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Straight A Student Jessica Clark - Winning Midget Car Racer - First Rate NASCAR Prospect
Sixteen-Year-Old Jessica Clark
The first attempt to get Jessica Clark, from Westlake Village, California, to set aside time for this story had to be adjusted – she was apologetic, but homework just plain had her swamped. Clearly, this is a young lady with her priorities in perspective – on or off the racetrack. The sixteen-year-old Clark maintains a 4.0 GPA at Westlake High School, and she successfully reassigns every bit of that work ethic and intelligence from the classroom to the racetrack.
Midget Car Racer Jessica Clark on the Track
This year is Clark's fifth year racing overall, she got her start in go-karts, running a couple of southern California tracks, Santa Maria Race Track and Button Willow Raceway. She competed in karts for a year and a half, and then graduated into Jr. Midgets for an additional two and a half years. Clark's first Jr. Midget race took off at Ventura Raceway, Ventura, California.
In her first full season of Jr. Midgets she was awarded the Most Improved Driver and finished second in the points standing. Ever the achiever, the very next season she won the most races and top-five finishes of anyone. In October of the following season Clark applied to Ron Sutton's Winners Circle program and was one of only twelve drivers accepted out of 750 drivers that applied for the 2008-2009 season. This year will be her first full season running in the USAC Ford Focus Midget series.
USAC Ford Focus Midget Racer Jessica Clark
"Ron Sutton's Driver Development Program conducts a national talent search each year for young racers between the ages of 11-19 who have the talent and the desire to go all the way to a professional racing career in NASCAR. A driver selected to be part of the RSWC Driver Development Program will be groomed, coached, tested, trained and molded into what NASCAR Cup teams want in their drivers" says Clark.
Jessica Clark Was Awarded the Most Improved Driver in Her First Full Season of Jr. Midget Racing
750 racers from across the United States, as well as Canada, Puerto Rico, and Sweden applied to the program in 2008. Only 44 drivers with impressive enough winning results were selected to participate in a driver Shoot-Out held at Roseville Speedway in Sacramento, California. The Shoot Out included multiple diverse tests over a 3-day period to evaluate the drivers who have the potential for a professional racing career. All drivers were tested in identical Ford Focus Midgets.
Experienced personnel rated the drivers' on their ability to be coached, their levels of accurate feedback, focus, training retention, motivation, communication skills, personality, aggressiveness, learning rate, confidence and lap times. Out of the 44 drivers at the Shoot-Out, only twelve select drivers demonstrated the potential aptitude to go onto a career in NASCAR.
"Being apart of Ron Sutton's Winners' Circle has been a life changing experience," says Clark. "I have learned more in one year racing with Ron than I have in all the years I have been racing combined. I have learned how to be a positive role model as a driver, on and off the track. I am very grateful to have the privilege of racing with this outstanding team. The USAC Ford Focus Midgets race on a quarter-mile asphalt track – it's a fast and thrilling open-wheel racecar experience."
"We use the K&N air filter, which is awesome, because it lasts forever and provides optimum airflow to the race engine. In any engine that is important, but in a spec-engine like the USAC Ford Focus Midget series, it is really an important advantage. We also use the K&N oil filters, which insure we keep the engine oil clean and protect the engine. Lastly we use the K&N breathers on the crankcase."
Next season Clark will once again be racing with Ron Sutton's Winners' Circle in a Ford Focus Midget. "The support that K&N filters has provided Ron Sutton's Winners' Circle has been extremely helpful to my racing career and I feel honored to be affiliated with such an exceptional company."
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K&N Engineering, Inc., with headquarters in Riverside, California, has been the world's leader in performance filter technology since 1969, serving the needs of the automotive, motorcycle, marine, industrial and military markets. K&N is heavily involved in nearly every form of motorsports from off-road and powersports to drag racing, stock cars and road racing. For more information about K&N Filters, please contact K&N Engineering, Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (800) 213-4182 for a dealer near you, (800) 858-3333 for technical service/questions, (951) 826-4001 Fax, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.knfilters.com.
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