“I’ve been on cloud nine for a couple days, that’s for sure,” said local resident and professional driver Jason White. In his debut event at the Daytona Speedway, he finished 16th overall, qualifying to race in the upcoming NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series this weekend on Feb. 15.
Having been certified to race at the Daytona International Speedway in early January, White then headed to Arizona to compete in the opening race of the Automobile Racing Club of America’s (ARCA) Mendards Series Feb. 9 which has lead to this moment.
To qualify for the truck series event this weekend, White had to run a clean race with no driver error or accidents throughout the first half of ARCA event. Once making it three quarters of the way through the race, his team made adjustments to the vehicle to make it faster.
“I went back out, honestly I felt like Superman. The car was so fast, and I could get way up on the outside of the track with all the fast cars, and we were racing with the best in the business,” he said.
“That’s when I switched from being worried about getting to the truck race and people watching. My brain switched to ‘You’re a race car driver, you gotta go up and try and win this race.’”
He positioned himself in the middle of the pack when Thad Moffitt (NASCAR legend Richard Petty’s grandson) lost a tire in the third turn causing him to spin out in front of White.
“I chased him four laps before into that corner, and that didn’t happen. I knew something was up and I knew it was probably a tire, but at 190 miles per hour you don’t have much time to react,” he said.
White just clipped the other vehicle, but the collision sent him into the wall connecting “pancake style” taking a direct hit to the side of the car, breaking off his right brake rotor leaving him brakeless.
“The hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life is going back out there go full speed knowing that there’s something wrong with the car and I could crash at 190 miles per hour. That was pretty intimidating,” he stated.
Without the collision a top 10, or even top five position, could have been possible for the veteran racer. He said he was a bit disappointed but acknowledged this particular race has a history of big collisions, often taking out 15 to 20 cars.
“You still have to stay smart. You still have to be smooth and use your head.”
This weekend White is certified to race the track but will have to earn his truck’s spot in the race based on speed in qualifiers.
“I have to beat six other trucks in speed in qualifying in order to qualify to get into the race,” he said.
Joining the Reaume Brothers Racing team this weekend, White said he’s focused on being smooth and smart. This season he is proudly sponsored YourGMCTruckStore.com, Zimmer Wheaton GMC and Powder Ventures Excavating.