For 21 year old Jay Beasley, himself a track champion in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Super Late Model at The Bullring at Las Vegas, being chosen for the 2014 Drive for Diversity Class is nothing short of a dream come true.
“It’s amazing and I’ve been thinking about this my whole life being in NASCAR,” Beasley said. “For NASCAR to look at me and want me to be in this D4D family is a huge recognition.”
“It feels really amazing and it’s a blessing.”
Beasley was born and raised in Las Vegas and loves racing in the area. In addition to his home town track championship, he has also won the Series Nevada championship with eight victories in 14 starts. In addition, the young up and comer was the recipient of the 2013 Wendell Scott Trailblazer Award due to his early successes on the track.
“I love Las Vegas,” Beasley said. “It’s really cool racing out on the west coast.”
“The Bull Ring is a really tough track,” Beasley continued. “It seems like having that track under my belt helps me out at every other track that I go to.”
While Beasley is perfectly at home and has had great success at the Vegas Bull Ring, he will now be challenged to race in the K&N Pro Series East for Rev Racing on tracks where he has never been before in his life.
“I’ve only been on one track back east and that’s Langley for the combine,” Beasley said. “So, I’m really, really green. Everything is new to me.”
“This year, I’m really excited to be going to these different tracks and to be racing in the K&N East Series,” Beasley continued. “Everything is going to be different and I actually get a kick out of that and it fires me up even more.”
“I have to adapt quickly and be on the ball, because if I’m not, I’m going to struggle.”
Beasley is also looking to adapt to his team and is already hard at work on establishing that critical relationship with them, as well as crew chief Eddie Dickerson.
“My crew chief has been in the sport for a really long time, has worked for Hendrick, and has built a whole bunch of chasses,” Beasley said. “Everyone that is in the Rev Racing program has been in the NASCAR family for quite some time. So, when you get picked, it’s truly an honor to be working with these people because they have so much knowledge.”
“Coming into the shop and working with the guys, you are learning and gaining a relationship every day,” Beasley continued. “It’s really amazing.”
While Beasley admits that there are many racing idols that he looks up to, he is also committed to being his own individual on the track, as well as creating his own unique style and brand.
“I look at a lot of drivers and there are just things about drivers that make them who they are,” Beasley said. “Like Jimmie Johnson, he has won so many championships and he is so level-headed. Clint Bowyer is really a crazy guy but he’s himself and is not trying to put on a façade. Then you have the Busch boys and they are bad and then they are good and trying to be better and they’re fast.”
“I’m excited to change the sport and put some Jay Beasley into it and to make a name for myself and to put my brand out there.”
“My brand is going to be the Michael Jordan of NASCAR,” Beasley continued. “That means that I can have any age kid want to be like me. Or I can give them a good way to look at life, not just racing.”
“I just want to open people’s minds about racing and the passion for it,” Beasley said. “It’s not about the money or the fame because when you get into that race car, you are in bliss. You’re happy and you do it because you love to do it.”
“You’re not there to make it into the fame but to do it because it feels good in your heart,” Beasley continued. “That’s how I feel. Being in that race car is like that oxygen. For me to survive and for me to live, I need to be in that race car or I’m not living.”
“That’s just the way it is.”
Beasley has clear goals for 2014, as well as bringing balance to what he knows will be a challenging season.
“My goals for 2014 would be to finish every race and not get wrecked out,” Beasley said. “To get top-10s and top-5s and to even win a couple races would be amazing. To adapt and to be in the shop every day with my guys working on the car and working out are all goals to write down and keep digging on.”
“This is going to be more exciting to me,” Beasley continued. “I will have to take one day at a time, have fun and enjoy what’s going on.”
“I will have to really stop and smell the roses because this doesn’t happen every day,” Beasley said. “I’m just really excited and I need to thank NASCAR and everyone getting ready for the season so we can do what we love to do.”