MEDICAL LAKE, Washington — For Braeden Havens the NASCAR K&N Pro Series stop in Monroe, Wash. serves as a 2013 coming out party for his Killer "B" Racing Team. In addition, Havens will be the only driver representing the state of Washington in the race and one of just three who call the Pacific Northwest home.
After driving for Thompson Motorsports in 2012 where he scored a third place finish in the Rookie of the Year standings while running a limited schedule, the NAPA Auto Parts 150 presented by Toyota is the first opportunity to race on the series with his family-owned team.
With success as a driver for a reputable team last season, Havens and his Killer "B" Racing Team purchased the assets of Billy Boat's K&N Pro Series operation which included a solid intermediate Chevrolet built by JR Motorsports, all of the equipment needed to field the car and the parts and pieces any race team could ask for heading to a race track. Having the equipment in their shops, Havens is excited to see what he and the team can do on their own beginning this weekend at Evergreen.
"We have an awesome race car that has performed well in testing," said the 20-year old Spokane Community College student. "Right off the trailer we've worked to be quick with the times we've run and to have a handling package that can get us a strong qualifying effort and then be able to run with the top cars in race trim."
Led by veteran crew chief Chuck Carruthers, the driver of the Western Rail Chevrolet is confident in what the car can do once racing gets underway Saturday night, he added.
"Chuck has put a lot of time into preparing this car and he's been happy with what's been happening in our tests. We know that testing and racing are two different things but to have such a good car to compete in this series and have our crew chief comfortable with how it's responding is really cool."
While not divulging all of his car's secrets, Havens noted that one area he's been happy with is in the cornering.
"We are just so strong from the center of the corner off as our Impala heads into the straightaways that being on a bigger track like Evergreen Speedway will really show what the car can do. We're realistic in our goals for the weekend which is to get through the race with a clean car so we can run at home (August 24 at Spokane County Raceway). If we're up there and able to contend for a solid top-5 or top-10 finish that would be great for our debut on the series with our own team," Havens said.
Getting everything together to debut on the series with his own team has come from the efforts of everyone at Killer "B" Racing, according to Havens.
"My dad (Todd) has helped to make this happen and believes in what we can do as a team to bring the K&N car into our shops. Our crew has the experience to prepare and race the car and I'm comfortable with what we've down to get ready for this weekend. I've been looking forward to the series running in the Northwest since the schedule was announced. We had a good run at Monroe last year and I made my debut in the series back in 2011 at Spokane so this next two weeks will be awesome for me, my family, our sponsors and the fans of Killer "B" Racing as we start this new chapter in our racing endeavors."
Qualifying for the NAPA Auto Parts 150 presented by Toyota is set for Saturday at 4:15 p.m. PST The 150-lap main event is scheduled for Saturday night at 6 p.m. Live coverage will be provided by NASCAR at hometracks.nascar.com
Keep up with Braeden Havens at killerb83.com, like the team's Facebook page or follow Braeden on Twitter @BraedenHavens