aren Blanton, is one of several drivers competing in the NASCAR Late Model race, The RacingWest.com 125 this weekend, but what sets Blanton apart? What are his long and short term goals? What does he think about Mesa Marin Raceway?
The best way to find out is to take the chance to meet him. We hope this question/answer session, will help you get to know Blanton a little bit better!
Where was your first race? What were you driving?
My first race was at Mesa Marin Raceway. I was driving a 1976 Buick Skylark Street Stock
Where did you race this season and what division:
Mesa Marin in the late model division.
What was the highlight of your 2004 season?
Finishing 5th in only my second race.
Are you entered in the RacingWest.com 125, if not will you be entering?
Yes, I am entered to race.
What do you expect to enjoy most at the Mesa Marin race?
The Format. In our level of racing we don't normally see such a large multiple day events. It's as if we are running out own version of speedweeks.
What do you expect to be the biggest challenge to winning there?
Taking care of the car. In years past getting to the front has been a lot about who took care of their cars. Most of these guys try to win the race in the first 50 laps and the cars pay for it. I think if you have a reasonably fast car, you keep your nose clean, and save some for the end you have a shot at it.
Is this a track you have raced before?
What are your goals for next season?
Find sponsorship to run a full season at Mesa Marin. Run a race or two at Irwindale Speedway.
If you were to choose a driver you admire the most from any series who is that driver and why do you admire him/her so much?
That is a tough question; the driver I most admired was Alan Kulwicki. With all the odds against him as a car owner/driver he was able to pull together a team, and achieve something most all drivers dream about. Being a champion.
What one trait does that driver have that you would like to follow?
His persistence in achieving a goal.
If you were granted the chance to have dinner with anyone in the world, from the past or present, who would that person be?
I would pick someone from my past, my dad.
What would you talk about?
Much has happed in my life in the ten years since he has been gone. Honestly I would have to ask him what he thinks about my racing. Other than watching racing on the television, I never talked about racing anything back then. I often wonder what he would have to say about it.
What are the best and worse things to happen to racing lately?
Best thing, softer barriers. Worst thing, taking championship points from a driver for foul language on television.
If you hadn't got into racing, how would you be spending your weekends?
I would be doing one of two things. Loading up a trailer with my dune buggy, and supplies headed for the beach, or working on a street rod of some kind.
What is the strangest thing that ever happened to you in a race?
One Saturday night in a street stock race, I was coming off of turn four at Mesa Marin when someone hit me in the left rear. As they hit me they kept pushing me into a slide. Just as my car was completely sideways another car hit me in the left front. Both cars are pushing me sideways down the front stretch. I actually had enough time to look at both drivers and throw my arms in the air as if to say "what are you doing?" before I slid to the infield. I was able to complete the race after all of that.
When you are kicking back in the rocker with your grandkids, what do you think the fans will remember you most for?
I really don't know what they might remember me for. You know I feel as if I'm your average guy that just started racing. All I could hope for is that in years to come I do good things on the track that will make me stand out from the others. I guess my hope is to always be remembered as that red headed guy that drove the 5 car at Mesa Marin.