17 year old Bakersfield (Calif). driver, Dallas Montes, has taken the next step up the racing ladder that he hopes will land him a career in the top levels of NASCAR. Montes has signed on with North Carolina based Revolution Racing as a development driver.
"We also knew that by just running at different tracks in the SRL it would force my learning curve to ramp up and it did. It paid off in the long run and even though myself and my team took some lumps this year I wouldn't do it any other way."— Dallas Montes
The high school senior will pack up and move to the Mooresville NC area after graduation to compete in a minimum of 12 races in a Revolution Racing Toyota Late Model at tracks such as Hickory, South Boston and Tri-County. "I'm so excited to go," said Dallas. " I have been back there a couple times and I love it. It is all about racing and that is what I'm all about. I can't thank Steve at MMI or the Bakersfield Jam people enough because without them I wouldn't have this chance."
Revolution Racing is co-owned by Max Siegal and John Story and operates the Drive for Diversity program from their shop. Montes was selected from hundreds of applicants to compete in the Drive for Diversity Combine presented by Sunoco this past October. While Montes was not one of the ten drivers offered a D4D contract, he showcased his skills and impressed both Story and Revolution Racing Late Model Competition Director Blair Addis.
"Dallas was very close to being one of the top ten, but with only 10 starts in a stock car he needed a little more experience and we found a way to give that to him," said Addis. " We did not have much turnover from the 2010 D4D class with seven drivers returning for 2011, but Dallas was right there."
Montes tried to get the most of those 10 starts by running 6 races in the ultra competitive Spears SRL Series. "We knew we were not going to come in and beat MK Kanke or Eric Holmes," said Dallas. "We also knew that by just running at different tracks in the SRL it would force my learning curve to ramp up and it did. It paid off in the long run and even though myself and my team took some lumps this year I wouldn't do it any other way."
While Revolution will field cars for Montes in at least 12 races, he still plans on making some 2011 starts in his #17 MMI SRL entry. A crash in the final race in Las Vegas caused extensive damage that Montes has been working on since the season ended. "Part of my deal at Revolution is working in the shop which is what I have been doing working for Junior Joiner and learning all I can," said Dallas. " We wrecked pretty bad at the end of the year when another car broke and took me to the fence with him. I have learned a lot by working on my own car."
Montes is also hoping to get a start in a K&N car this year. With MMI Racing fielding a K&N West car and a Craftsman Truck for David Mayhew the schedule is filling up quick. "Mayhew is so good and runs up front every week and I know that I'm not there yet, but I have seen other drivers jump from the SRL and do well in a K&N car and I hope Steve (McGowan) gives me a chance," said Dallas.
For more info visit dallasmontesracing.com or Racingwest.com.