Monday, February 1, 2010

Cook, Messina, and Robbins

COOK MOVING UP: After spending the past 14 seasons competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Terry Cook is making the leap to compete among the best drivers in the world in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starting at Daytona International Speedway. Cook leaves the NCWTS a six-time winner along with the record for the most consecutive series starts, 296, which spanned the season-opening race of the 1998 season at Walt Disney World Speedway through the 24th race of the 2009 season at Phoenix International Raceway.

Cook isn’t the only newcomer to the Sprint Cup Series on his team. Team owner Dusty Whitney is also making the leap to the NSCS after spending the past couple of seasons as an owner and sponsor in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Although it is their first time collaborating on the racetrack, Cook and Whitney have similar racing backgrounds: both got their start in racing at Flat Rock and Toledo Speedway.

MESSICA AND ARCA: When officials from ARCA and Menards Home Improvement Stores introduced Messina Wildlife Management as a new vendor partner in the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards at the Series' Championship Awards Banquet Press Conference in December, the room stopped and took notice.

Starting with the February 6 Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 ARCA Racing Series event at Daytona Int'l Speedway even more people will take notice of the family-owned corporation, which offers a full line of organic animal management tools. Messina's partnership with ARCA and Menards will catapult the company's organic animal stopper product line into a new, broad based arena - stock car racing. Messina's logo is a red stop sign but the only component of the affiliation where "stop" comes into play is in regard to stopping animal damage in home gardens.

ARCA Racing Series fans and participants alike will hear and learn about Messina Wildlife Management's line of "stopper" products this season. According to Messina's vice president, James Messina, that is exactly why the company became involved with ARCA. Participation in Menards' ARCA Racing Series vendor program also provides Messina with the opportunity to sell their products through the nation's 250+ Menards Home Improvement locations.

ROBBINS ON MOVE: Stock-car driver Hunter Robbins of Montgomery, Ala., will be the first to tell you his 2009 racing season was not what he expected nor enjoyed and he is looking forward to 2010 being much better.

Consequently he has decided to make some changes.

No, he is not giving up racing just changing his base of operation which could lead to a more productive racing season for the Late Model stock car driver.

“I have been racing since I was six years old, commented Robbins, but at some point in time one has to realize it is time to broaden your horizons. For the last three years our base of operation was Pensacola , Fl. In 2009 we entered 20 events, visited victory lane just once and that was at the track I now consider home, Montgomery Motor Speedway. For the year we had eight top five finishes and those came at Pensacola and Montgomery . Those two tracks are definitely my favorites.”

A major reason Robbins is changing his base of operation is because he will graduate from Alabama Christian Academy, in Montgomery, in the spring then enroll at Auburn University in the fall majoring in Mechanical Engineering.

“Bobby and Mark Knox have brought new life to Montgomery by resurfacing the track, building new grandstands and instituting “Show Me The Money” races. I was fortunate to win one of the four in 2009 but with six scheduled for 2010 plus the 400-lap All American event in September there will be plenty of money on the line and it is right in my back yard. I can sleep in my own bed, not have travel costs as before and concentrate on my college work,” continued Robbins.

“We will run some blizzard events and the Snowflake and Snowball Derby in December at Pensacola but otherwise we will concentrate on college and stay close to home which should cut down on expenses. Also our new race shop is between Montgomery and Auburn and that will be a lot closer to work on race cars when college work permits,” Robbins stated.

Robbins will be driving a Chevrolet Monte Carlo in 2010, and will also be mentoring his cousin, Kayla Robbins, who is switching from Go-Karts to Late Models. “Uncle Allen purchased a Port City Chassis for her and asked me to go through it and set it up for her,” said Robbins. “She is a very competitive individual and it will be neat having her racing with us at Montgomery.”

When asked about having Faulkner University head Football Coach, Greg Baker, on his race team as the jack man, Robbins stated,” it is kind of neat having a person of his caliber working with us. Here I am telling him what to do, when usually he is the one telling his players what to do. He knows how to motivate people and we are happy he loves racing and wants to be a part of our team.”

Robbins and his fellow Alabama Posse drivers will kick off the 2010 racing season at Montgomery Motor Speedway on March 20 with the first of six 125-lap “Show Me The Money” races.

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