Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Inside Track With Billy Workman, Jr.

Racing is definitely a family sport and for Billy Workman, Jr., it's no exception.  Billy, a twenty-one-year-old native from Oregon City, Oregon, is trying to achieve his goal of eventually racing in NASCAR's top tier - the Sprint Cup Series.  You would probably be surprised at what the title he would like to have, but we'll get to that later.

Currently racing dirt late models and modifieds, Billy is trying to work his way up into the ARCA Series.  After watching his father race dirt late models, he started his racing career at the age of nine when his father put him behind the wheel and he's "been hooked ever since."  When he decided that he wanted to be a NASCAR driver, "my mom cried a lot when I left, but it was more pride than anything.  My family is behind me one hundred percent!  They have all been there throughout my career cheering me on."  Billy considers Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, Oregon to be his home track since he grew up racing there.

Billy is currently approved to run up to a mile in the ARCA Series, which is where he would like to start his professional career on asphalt.  Once he competes in one to four races in the ARCA Series, he will be eligible for his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series license - which will allow him to continue his NASCAR career.  Back in April, Billy tested with Level 1 Motorsports, a Camping World Truck Series team. 

"Greg Biffle is my idol and mentor.  He and his brother Jeff actually gave me a place to stay when I moved here [North Carolina] from Oregon to pursue my dreams.  Greg is making sure I make good decisions along the way.  I am fortunate to have Greg leading me in the right direction and making sure that I'm taking the right steps to becoming a star like he is!" 

"To me, a successful driver is a driver with a positive attitude on and off the track that is marketable as well as a good wheelman that will be consistent and bring the car home with all the fenders on it.  That's what will attract potential sponsors as well as fans." 

For Billy, winning isn't everything, "I would rather finish second to someone before I would wreck them or tear my car up.  I'm more of a consistency type.  Last year on the DAA NW Spec Motor Series, I only finished outside of the top three two times [sixth twice]."

We all know social media is a vital part of NASCAR; connecting fans with their favorite drivers.  "Social media is huge!  Without fans we would be just everyday people.  Fan dedication is huge to the sport and social media helps them [the fans] follow you to keep them happy!"

I'm always curious as to what the drivers do while they're not racing, and lucky for you, I'm nosy, so I have no problem asking.  "I do a lot of things off the track!  The first thing I ever raced was a snowmobile when I was four.  I like to ride quads in the dunes, fish, and hang out on the lake."

Now for the part that I said would surprise you.  In 2007, Billy Workman, Sr. was diagnosed with kidney failure.  He then went on a waiting list for a transplant and after two years, he still hadn't received one; meanwhile his body was deteriorating from the dialysis he was on five times each day.  "That's when I had enough and decided I was going to save him.  My kidney donation was March 9, 2009.  After the donation we were interviewed two different times by Fox News for racing after the donation.  I was also given high school spotlight honors for this.  I really want to raise awareness for people who are in the same situation my dad was; I hope to never see anyone in that condition and health again.  My plan is to start a foundation and raise money and organ donation awareness to help those people."

"My father passed away just over a year ago after suffering multiple health issues which led to his heart failing.  My kidney donation gave him two more years with me, and in that time I learned a lot of great things and built many memories.  After his passing I decided to give everything I had to chase the dream that he and I have had since I started racing.  I am no stranger to sacrifices and am a strong believer in the quote, 'Good things happen to good people.'  I am going to be the first living organ donor in NASCAR."

A few weeks from now, Billy will be heading to Oregon for his father's first annual memorial race during Labor Day weekend.  On the way back, he plans on running the World 100 at Tony Stewart's dirt track, Eldora. 

The best of luck to Billy in all of his future racing and charity endeavors! 

Follow Billy on Twitter: @BillyWorkmanJr
Check out his website: http://billyworkmanjr.com/

*All photos are property of Billy Workman, Jr.  The NASCAR Corner was granted access to using them*

No comments:

Post a Comment