“ONE MAN BAND” HASKINS SEEKS STRONG FINISH TO 2016 SEASON
CONCORD, N.C. (July 29, 2016) – At only 24 years of age, Georgia's Cody Haskins has achieved some remarkable things in both his racing career and his professional life. By day, he serves as a Vice President at KRC Power Steering Pumps, consulting with some of NASCAR's finest engineers on a daily basis. By night, you will find Haskins in his race shop in Dawsonville. Just like his peers, he can be found testing shocks, working on the motor and cleaning parts, getting ready for the weekend's events at his three main race tracks; Anderson, Greenville-Pickens or Myrtle Beach.
But what distinguishes Haskins from other racers is that many nights he is all alone in the shop. In fact, even at the race track, aside from his spotter and sisters Madison and Blakely Sheriff, who take care of his social media and PR, Haskins is the only one that touches his two race cars. "Ever since I started, I've owned my cars, paid for them, and drove them,” said Haskins. “It's all my responsibility. Last year we ran great, so it was easy. But this year, it's been a struggle, so we're chasing right now. But it's going to turn around; we’re confident of that."
As a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car driver focused mainly on the state of South Carolina, Haskins saw great success in 2015, winning the big Rupert Porter Memorial 100 at Anderson last fall. "Last year, we had over 20 top-five finishes and this year we've had just a few,” Haskins said. “The competition is tough in South Carolina, but the bump stop and coil-binding rules passed in February put us behind in the game. We had gotten a few steps ahead over the winter and being named to the Kulwicki program really gave us an added boost, too. But after building a new car, freshening our motors and doing some testing, NASCAR opened up the rules on springs. We had to throw all our data out and start over. Being a small team in both budget and help, it's made 2016 a tough season.
“But, Alan never gave up and neither will we,” said Haskins. “I am so optimistic as we head into the second half of the season. We still have more than 20 races on our schedule. While this week off is giving us a chance to recharge, I can't wait to get back at it next weekend. All those hours in the shop will pay off soon and we are working with a new shock supplier that is really getting us headed in the right direction."
Haskins will hit the track again on Saturday, August 6 for the Twin 75s at Greenville-Pickens Speedway.
Like all the Kulwicki Driver Development Program drivers, Haskins is very engaged with his fans at the race track and in his hometown. Earlier this month, the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in Dawsonville hosted "Cody Haskins Day," allowing the hometown hero to showcase his race team, his trophies, and make some new fans. The HOF recently made Haskins' quarter midgets and trophies a permanent part of their displays.
"The people of Dawsonville are my biggest supporters,” Haskins offered. “There is such rich racing history in the area and we are proud to carry that torch forward. The hometown newspaper shares our results every week and we try to share our success with everyone.” Additionally, Haskins is proud to share the story of Alan Kulwicki with the kids participating in the Pinewood Derby at the New Hope Baptist Church. "Alan was a great man of faith and proved that through hard work and staying true to your faith, you can accomplish anything," said Haskins. "That's what I try to share with the kids all the time." Haskins has also had great success running his own driver development program, helping young Legends racers at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Despite the challenge, Haskins is looking to move up the racing ladder in 2017. "There are a few things in the works for next year, but I'm most looking forward to hopefully running super late models,” Haskins said. “I've worked on those cars a lot, but getting behind the wheel should be quite a thrill. Like so many young racers out there, we are hoping to move up even further and have been looking at some ARCA or NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rides. But right now, our focus is on getting our LMSC program turned around.”
Through it all, Alan Kulwicki's story has proven to be both a revelation and an inspiration to Haskins. With emotion in his voice, Haskins noted, "I applied to the program the first year and didn't make it. But I never gave up. I knew that my story was Alan's and his was mine. Every dime I make, every spare minute I have, goes to racing. I understand his struggle and it drives me every single day."
For all the latest news in short track racing, we invite you to visit Speed51.com, the official media partner of the Kulwicki Driver Development Program. Follow them on Twitter at @speed51dotcom and visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/speed51.
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