First Generation Race Car Driver Gracin Raz to Make Debut in NASCAR K&N Pro Series West
LAKE OSWEGO, Oregon (July 30, 2014).
17-year old Gracin Raz from Lake Oswego, Oregon has signed an agreement with Bill McAnally Racing/NAPA AutoCare Centers to drive the No.99 NAPA Filters Toyota at the Evergreen Speedway on August 16 where he will race alongside some of NASCAR’s most promising drivers.
After catching the eye of veteran driver and K&N West Crew Chief Jeff Jefferson, Jefferson facilitated the deal between Raz and McAnally Racing. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with Gracin on a few occasions, and personally crewed him at the Montana Gold 212,” said Jefferson. “The Gold was just his second super late model race, yet he more than exceeded my expectations after he qualified third out of a seasoned group of drivers and led the main show before experiencing electrical issues. Gracin is adaptable, naturally talented, and has the potential to go as far as he wants in racing.”
To add to his list of accomplishments, Raz is a first generation race car driver, one of the youngest drivers from the State of Oregon to race a K&N West event, and he has no plans to slow down. “I have known since I was three years old that racing is what I wanted to do,” said Raz. “When we began our season this year, I had hoped we might have an opportunity to make an appearance at a K&N West event in 2015. Mr. Jefferson has personally invested a lot of time with me and my late model crew, and shown the type of faith in my ability that has helped me develop more than he may realize. I am more than excited – and humbled – to have this opportunity surface so soon and know how rare this opportunity is. I look forward to working with Mr. McAnally and his team!”
In addition to capturing the attention of his seasoned competitors and building a strong fan base, Gracin has leveraged his racing program to make a difference in the lives of others. In 2013, Gracin teamed up with the Get UP! Foundation, a foundation dedicated to lifting the hearts of children facing adversity, where he contributed close to $1000 to two families by donating some of his race earnings and collecting private contributions. In 2014, Gracin created the Get UP! Driver’s Program – a program where his younger brother Kole and four of his closest friends that race a variety of series across the Northwest have committed to helping children facing adversity. Raz most recently donated 10% of his earnings from the Montana 200 after qualifying second to a 15-year old Montana girl fighting bone cancer. “Knowing what I do on the track has the chance to touch the life of a child going through a hard time makes every lap that much more important to me,” said Gracin. “This opportunity helps keep things in perspective and takes my racing program to a completely different level.”