Washington State BMX Champion. U.S. Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer. Bareback Rodeo Champion, Michigan. Bull Riding Champion, Idaho State Fair. With a resume like this by age twenty-one, what would you take on next? If you"re Brian Saling, you"d choose auto racing, then in your second season, you"d win the Mid-season Points Championship in the Compact Streets four-cylinder class, win the final Championship race, and wrap up the season second in points.
But, for Saling, all that wasn"t enough. Ever since he was eight years old and watched his dad help former NASCAR Winston Cup racer Chad Little in the pits on his Northwest Tour, Fast Fever race team, Brian"s sights were set on something bigger.
The excitement and success of Little and his team made a big impression on Saling whose race shop walls, covered with years of memorabilia, articles and race tickets, reflect his admiration for Little. That impression would be the driving force behind Brian"s hard work and efforts that finally led to the opportunity in June, 2001, to drive his own Northwest, NASCAR Touringrace car for Team Co-owner, Jarrod Goodwin.
Saling requested Little"s permission to use his old team name Fast Fever Racing. "It was my way of keeping my on my goal, says Saling, who says his plans are to compete for Rookie of the Year in 2002 in theRaybestos Brakes Northwest, NASCAR Touring Series. In three years, he"d like to be competing in the Winston West Series in addition to racing in a few ARCA or Hooters Pro-Cup events. All of this, with the ultimate goal of making to it to NASCAR"s Winston Cup level.
"It"s a good feeling to know you've inspired someone to do their best, said Busch Grand National driver Chad Little when asked his thoughts on Saling"s efforts.
Saling"s best landed him a top-ten finish in his first race this year at the Idaho 200 Superstock invitational in July. Racing against big guns such as Winston West driver Kevin Richards, and Southwest Tour driver Mark Groskreutz, Saling battled overheating and oil pressure problems to come away with an impressive eighth place.
But, it will take more than seat time and determination to get him where he wants to go. Though Saling was fortunate to pick up two sponsors, Sprint PCS and Pantrol, Inc., in just one month"s time since hesigned on with Goodwin in May, the team is hard at work pursuing increased sponsorshipfor 2002.
"I think that"s the hardest part of this business, said Goodwin when asked about his plans for funding the team"s goals. "We are confident our current sponsors will step up their investment [for next year], but we aren"t putting all our eggs in one basket, commented Goodwin, who offers a 10% "finder"s fee out of his own pocket to anyone whose lead produces sponsorship.
Whatever it takes, one thing is for sure, Brian isn"t afraid of the hard work or risk involved to achieve his goals. The only thing his team has to do now is work just as hard to keep up with him, and then hold on for the ride.