Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Whitworth freshman revs NASCAR racing career

When he's not studying engineering physics at Whitworth, freshman Travis Motley spends most of his time at the Toyota Speedway racetrack in Irwindale, Calif. He races NASCAR late-model stock cars for High Point Racing, a high-profile, driver-development racing team.

On Jan. 29 and 30, Motley will compete in the biggest short-track race in the country — the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown. Known as the Daytona 500 of short-track racing, the race will be televised live on the Speed Channel in primetime.

Motley grew up watching his dad race off-road cars. At age 13, after years of his begging, his parents allowed him to race go-karts. A typical race weekend would begin with him and his father making the eight-hour drive from his hometown of Tucson, Ariz., to California on Thursday afternoon. Motley would practice on Friday, race Saturday and Sunday, and drive back to Tucson Sunday night.

"Sometimes we wouldn't get home until 3 a.m. on Monday, and I would go to school four hours later. But as crazy as it sounds, I loved every minute of it," Motley says. "After three years of go-kart racing, I moved up to late models and it has been more fun than I ever could have hoped for."

Those long weekends are paying off as Motley's late-model stock car career starts taking off. In the last six races of the 2009 season, he finished fifth or better in a field of 30 of the best racers on the West Coast.

Motley races roughly 20 times a year, from April to November. His late model vehicle is a 400-horsepower, 2,900-lb. purpose-built race car that resembles the cars seen in NASCAR.

Motley's goal is to race in the NASCAR Nationwide Series within five years.

"I wouldn't be where I am now without the love and support of my parents and the help of my race team, High Point Racing," Motley says. "In order continue to do what I love and to keep finishing up front, I am looking for a sponsor to partner with my race team in the 2010 season."

To learn more about Motley's racing career, visit http://www.travismotleyracing.com/ or http://www.highpointracing.com/.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Contacts:

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or eproffitt@whitworth.edu.