After 38 years, NASCAR returned to the Orange Show Speedway in San Bernardino, CA last weekend where approximately 5,000 people watched the historic return of a NASCAR touring series. Included in the stands were several guests and alumni members of Montana’s top public university Montana Tech, who came to watch their No. 27 Montana Tech Ford Fusion in action, driven by Gracin Raz.
After having equipment issues challenge his results in previous races this year, Raz did not hold back on delivering for the loyal Orediggers as he battled to a second place finish among a highly competitive field of great talent.
“Many of our guests and Montana Tech alumni members have never attended a NASCAR race and I could not have been more excited to be there at the end for them,” said Raz. “Montana Tech is deeply proud of their university and to race on their behalf is something I could not be more honored to do. They want me to win as much as I want to win for them; the entire JPR Team and I will continue to do all that we can to ensure the No. 27 Montana Tech Ford Fusion finishes up front.”
Raz will get behind the wheel of his super late model this coming weekend where he will race what is expected to be one of the largest super late model races in Northwest at the Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA. The next leg of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series will be in Dacono, CO on June 11, where Montana Tech will be hosting another alumni event to watch Raz in action.
NASCAR K&N Pro Series Driver Gracin Raz will return to Kern County Raceway Park for the second leg of the west series on Saturday, April 2. Raz will be looking to close out some unfinished work this weekend after experiencing rough luck in his last two events while leading the prestigious Winter Showdown super late model event at Kern County and the opening race for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West in Irwindale.
“In both races, we had a fantastic car that we were confident would be there in the end,” said Raz. “What we experienced is part of racing and can or has happened to any driver. We have moved forward and could not be more ready to return to Kern County.”
At the opening event for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West in Irwindale, Raz qualified just .022 off the pole and led the most laps of the race before getting caught up in what his team believes was a patch of oil resulting a disappointing finish. Driving the No. 27 Montana Tech Ford Fusion for Jefferson Pitts Racing, Raz will be racing the full NASCAR K&N Pro Series West this season in addition to some select races in the east.
LAKE OSWEGO, Oregon (October 20, 2015). The driver of the No. 27 Montana Tech Ford Fusion Gracin Raz executed a spectacular textbook move on the last lap of the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 at the All American Speedway in Roseville, CA over the weekend to win his first career NASCAR K&N Pro Series event.
Raz, just 18-years old from Lake Oswego, Oregon, showed his determination early to keep his team’s hunt for the championship alive by setting the pole. After dropping back early in the race, Raz powered through a strong field of drivers that led to a green-white checkered finish where he advanced from third to the win.
Partner Montana Tech was equally excited to see their No. 27 Ford Fusion cross the line first. “Like our Montana Tech students and alumni, Gracin is from ordinary, humble upbringings, who is accomplishing extraordinary feats; the way he kept digging for the win only reinforces his determination to achieve like any Oredigger,” shared Joe McClafferty, Vice Chancellor for Advancement and University Relations and President of the Montana Tech Foundation.
The unique partnership between Montana Tech and Gracin Raz Racing began in late July and has helped foster their brand awareness goals, including growth across some of their social media platforms. Based in Butte, Montana Tech is recognized as one of the top universities in the nation for graduates return on investment and produces some of the most elite and sought after graduates within the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines.
Raz, a first generation driver for Jefferson Pitts Racing also has strong ties to the State of Montana; his mother was raised on a ranch in Northeastern Montana where his grandparents reside today. As an Oregonian, Raz’s car bore a decal to honor those impacted by the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon earlier this month. He is the first driver from the State of Oregon to win a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West event since 2002 and the first to win since K&N Engineering became the title sponsor in 2010.
The Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 will be televised on NBCSN Thursday, October 22 at 7pm EST. The No. 27 Montana Tech Ford will be on track for the final race of the 2015 season at the Phoenix International Speedway November 12 where several members of the Montana Tech team and alumni are expected to be in attendance.
Joining Gracin Raz Racing for the last six races of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West season.
LAKE OSWEGO, Oregon (June 9, 2015). The Montana Tech Orediggers are about to turn the heads of NASCAR fans as they unveil the No. 27 Montana Tech Ford in late July in Butte, Montana. Behind the wheel for the Orediggers will be NASCAR K&N Pro Series Driver Gracin Raz from Lake Oswego, Oregon.
Based in Butte, Montana Tech is recognized as one of the top universities in the nation for graduates return on investment and produces some of the most elite and sought after graduates within the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines. “Montana Tech is extremely excited to be part of Gracin Raz Racing,” shared Joe McClafferty, Vice Chancellor for Advancement and University Relations and President of the Montana Tech Foundation. “Gracin’s journey is similar to that of Montana Tech students and alumni. Gracin is from ordinary, humble upbringings, who is accomplishing extraordinary feats. We are excited to hold alumni and outreach events during many of the races where over 11,000 Orediggers will be rooting for the No. 27 car!”
Raz, a first generation driver for Jefferson Pitts Racing just recently turned 18 and graduated high school last weekend. He is currently second in the NASCAR K&N championship point’s series for the west and leading a tight race for Rookie of the Year. Raz also has strong ties to the State of Montana where his mother was raised on a ranch in Northeastern Montana and grandparents, aunts and uncles reside today. “My Montana family has always extended incredible support to me,” said Raz. “To represent such a prestigious university that my family holds in high regard is an incredible honor. I’m excited to showcase the Montana Tech brand and help ensure every race car fan knows who Montana Tech is!”
In addition to the car unveiling in July, Montana Tech will host an event on July 24 where alumni and guests will have an opportunity to personally meet Raz and see the official Montana Tech racing suit that he will wear. Expected to be in attendance are members of Trinity Energy based in Billings and current primary partner to Gracin Raz Racing. “The NASCAR K&N Pro Series has been a great platform for our team to develop relationships with each other and our prospective partners,” said CFO and Principal Garth Harmon. “While few of us had familiarity with motorsports racing, we became instantly hooked after seeing Gracin and his team in action at the start of the season. This is truly a special platform that I am confident will serve Montana Tech well on a number of levels; I know our team looks forward to our continued partnership with Gracin Raz Racing.”
The No. 27 Montana Tech Ford will be on track in Newton, Iowa starting August 1, followed by events in Monroe, Washington; Dacono, Colorado; Meridian, Idaho; Roseville, California; and Phoenix, Arizona. Each event is televised by NBCSN and attracts up to 7500 people at the track.
About Montana Tech:
Recognized among America’s best universities for undergraduate education, Montana Tech possesses an internationally esteemed, century-old tradition of excellence in higher education. Located in Butte, Montana, Montana Tech offers programs of distinction and serves as one of only two U.S. schools that offer a B.S. degree in geophysical engineering, one of ten that offer a B.S. degree in metallurgical engineering, one of nineteen that offer a B.S. degree in mining engineering and one of only twenty that offer a B.S. in petroleum engineering. A number of Montana Tech graduates have risen to positions of leadership in resource and energy industries. Historic world-class offerings in resource engineering are today complimented by an expanded array of programs in other areas of engineering, the sciences, mathematics, computation, health, business, and communication. The institution offers degree programs at the masters, bachelor, associate, and certificate levels. The student body presents a national and global snapshot with over 43 states and 24 foreign countries represented.
About Gracin Raz Racing:
Gracin Raz Racing partners with Montana Tech, Trinity Energy, GTR Simulator, The Master Wrench, Inc., and West Hills Collision Center. Gracin, a first generation race car driver, is a recent graduate of Horizon Christian High School in Tualatin, OR and the founder of the Get UP! Driver’s Program – a program where three of his closest friends that race a variety of series across the Northwest have committed to helping children facing adversity. Additional information on Gracin’s career and his team can be found at www.gracinrazracing.com and Facebook/Gracin Raz Racing.
GTR Simulator joins the No. 27 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Team
LAKE OSWEGO, Oregon (April 9, 2015)
17-year old NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Driver Gracin Raz will head to the legendary Irwindale Speedway this weekend with a new partner at his side – GTR Simulator. After finishing just outside the top three in his first race of the series at the Kern County Speedway in March, Raz has continued to attract partnership opportunities by differentiating the value he and his team can create for an organization.
“We are elated to have the opportunity to partner with Gracin and his No. 27 Team,” said GTR Simulator’s CEO Howard Yang. “From the initial moment we engaged with Gracin’s Director of Partnerships Nathan Durkes, we knew the value of partnering with Gracin Raz Racing was special, particularly at this early stage of Gracin’s journey.”
GTR Simulator, located in Walnut, California, has spent countless hours working with a deep network of professional race car drivers examining detailed traits of their performance to create a real-world driving simulation experience. Today, GTR Simulator is one of the leading simulators on the market with an expanding client base.
Each week we look for opportunities to showcase our partnership value,” said Raz. “At Kern County as an example, we welcomed several executives from our primary partner Trinity Energy to the event. They were able to see the No. 27 Team in action while using the race weekend as a venue for entertainment and team development. I am excited to show how our hard work, on and off track, can support and advance GTR Simulator’s goals.
Fans following Raz will also personally benefit from this partnership by receiving a 20% discount on any GTR Simulator products ordered online. “Each week Gracin’s fan base is growing and we want to ensure people understand how much their support means,” said Durkes. “We are excited to know that each fan has an opportunity to test out some of the awesome products offered by GTR Simulator at a “GDR” discounted rate.”
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West main event in Irwindale begins at 8:30pm on Saturday, April 11 and will air on NBCSN on Thursday, April 16.