BK Racing is excited to announce that 18 year-old Gray Gaulding will pilot the No. 23 Toyota Camry in the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The team made the announcement today at Richmond International Raceway, home track to BK Racing and Gaulding.
Gaulding has been competing in some form of racing since the age of three. Gaulding’s rookie season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series in 2013 started with a bang with a 2nd place finish in the inaugural Battle at the Beach on the Daytona International Speedway’s back straightaway. Gaulding’s impressive three year stint in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West included 13 top-five finishes, 25 top-tens, and three pole awards. His first pole award was here at RIR in 2013, making Gaulding the youngest driver to do so at 15 years, 2 months, and 15 days. That same year, Gaulding picked up a win at Phoenix International Raceway making him the youngest driver to win in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West at 15 years, 8 months, and 30 days.
Gaulding was named as a member of the 2013-2014 NASCAR Next Class, an overachieving industry initiative to help spotlight NASCAR’s rising stars and bolster fan recognition around talent that will grow into Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series mainstays. He was in the same class as fellow stand-out drivers Chase Elliot and Daniel Suárez.
In 2014-2015, Gaulding moved up to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series where he made 13 starts with one top-five and two top ten finishes. In 2016, Gaulding furthered his career by making starts in both the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
“When I first walked into the BK Racing shop I felt at home, it has the perfect mixture of corporate America and the old-school race shop feeling” said Gaulding. “Everyone was elbows deep preparing for Daytona, Atlanta, Las Vegas and the entire season. Ron Devine has invested a lot of time, effort, and equity into BK Racing and it shows as you walk the shop floor. To be back with Toyota is great, I’ve kept a great relationship with them and they’re a great technical partner. I can’t wait to get behind the wheel and represent everyone at BK Racing and our partners that allow us to be at the track.”
“I got involved with NASCAR and in ownership the middle of last year because of the opportunity to be a part of the life of a gifted young man, Gray Gaulding” said Steve Lynn, CEO of GGR Enterprises. “I am honored and pleased that he and we are now partnering with BK Racing. Ron Devine and his BK Racing team are an outstanding place for Gray to grow and learn, as he continues his rise in this wonderful sport.”
“Over the years, BK Racing has given many talented young drivers the chance to compete in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and make a name for themselves,” said Ron Devine, owner of BK Racing. “We see Gray Gaulding as a potential superstar in our sport.”
Gaulding’s first race in the No. 23 will be the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 5, 2017. The team will announce sponsorship for Gaulding at a later date.
TIL NEXT TIME. I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!