October 18, 2018
-Story by Jeremy Anders, Speed51.com West Coast Editor
There has been no shortage of good sibling racers across the country over the years and the Raz Brothers will be looking to add their names into that mix this Saturday during the Senators Cup Fall Classic at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Gracin, 21, is a pretty familiar name across the West Coast, rising from quarter midgets onto Pro 4 Late Models, Super Late Models and finally a winner on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West during his time with Jefferson-Pitts Racing. The older brother has spent the last few season racing selective Super Late Model races across the West Coast.
Kole, 15, is coming up in a different path than his older brother. The teenager started in quarter midgets until he moved onto Legend Cars before spending this year racing trucks at Tuscon Speedway in Arizona. The younger Raz will be making his Super Late Model debut this weekend with a familiar team, as he jumps into the Jefferson-Pitts Racing entry.
It will be a familiar track for Kole as he makes his long awaited first Super Late Model start.
“We wanted to do the change to Super Late Models as that’s the next step for me,” Kole told Speed51.com. “I was going to run a race last weekend at Tucson Speedway with TMI but that got rained out. We were approached by Jefferson Pitts Racing with an opportunity to run for them and felt it would be a good fit for this weekend.”
It’s been seven years since the two brothers have raced against each other and both drivers are looking to battle on the track.
“I think it’s going to be a great experience to race against my brother,” the younger brother said. “Last time that happened was about seven years ago in a quarter midget race. So, it will be a special moment for all of us.”
As an older brother, Gracin has been counting down the days for his chance to compete with Kole.
“I figured this day would come eventually, I just didn’t know when,” Gracin said. “I’m excited for him, he’s familiar with the Bullring already and he’s a good driver. I imagine he will pick things up well and show some speed. It’ll be one of our first races together and I look forward to working with him.”
For the Lake Oswego, Oregon family, the two drivers have different expectations about this weekend. Gracin is returning after a roller coaster weekend last year when he wrecked his car in practice and jumped in Stan Mullis’ car to finish fourth in the race.
“The goal is always to win, but we ran fourth last year and I’m looking for more this year,” Gracin stated. “It was awesome to race for Stan and his team. I learned a lot in a short amount of time racing with them. They gave me a taste of the front last year so I want to definitely keep that up this year.”
For a 15-year-old making his first start in a new car in a big race, Kole is looking forward to the experience.
“My goal this weekend is to finish every lap of the race and shoot for a top ten with a clean car,” he said. “Just need to pick them off one at a time. I’m feeling really good. I was able to get a good test at Yakima Speedway on Tuesday, adapted to the car fairly well. I also feel comfortable with the bullring as I ran Legend cars for two years there, so just need to put the two together and we will be pretty solid.”
The brothers will have quite the list of competition to take on this weekend including close family friend and former teammate Noah Gragson. The Las Vegas, Nevada driver is taking his off weekend away from his championship battle in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series to return to his home track for some grass-roots racing.
Add in the likes of Jeremy Doss, Brittney Zamora, Kayli Barker, Mitch Kleyn, Chris Clyne and many more drivers from all over the West Coast battling to take home the $15,000 winner’s check and the Senators Cup Fall Classic is sure to be one of the top races in the country this weekend.
With a whole field of drivers to take on this weekend, the Raz brothers do have a different opinion of how a match race would play out between the two of them.
“I think I’d give the edge to me, but we will race each other clean. We each have so much respect for each other that we wouldn’t cross that line,” Gracin said.
“I would say at this moment Gracin will take the win. But I won’t go down without a fight and it might get a little dirty,” Kole said with a laugh.
Catch all the action from The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Speed51.com’s Trackside Now coverage both Friday and Saturday.