Since the inception of the Legend Car in 1992 at the former Charlotte Motor Speedway (now Lowe's Motor Speedway), thousand's of racers have honed their skills in the high-horsepower, low-budget car. NASCAR stars Kurt and Kyle Busch, Aric Almirola, and Taylor Malsalm are just a few drivers who spent significant time building their resume's in the 140 horsepower Yamaha powered replicas of the coupe's and sedan's raced up and down the east coast in the pre-NASCAR era of racing. On the west coast, Austin Reed is hoping his experience in a Legend will propel him to the next level, much like it did for the Busch brothers and so many others.
The Southern California native has been competing in Legend's for a little more than two years, and after a strong 2010 season, where he captured a second place points finish in the SRL Legends Tour, a traveling partner series to the Spears SRL Southwest Tour, Reed is looking for that elusive first championship in 2011.
"I think the biggest thing for me was being able to run multiple tracks last season," said the teenage up-and-comer. "Just being able to learn in the car and adapt to each situation put in front of me was huge."
Reed took a more hands on approach in his second full season as well, taking over the role of car chief on his car. "I learned a lot about the technical side and maintenance of my car. Derek (Thorn, another future NASCAR star by all accounts based on his 2010 season in the Southwest Tour and at various NASCAR Home Tracks) taught me a lot about how to work on my cars and how important it is to keep them clean."
Reed just missed out on winning his first championship in 2010, despite not registering a win. It was his consistency that led him to challenge second-generation racer and 2010 SRL Legends Tour Champion Cale Kanke right down to the last race. Reed's most memorable moment from 2010 also involved Kanke, when the two youngsters battled it out in an intense, back-and-forth race at Madera Speedway in Northern California.
This season, Reed thinks he has what it takes to defeat Kanke, whose dad has won more Southwest Tour races than any driver in the series history. "The most important thing for our success this year is to be disciplined and organized. I need to communicate with my crew chief so we can make the right adjustments and keep moving forward," Reed added.
Along with the SRL Legends Tour, Reed plans on taking his car back to North Carolina to run in the prestigious Summer Shootout series, and also plans on running some ASA Truck races and possibly even some K&N Pro Series West races toward the end of the year. If all goes well, Reed could be competing for what already promises to be a strong Rookie of the Year class in the West Series in 2012.
Reed said he was grateful for the relationship he has already established with K&N Filters. "K&N's products have helped us in some many ways. We use them on our personal vehicles, tow vehicle and the race car. They have proven time and again, both on the track and on the chassis dyno, that their filters produce the most power and the best filtration available."
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