Lester to rep Team USA in karting!
Lester to rep Team USA in karting!

Lester to rep Team USA in karting!

8/11/2012 -
The final day of competition went into the books Saturday as the 2012 edition of the United States Rotax Max Challenge Grand Nationals karting competi

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NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team owner Billy Ballew and driver Bill Lester don’t have far to travel for this weekend’s American Commercial Lines 200 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Both Lester and Ballew are residents of the Atlanta area and always enjoy the benefits of racing in front of their hometown supporters.

Ballew is no stranger to the Atlanta Motor Speedway; not only does Ballew have one prior victory at the 1.54-mile race track with Kyle Busch piloting the No.15 Silverado in 2005, but he also competed in his first race as a team owner in 1996 for an Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) event.

“It’s like going home,” Billy Ballew said. “There is no other place that I would rather be racing at then here at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. My first race as a team owner was here and for that reason I think this track will always rate a little higher than the rest. Plus it is so exciting to see the support Georgia puts behind both the team and Bill.”

Billy Ballew Motorsports will complete their Georgia homecoming with an impressive list of local companies that are partnering with Ballew for this weekend’s event. Bowen Family Homes will serve as the primary sponsor with Krud Kutter, Larry Thacker Construction, Manheim Central Florida Auto Auction and Red Top Auto Auction are all co-sponsoring the No. 15 Chevrolet Silverado.

“I have to thank all of our sponsors on the No. 15 Bowen Homes Silverado,” Bill Lester said. “It is so great to see all these Georgia companies coming out to be a part of this weekend. My wife picked Atlanta when we moved from California because of its “Big City” atmosphere mixed with small town charm. It has really turned out to be a successful move for us and we really feel adopted by the city.”

Lester has enjoyed success and tremendous media attention at the Atlanta Motor Speedway throughout his NASCAR career. Last March, Lester made history at the speedway when he qualified in the 19th position for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race becoming the first African American driver to race in a NASCAR Cup event in 20 years. Lester has six starts to his credit including one in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series and five in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series with his best finish of 15th in 2004.

“I’m always asked if I feel more pressure to succeed here, but I honestly don’t feel like there is any undo pressure put on me racing in Atlanta at all,” said Lester. “I think that is more of a spin that the media puts on it. I want to perform well at every track and I think this Billy Ballew Motorsports team is making strides together as we go through each race. The track here in Atlanta is like a mirror of California but much faster. It is a fun track to drive especially under the lights. I think the cooler temperature at night gives the track a lot of grip allowing us to run the bottom of the track; that’s when you start to see the high speeds. I’m looking forward to the race, and having my family and friends there to watch is just an added incentive.”

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers take to the track Friday, March 16 at 9:30 a.m. for a one hour practice followed by a final one hour practice that will be televised live on SPEED beginning at 12:30pm ET with pre-race coverage beginning at 8:30pm ET. Radio coverage of the American Commercial Lines 200 Friday March 16, 2007 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway begins at 9:00pm ET on MRN and their affiliate stations.