny Hamlin Foundation Short Track Showdown at Richmond International Raceway on Thursday, April 26.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and Denny Hamlin Foundation Short Track Showdown doubleheader will kick off three straight nights of racing under the lights in The River City, with the NASCAR Nationwide Series running Friday and then followed by the Sprint Cup Series in action Saturday night.
Seventy-five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series drivers from New York to Tennessee received invitations to try and qualify for the 36-car starting field. Along with defending race winner Denny Hamlin, other NASCAR drivers such as Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Jeff Burton, Joey Logano, Aric Almirola, Michael Waltrip and Timothy Peters will be competing. Monteith is the only driver from the Volunteer State that received an invitation to run the event.
“I’m really looking forward to this opportunity getting to compete against an elite group of racers,” said Monteith while working on his racing equipment at his East Tennessee shop. “It’s truly been amazing all the recognition we received for winning both the Kingsport Speedway and Tennessee State NASCAR Whelen All-American Series championships last year.
“We got to attend the NASCAR Home Tracks awards banquet at the Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., to be recognized with all the other state champions in NASCAR for 2011 and for finishing ranked tenth nationally in the Whelen All-American Series, and that was a very cool deal. Then in January we got to visit with Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam in his office at the State Capitol in Nashville, and when we received the invitation in the mail to come run the Denny Hamlin Foundation Short Track Showdown, that was the icing on the cake.”
Following an open test last week at the ¾-mile Richmond International Raceway tri-oval, the 30-year-old Monteith felt good about the True Line Construction Co./KBM Commercial Properties/BSA Security Co./PerformanceCenter Racing Warehouse/Charlie Long Race Engines/Griffin Radiators/Circle Racing Wheels/Pro Fabrication Exhaust/Hayworth Racing Brakes/Amsoil/Brown & Miller Racing Solutions/Five Star Race Car Bodies/ProParts Engineering Performance/The Joie of Seating/Sherwin-Williams/Primetime Designs Race Decals/WD Performance/Marlowe Racing Chassis/No 44 Ford Fusion he will race.
“When we unloaded for practice and ran our first laps, we were pretty good right off,” Monteith stated. “As the day wore on we kept making some adjustments, just tweaking the chassis a little here and there and by the time we made our last run, me and all of the crew guys felt really good with how we were running. I’ll have both Danny Rollins and Wade Day calling the shots in the pits, while Duke Bare, Roby Orr, Jeremy Hughes, Danny Bland, Tim Robinson, and my dad, Don Monteith, will be helping.
“We’re all very excited getting to run this race. It’s quite an honor to be invited, and we just hope to have a good showing. Many might say the fall Late Model Stock race at Martinsville Speedway is the biggest race held annually, but when you look at the Denny Hamlin Foundation Short Track Showdown and how it will be televised live on the SPEED Channel, that right there is a big deal with the world-wide exposure.”
The upcoming week will be a busy one for Monteith Racing, as they will head to Richmond on Wednesday to get parked in the pits and will race on Thursday following the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event. Following the Denny Hamlin Foundation Short Track Showdown, the race team will drive back down Interstate 81 to Tennessee and race Friday night at Kingsport Speedway.
Kingsport Speedway PR