Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Driver Profile: Moses Smith

The following article was written by Darren Pope from the Columbia NASCAR Examiner in August of 2009. NASCAR Race Mom just rediscovered it and liked it so much; it is worth a re-post. Thanks Darren.

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Recently I spoke with Camping World Series West driver Moses Smith. Smith drives the No. 16 HASA Pool Products/ White Flyer Toyota Camry in the series. I asked him several questions about his racing career and future plans. What really came through during my interview was that this is a guy who really loves racing, and he definitely has the backing of his sponsors, the support of his family and fans, and most importantly, the skill needed to achieve even more success in the future.

Moses has been racing in the CWSW since 2006 and started running full time in the series in 2007. He has posted 7 top-five and 20 top-ten career CWSW finishes and won the 2008 CWSW Most Popular Driver Award. He is certainly one of the fan favorites again this year, although according to Smith the competition is tough and repeating won't be easy. "We're working hard at it. Me and my mom and all of my fans...hopefully the fans will come through for me and we can win it again this year."

Moses mother, "z", is definitely out there promoting him in a big way. I ran across her on Twitter and it was through her that I was able to set up my interview with him. How important has she been to Moses' success? "Huge. She's a trooper," said Moses. "She's the kind of person I can go to and ask, 'Hey, what do you think about this, or what do you think about that', and she doesn't hem and haw about it. She tells me exactly what she thinks...she's played a big part in what I've been able to do."

Smith's interest in racing began early in life. His father used to race and worked on a crew when Moses was a young boy. When did Moses first know he wanted to race? "I remember hanging around race shops with my dad when I was about three years old," he said. "I think I first knew I wanted to race when I was about 10 years old."

Smith started out racing go-karts in the late 80's and saw success right from the start. He won the California State Championship and also became the youngest member of the San Diego Karting Associates Board of Directors.

Before he began his own professional racing career Moses worked in nearly every aspect of of the sport. He worked for several race teams as a mechanic and crew member, as well as a crew chief. He also worked as an Instructor for Jim Hall Kart Racing School, Skip Barber Racing School, and Bob Bondurant School of High Performance.

Moses began racing professionally when he ran a few Formula Mazda events in 2000. His success in that series was almost immediate. In 2001 Moses won the Star Mazda West Coast "Rookie of the Year" title. In 2002 he won the Star Mazda West Coast Championship, and missed winning the Star Mazda North American Pro Series Championship by a single point. He has also run races in the Toyota Atlantic Series and the Infiniti Pro Series.

What are his future plans? Well, Moses has a solid relationship with his sponsors (HASA Pool Products, White Flyer, TCI Leasing/Rentals, Blimpie Sub Shops) and he says they are always looking for new opportunities. He plans to run more races in the Camping World Series West, and maybe some Camping World Series East races. He also hopes to run a couple Nationwide Series races next year.

For now Smith is concentrating on his CWSW team. The next race on the schedule is August 15th, the Toyota/NAPA 150 at Colorado National Speedway. How does he feel about his chances there? "Pretty good. Out of all the ovals we run this is one of the tracks where we always seem to run well. I think we qualified third there last year, and finished fifth after we had a flat tire." Jokingly he added, "If we don't have any flat tires I think our chances are pretty good."

What are some of his favorite tracks on the CWSW schedule? "Out of the road courses I like Infineon...I always ran well there when I raced Formula cars." His least favorite? (Laughing) Oh, I don't know. Roseville, (All American Speedway) we just seem to tear stuff up there. It's a 1/3 mile oval and it's hard to pass without hitting something. It's just tough to race clean there."

With three races remaining on the CWSW schedule this season Smith is currently 8th in the point standings, 15 points out of 7th and 88 points out of the top five. He is one of only 9 drivers to start every race on the schedule this season. Although a CWSW championship is probably out of reach this season, a top five isn't out of the question if he can finish out the year with some strong runs.

Before wrapping up I asked Moses if there was anything he'd like to add, unfortunately I had some problems with my recording equipment near the end of the interview so the exact quote was lost, but without hesitation he told me that he wanted to thank all of his sponsors and especially the fans for all of their support. My apologies for losing that quote, but I wanted to make sure that I got that message out.

If you'd like more info on Moses, or you want to cast a vote for him as the CWSW 2009 Most Popular Driver you can find his website here.

You can also cast your vote for Moses as CWSW Most Popular Driver on here

Since I know you all like video I've included some youtube clips of Moses at the California Speedway Road Course and at Road Atlanta from his Formula Mazda days below.

1 comment:

mobilechamps said...

While just surfing i came across this article. its really awesome, I read it twice. Thank to re-post. Special Thanks Darren.