Jefferson Pitts Racing Expanding Late Model Driver Development Program for 2019
NACHES, Wash., January 16, 2019 (Newswire.com) - Jefferson Pitts Racing (JPR), a Washington-based NASCAR driver development team that has focused primarily on competition in the K&N Pro Series East and West divisions since their inception in 2015, will be expanding its efforts and involvement in their super late model driver development program and will also be a part of the new California Challenge Cup Series at Madera Speedway in 2019.
The team will continue to compete in select NASCAR K&N Pro Series events, but the decision to place more focus on the late model division was born out of the realization that drivers seeking a career in NASCAR should begin to have the kind of training and development that team owners Jeff Jefferson and Jerry Pitts are known for being able to provide. The California Challenge Cup Series provides another option to incorporate into that section of the driver development ladder.
“We believe that the late model level is the true starting point for young drivers coming out of entry-level divisions such as legends cars or micro-sprints who have aspirations of a professional racing career in the top levels of NASCAR,” Jefferson said. “We will offer a full season package of between 8 and 12 races for drivers that will focus on both personal development and race performance. The package price will depend upon the series that the driver chooses. We value the development program that we offer, and we want drivers who fit our goals as a team and who are passionate enough about their racing careers to want to challenge themselves to be the best they can be, and we believe starting them earlier with us gives us more time to prepare them for the heavier stock car step.”
Pitts added that an advance package is available that will add two K&N Pro Series races, one on an oval track and the other on a road course. “We are not abandoning our K&N program by any means,” he clarified. “We earned two wins, nine top five and 22 top ten finishes competing in partial schedules in both K&N Series last year with a variety of drivers, and we enjoy competing in that series. We just believe that offering a stronger program in late models allows us to be more valuable to a wider market of young competitors and gives us that extra time with them to help them develop their skill set before taking them to the K&N Pro Series level.”
The team will also be prepared to compete in the newly formed California Challenge Cup Series, which will race at Madera Speedway in California beginning this season with a six-race schedule airing on MAVtv. "The California Challenge Cup Series is an opportunity for young race car drivers to race in NASCAR-style race cars (cars with truck arm suspension) providing a fast-track in gaining experience to progress to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series,” Jefferson explained. “It really provides a cost-effective opportunity for drivers at that level because there are a ton of cars out there that can be bought relatively inexpensively, and the series will use a spec tire to keep the field balanced. We believe there’s a place for this type of series in our driver development ladder and we’re excited to have that option for those clients who want it or for whom we feel it would be helpful.”
JPR has signed its first driver to the super late model program for this season. Bryce Bezanson, a 16-year-old Washington racer with a background in micro sprints and quarter-midgets, will compete in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series events at Evergreen Speedway and select regional events throughout the season, his first in a full-bodied stock car on pavement. Pitts is looking forward to working with Bezanson, who showed strong speed and coach-ability in a test session late in 2018.
"We are looking forward to working with Bryce at Evergreen Speedway in the Super Late Model Series this year,” he said. “It's an opportunity to help him develop his race craft as well as a chance for us to expand JPR's Super Late Model program.”
ABOUT JEFFERSON PITTS RACING
Jefferson Pitts Racing (JPR) was formed in early 2015 after owners Jeff Jefferson and Jerry Pitts purchased assets from Gene Price Motorsports, where they combined for four series championships as crew chiefs. JPR has operated two full-time teams in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West since their formation and has had tremendous success with drivers including Noah Gragson and Will Rodgers, who have built upon what they’ve learned in their climb up the motorsports ladder into NASCAR's top level series.
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