DAYTONA BEACH, Florida — When he was asked if he was interested in competing in the ASA Transcontinental Series Free State 500 at the Phakisa Freeway Circuit in Welkom, Free State, South Africa, Lance Fenton didn't hesitate to say yes. For the Tyler, Texas driver this event will be the start of a big racing season for him.
"I hope to have a little advantage there," he said. "I really enjoy racing on the 1.5-mile (2.5 km) tracks. It's not like you put the gas pedal to the floor like Daytona or a crash up course like a half-mile."— Lance Fenton
Fenton was approached by Ron Barfield Jr. about driving one of his car in the Sunday, January 31, 2010 event. "Ron said, what do you think about going to South Africa and race? I said I was in," Fenton said. "Then he said, let me tell you the details about the event. I looked at him and said it didn't matter, I'm in."
After starting his career in motorcross racing, Fenton ran some SCCA National events eventually jumping into Late Model racing before moving up to compete in the ARCA Series.
Some of his late model racing included driving for Barfield at his track Dillon Motor Speedway, an ASA Member Track. "I met Lance through my relationship Greg Barnhart," Barfield said. "Lance has driven some of my local race cars and has done a really good job. I have traveled with him and helped him at some events at Kansas and Chicagoland, which are tracks like Phakisa. He is a great up and coming driver. You will hear more from him this year."
Fenton feels that his experience at tracks like Kansas and Chicagoland will work to his advantage at Phakisa, "I hope to have a little advantage there," he said. "I really enjoy racing on the 1.5-mile (2.5 km) tracks. It's not like you put the gas pedal to the floor like Daytona or a crash up course like a half-mile."
Fenton recently teamed up with car owner Danny Gill who will serve as his crew chief for the Free State 500. As soon as the Free State 500 is over, both will be heading back to the United States to prepare for the ARCA Series season opener at Daytona on February 6th in cars owned by Fenton. He will also drive in select events for Gill in the NASCAR Truck Series this year as well.
Fenton is looking forward to racing with the other competitors over at Phakisa. But his looking forward to renewing a friendly rivalry with his good friend Greg Barnhart. Even though they a good friendship, on the track they are fierce competitors, "We have already had that discussion. I told him that if the checkers are out and if I have to punt you for the win, I will," Fenton said laughing. "I apologize, we're friends first but what can we do? We got the rivalry cranked up on our end for sure."
He also made a request to his car owner as well, "I told Ron that we are going to get pretty competitive over there, I just want to make sure we are going to have diplomatic immunity when we get over there. He said, oh you boys just try to get us through this one."
He also asked his friends at Troy Lee to make a special helmet for him to wear at this event. "The guys at Troy Lee do a killer job, I can't wait to see it."
Tickets for the four days of action can be obtained from Computicket outlets countrywide or go to www.computicket.com. Prices range from R20.00 on Thursday to R 330.00 on Sunday. Spectacular discounts for Saturday/Sunday tickets are available. All tickets include a 90 minute Pit Walkabout on all days.
For more information about the Free State 500, please visit www.phakisa.com or www.freestate500.com.
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