Home Track: Wall Township Speedway, NJ
Current Series: ARCA Re/Max
Current Team: #32 Win-Tron Racing Dodge
Hello, I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Dominick Casola, I comefrom New Jersey - (yes, the state with the bizarre racing regulationsthat didn't allow me to get into a stock car until the age of 17) and Iam currently running in the ARCA RE/MAX series.
I'm excited to be the first racer to write this new monthly column forwww.circletrack.com. This column will feature a different racer eachmonth from different series all across the country. Rob, the Editor atCircle Track, told me to write about any topic that I felt would berelevant in motorsports today. So here it goes.
With the race season just underway, the first thing that came to mind isa topic very close to me and very real to many top, young drivers in theracing world today--how to get a shot in NASCAR to show ones true talent.
I feel I share this story with 90 percent of the young up-and-comingdrivers who are just looking for that single chance to showcase theirtalent. So many of us are waiting for that one phone call from a teamowner in one of NASCAR'S top series but how can we make it happen? Thesad, yet true, fact in the racing world today is that determination,driver desire, pure ability, blood, sweat, dreams, talent and tears willonly get a driver so far. Unless you are prepared to hand over a bigcheck--as in very healthy six digit figures--or unless you have a bigmarketing partner (sponsor), the chances of securing a NASCAR ride ondesire, will-power, and talent alone seem like less than ones chances ofbeing struck by lightening.
How do I know this? Because I am one of those drivers waiting for thatphone call, that one shot to prove what I can do at the next level. Ihave raced in ARCA and Hooters Pro Cup at many of the nation's topracetracks. I have finished well in many national races, Third atTalladega, Fifth at Gateway, Eigth at Pocono, all the while strugglingin underfunded equipment. I've won short track races and championships.I have tried, along with a lot of other young drivers out there, to havea chance to race against the world's best drivers, to show what I can doand prove that I deserve a shot to make my dream come true. It is notthe fame or fortune that I and others seek; it is the opportunity toshow what we know in our hearts. That we can run with the best if givenan opportunity.
Today, there are so many great drivers in America racing at localSaturday night short tracks running in Street Stocks, Modifieds, Midgetsand Late Models. Drivers who, if given that shot, could be the nextgreat one, the next Richard Petty or Jeff Gordon, but who may never getthe chance to ever move up to the NASCAR top three, let alone out oftheir respective division. Unfortunately, many times this is due to thesimple fact that they can't afford to write a check to be put in a topride. Sponsorship is, of course, imperative to have a racing career atthe upper levels, and it takes time to find that right partner.
The face of racing has changed so much over the years. Long gone are thedays when an owner pays a young hot-shoe driver. Now, the roles arereversed. I have handed out many, many resumes to top ARCA, Busch, Truckand Cup owners. Yes, I do get contacted and have been fortunate to speakto many teams face to face, but the response is always the same, "Yourresume is impressive, and we would love to work something out, what kindof funding do you have?" I don't want to sound bitter, as I am not. Butsadly, that is what the racing business has become, and it is not thefault of the people running the teams, it is what society has dictated.I and many others may never get the chance to race at the top because offinancial constraints and what the industry has become.
That being said, I have been very fortunate to be blessed with a greatfamily who allow me to race and who have given me the resources to doso. I have also been fortunate to have been able to get a shot in ARCAand to have been able to do my very best to show the racing world what Icould do on a limited budget.
All I can ask of the team owners is perhaps to take a look at the longhaul rather than the quick buck, maybe hire a driver because of the sizeof his talent and not the size of his wallet. Go out on a limb andrealize the potential in a lot of the young drivers that just need oneshot in top equipment to prove their mettle.
To all of you young drivers out there in America wearing the same shoesI am, with families behind you doing all they can to help you out--never,ever give up on your dream. Build the best resumes you can, find someonehonest to help you with sponsorship and don't be bitter. Drive everyrace like it is your last, do the best you can, be the best you can be.After all, this is America. I believe that with hard work andperseverance, we can make it to the top. It is just a longer and rockierroad to get there.
- Dominick Casola
P.S. Keep handing out those resumes!