Written by Donna Bell, Photos by JimJonesPhoto.com
One of the things that Let’s Race Magazine loves to do is keep their eyes out for new up and comers in the racing world. I have had my eyes on R.j. Glaser for a while now, who has been running in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series. We have become friends thru Facebook because we have the same sense of humor – he can take as well as he gives! So, after a few invites by R.j. to come up to #NASCAR New Smyrna Speedway track and catch one of his races the timing was right and off I went.
We met for lunch on race day so I could get some background information and was quite impressed by what I found out. R.j. has only been racing on asphalt since March 2015. In just 4 months, he is leading the points for Rookie of the Year 2015 at New Smyrna Speedway. Glaser is also 8th in points in the Sportsman Series.
Glaser achieved the 2008 Rookie of the Year at Volusia Speedway Park and in 2010 he ended the year with a 3rd in points. In 2011, Glaser was the 4-cylinder Pure Stock Volusia Champion. Now it was time for R.j. to continue to chase his dreams and move up to the next level. Glaser let me know that he was lucky and blessed to have met and now drive for Jim Daley, owner of The Outlaw Sportsman Team and co-owner and driver Sandy Lee both from New Hampshire. The Outlaw Sportsman Team is headquartered at Allen Sheppard Racing Enterprises in Deland, FL.
I had to meet them so now I was off to the shop where preparations were underway for the race that night at New Smyrna Speedway. Allen Sheppard keeps an impeccable race shop and once again I was impressed. Then it was time to head to the track for practice, heats and the feature race, so once again I hit the road.
During a pit stop at practice I hear Sheppard ask Glaser how she is out there and Glaser replies, “she’s good into the turn, good thru the center, but coming off the turn she’s straight into the wall.” Allan and the team work on that, and then they are back on track with the new adjustments. As I walk up to Debi Glaser, (R.j.’s mom pictured above) and his sister Harley, I hear a part of their conversation.
Debi is saying that they are talking to R.j. about the weather and humidity or something and why? Don’t they remember that they call him Cole Trickle for a reason? I have to ask why and they laugh and tell me that the weather and what’s under the car Glaser doesn’t get yet, but put the boy behind the wheel of anything and just watch him drive. This is why everyone at the track calls him Cole Trickle!
The line up sheet is posted for the heat races and Glaser has the Pole position for Heat #1. Pole position? Maybe there is something to this Cole Trickle thing. At the conclusion of the race, Glaser had a 9th place finish, still in the lead for Rookie of the Year.
This is what you call a great night of short track racing under the lights at a local #NASCAR home track. Keep chasing your dreams, R.j. because dreams do come true. As an update to this article, I met up with Debi & Doug for breakfast while I was in Daytona for the first #NASCAR race of the year. Great news, R.j. did win Rookie of the Year, finished 6th place at the track and finished 5th in the nation.