Germain Racing News

A short description about your blog
Jul 22
2010

Michael Annett Primed for Short Track Racing at O’Reilly Raceway Park as Iowa Speedway Homecoming Nears

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , Germain Racing

Indianapolis, Ind. (July 21, 2010) With his homecoming to Iowa Speedway just one week away, NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Michael Annett is gearing up for two consecutive weeks of short track racing. This week the Nationwide Series circuit will compete on O’Reilly Raceway Park’s .686 mile oval before its second ever appearance on Iowa Speedway’s .875 track.

Sitting just miles from historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, O’Reilly Raceway Park will host the Nationwide Series Kroger 200 benefiting Riley Hospital for Children on Saturday, making it a two-in-a-row combination weekend for the Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series after both series competed at Gateway International Raceway last week.

Entering his 20th race of the 2010 season, Annett stands 13th in the Nationwide Series championship point standings with only 115 points separating him from the top-10. With one race before his return to his home track, Iowa Speedway, and a steady trio of respectable finishes (12th at Daytona International Speedway, 14th at Chicagoland Speedway, 11th at Gateway International Raceway), Annett hopes to tighten his gap between the top-10 point race with his run at O’Reilly Raceway Park on Saturday.

As this weekend’s race falls third in a four week stretch of races in the Midwest, not only does Des Moines, Iowa native Annett enjoy visiting America’s Heartland, but so does mechanic and front tire carrier of the No. 15 Germain.com Toyota Camry, Ben Runge, who hails from Crawfordsville, Indiana. Considering O’Reilly Raceway Park his home track on the Nationwide Series circuit, Runge, who has been working in motorsports for over 14 years, takes pride in being part of Germain Racing’s No. 15 Germain.com team as they compete in the Hoosier State.

In his third career start at O’Reilly Raceway Park, Annett will hit the track in his No. 15 Germain.com Toyota for practice on Saturday from

10-11:15 a.m. Final practice runs from 11:45 a.m. until 1 p.m. and airs on ESPN 2 at 12:30 p.m. Qualifying for the 200 lap race kicks off at 5:10 p.m. with a live broadcast on ESPN 2 beginning at 5 p.m. Watch and listen live to the Kroger 200 benefiting Riley Hospital for Children at 7:30 p.m.

on ESPN and MRN Radio. All times are ET.

For more information on Michael Annett and Germain Racing’s No. 15 Nationwide Series team, check out www.GermainRacing.com and www.MichaelAnnett.com

 

 

Get live updates on Twitter @MichaelAnnett.

 

Contact: Maggie Martin, Rising Star Management Group, mmartin@risingstarmg.com

Jul 21
2010

Bodine Powers Into O’Reilly Raceway Park Atop the Truck Series Championship Standings

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , Germain Racing

 

  • Bodine Led First ORP Laps in NCWTS in 2009
  • Leads Truck Series Driver’s Points by 101-point margin
  • Germain Racing Leads Owner’s Points by 10 over KHI
  • Bodine Throwing Out First Pitch at Indianapolis Indians Game, Weds. July 21

 July 20, 2010 (Mooresville, N.C.) - Todd Bodine has been atop the NASCAR Camping world Truck Series for more weeks this season than he has not. In eleven Truck Series events, he’s finished in the top-five on nine occasions, including one win at Texas Motor Speedway. The team is in championship form, but don’t expect them to have the No. 30 Germain.com Tundra racing for points this Friday night at O’Reilly Raceway Park.

 “We’ve been the runner-up at short-tracks. We’ve led laps. Last year at O’Reilly Raceway Park, we showed everyone how much stock we put into our short-track program. We raced side-by-side with Kyle (Busch) for 20 laps before besting him and leading for 23 laps. We’ve come close many times, but what we really want on Friday night is a win on a short track to add to our resume,” said crew chief Mike Hillman Jr.

 O’Reilly Raceway Park has been home to many heated discussions after the checkered flag waved. The reason is because the flat, old, short-track pushes drivers and their race trucks to the bitter edge.

 “O’Reilly Raceway Park is a flat track that’s real easy to overdrive. The goal of practice is to be sure the Germain.com Tundra can turn good through the center of the corners and keep from getting loose off the corners. The goal for the driver in the race is to practice something no race car driver ever wants to practice, patience,” said Bodine.

 Germain Racing has prepared chassis TRD–106 for another session of the bump and grind of Friday night’s 200-lap event at O’Reilly Raceway Park.

 “We have a reputation of being strong competitors on intermediate tracks and on the super speedways. We want to be that same kind of threat at short tracks. We’ve prepped this Germain.com Tundra using some trends from Iowa, and a lot of data from years of testing and racing on short tracks. We are heading to Indianapolis to collect a finish that matches our team’s short track performance level,” said Mike Hillman Jr.

 Watch the Germain.com Tundra race Friday, July 23rd at O’Reilly Raceway Park on SPEED beginning at 7:30 PM Eastern, or tune into your local MRN affiliate. Follow Germain Racing on Twitter @GermainRacing or on the web at Germainracing.com or become a Facebook fan.

 When shopping for your new or used car or truck, head directly to Germain.com to find the perfect vehicle or visit your local Germain dealer in Ohio, Florida, or Arkansas. Germain.com is part of Germain Motor Company, a top-25 automotive retail network with 21 dealerships and more than 60 years of experience.

 ###

 

Jul 19
2010

Steve Germain Will Drag Race with Auto Smarts!

Posted by lori in Untagged 

It’s LIVE:  Fuel Duel I from National Trail Raceway

Auto Smarts presented by Germain.com!



(Columbus, OH)     

 

     The folks at NTR in Hebron are hosting the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and the Buckeye Fuel Wars Friday through Sunday.  Along with their three days of action packed racing, a grudge match has been scheduled.  Auto giant and all-around good guy Steve Germain will match reflexes with the brains and beauty combination that is Lex McAllister.  They’ll be in identically prepared SmartCars in a drag race that will take long enough for you to enjoy that second frosty beverage…or maybe even a third.  

 

     A lot has been said between the two…and no one knows what exactly is on the line but Auto Smarts presented by Germain.com will present live coverage of Fuel Duel I including in-car audio from the drivers.  Will Steve have time to take a nap?  Will Lex shut off her GPS? 

The day also features a car show with 35 trophies up for grabs, so bring your wheels.  All makes and models are welcome!

 

     Michael Sacks is back with his 1-800 Lemon Law Lemon Aid Minute, Mike Fornataro of National Trail Raceway serves up some Bits from the Pits, and Jack Moser gets legal during his busted for drunk driving.com update.  

 

     Call in your questions during the radio show at 821-WTVN or toll free at 800-610-WTVN.  You can also hit the net at www.autosmartsradio.com and join us via Facebook or Twitter!

 

    

 

 

 

    

    

 

    

 

    

For more information contact:   Randy Rhinehart

Auto Smarts presented by Germain.com 614-795-8469     randy@autosmarts4u.com

 

What happens when a pair of radio legends, put their feet, well, where their mouths are! It’s a battle of SmartCars with awfully intelligent drivers too!  Fuel Duel I is in the spotlight this Saturday when the foursome of Dan “Boots” Longenette, Steve Germain, Lex McAllister, and Randy Rhinehart hit the road for National Trail Raceway on Auto Smarts presented by Germain.com, Saturday from 1-3pm on 610 WTVN.   

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 19
2010

Michael Annett and No. 15 Pilot Travel Centers Team Battled the Heat at Gateway International Raceway to Bring Home Hard Fought 11th Place Finish

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , Germain Racing

 

Madison, Ill. (July 19, 2010) The one-day show for the NASCAR Nationwide Series heated up at Gateway International Raceway and turned into a doubleheader on Saturday as the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 was preceded by the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race that was previously scheduled for Friday night. With an unexpected power outage at Gateway International Raceway, the Truck Series was forced to postpone their race until Saturday afternoon, allowing race fans to catch two races in one day on Gateway’s 1.25 mile oval.

In his fourth appearance at Gateway International Speedway, Germain Racing driver Michael Annett produced an 11th place finish in Saturday night’s Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 driving the No. 15 Pilot Travel Centers Toyota Camry. After pulling an early qualifying draw and going out third of 47 cars, Annett started 33rd, but quickly gained valuable track position by passing 10 cars in the first two laps. Continuing to move through the field, he battled his way into the top-15 by lap 52 and set his sights on making his way into the top-10.

As track condition changed throughout the race, starting with the sun out and transitioning into the night, a tight handling condition along with brake problems challenged the No. 15 Pilot Travel Centers race team throughout the 200 lap event.

Throughout the night, the No. 15 Pilot Travel Centers team, led by crew chief Ryan Fugle, worked hard on pit road and fought through the race to bring home a respectable finish. As the first and second place cars battled to a high intensity finish ending in a multi-car pileup through the checkered flag, Annett drove his way through the smoke of the accident to finish 11th.

The Nationwide Series will again pair with the Camping World Truck Series as they continue their Midwest tour to O’Reilly Raceway Park this week for the 20th race of the 2010 Nationwide Series season. The green flag waves for the start of the Kroger 200 benefiting Riley Hospital for Children at 8 p.m. Watch and listen live on ESPN and MRN Radio beginning at 7:30 p.m. All times are ET.

For more information on Michael Annett and Germain Racing’s No. 15 NASCAR Nationwide Series team, check out www.MichaelAnnett.com and www.GermainRacing.com.  Get live updates on Twitter @MichaelAnnett.

 

Contact: Maggie Martin, Rising Star Management Group, mmartin@risingstarmg.com

Jul 19
2010

PAPIS 15TH AT GATEWAY; PREPARING TO SEEK REVENGE AT INDY

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , NASCAR Sprint Cup Series , Germain Racing , GEICO Racing , GEICO

 

Madison, IL (July 17, 2010) – Max Papis rolled into Gateway International Raceway looking to make an impressive debut at the track that sits in the shadows of the historic St. Louis Arch.  While the majority of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series took the weekend off, Papis hopped into the #9 GEICO Toyota Tundra for this weekend’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race to gain additional seat time.
 
GEICO’s gecko must have felt at home given the high temperatures that blanketed the 1.25-mile oval.  The intense heat did not distract Papis, as he sat 16th and 19th in the two practice sessions.  He then qualified the #9 GEICO Tundra 21st after hustling around the uniquely shaped oval in just 34.418 seconds, at a rate of speed of 130.746 miles per hour.
 
Initially scheduled for Friday night, a power outage would force the CampingWorld200.com to be postponed to Saturday afternoon. While the night sky on Friday night would have shielded the track from the blazing temperatures, Saturday afternoon would present conditions that would drive the track temperatures upward near 140 degrees.
 
When the green flag was displayed on Saturday afternoon, things heated up quickly on the racetrack.  Papis and the #9 GEICO Tundra quickly picked up four positions and slid into the 17th spot by the close of Lap 3.  Soon thereafter, he narrowly avoided peril when Stacy Compton and Mario Gosselin got together on Lap 14, bringing out the yellow flag.  After restarting P15 on Lap 16, Papis and the GEICO Tundra soon found their way into 14th position by Lap 19.
 
While he dropped to 20th for a few laps, Papis quickly returned the #9 GEICO Tundra to the front of the field.  He ran solidly in the Top 15 and remained on the lead lap for the duration of the afternoon, even dipping into the Top 10 at one point.  When the race came to a close after a hot, grueling Midwestern afternoon, Papis and the GEICO team came home on the lead lap in 15th place.  
 
“We had a solid afternoon here at Gateway and it was good to get out of here with a Top 15 for the GEICO team,” Papis said.  “It was extremely hot, but that’s the reason I train so hard everyday, so I am prepared for days like this.  I’m looking forward to getting to Indy next week and redeeming myself from last year when we missed the race.  We’re focused on making it happen at the Brickyard for GEICO and for this Germain Racing team.”
 
Next up for Papis and the GEICO Racing team is the Brickyard in Indianapolis, IN.  Papis has had a love/hate relationship with the historic racetrack over the past few years. In 2006, he pulled off a remarkable finish driving for Eddie Cheever in the Indy 500, while 2008 found him missing the world’s biggest race after a devastating crash.  Then, in 2009, Indy got the best of him again when it precluded him from making his NASCAR debut after he fell short of qualifying for the Brickyard 400.
 
Papis and the #13 GEICO Toyota Camry will begin their road to redemption when they hit the 2.5-mile oval of Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the opening practice session at 2:00 PM (EDT) on Friday, July 23rd.  Qualifying will take place on Saturday morning at 10:10 AM (EDT).
 
The Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, July 25th, and it will be televised live on ESPN beginning at 1:00 PM (EDT), while the IMS Radio Network will carry the live radio broadcast.
 
To learn more about the GEICO Racing program, please visit: www.geicogarage.com
 
You can also follow GEICO Racing on Twitter: www.twitter.com/geicoracing
 

# # #

Contact: Doug Barnette, Player Management International
Email: dbarnette@pmifirm.com  Web Site:  www.pmifirm.com <http://www.pmifirm.com/>

Jul 15
2010

Tune In Tonight to See Zach Germain Race at Lime Rock

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , Germain Racing

TUNE-IN ALERT

Don’t forget to tune in to SPEED tonight at 6 p.m. to see the K&N 100, the sixth race of the 2010 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season that was held on July 3 at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn.

SPEED can be found at:
DirecTVCh. 607 (HD)
Dish Network Ch. 150, 891 (HD)
Cable – check local listings

Zach Germain raced the No. 24 Germain.com Camry for Germain Racing at Lime Rock.

Jul 15
2010

Michael Annett Returns to Gateway International Raceway with Confidence from 2009 Seventh Place Rookie of the Race Finish

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , Germain Racing

Madison, Ill. (July 15, 2010) Returning to the Prairie State for the second week in a row, Michael Annett and Germain Racing’s No. 15 Pilot Travel Centers team will visit Gateway International Raceway following a 14th place finish at Chicagoland Speedway. Gateway International Raceway is located just across the street from one of the 550 locations of Pilot Travel Centers, primary sponsor of the No. 15 Toyota Camry. Coming back to a track where he earned a seventh place finish in the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, Annett is looking forward to Saturday’s Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250.

In his fourth ever appearance on the 1.25 mile oval, Annett hopes to repeat the success he showed there in last season’s Nationwide Series event. As the highest finishing Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate, his seventh place finish in the 2009 Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 was one of four top-10 finishes he earned in 2009 and one of his season total of five Raybestos Rookie of the Race awards. The young driver also has previous experience at Gateway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series where he had a ninth place qualifying effort in 2008 and in the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards where he started third and finished sixth in 2007.

New for the 2010 season, Gateway International Raceway will now host two NASCAR Nationwide Series events. In addition to this weekend’s Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250, the Madison Ill. track will also present a second 250 mile Nationwide Series race on October 23 replacing Memphis Motorsports Park on the schedule. October’s event at Gateway will be a stand-alone race for the Nationwide Series as this weekend’s race activity will be combined with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

In addition to his time on the track, Annett will also participate in some fan friendly activities leading into Saturday’s race. On Friday, Annett will sign autographs with fellow Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series drivers for Gateway International Raceway season ticket holders on pit road from 3:15-4:45 p.m. CT. The Germain Racing driver will also compete in the annual driver/media water balloon toss. As the returning champion in this fun yearly event, Annett looks to reclaim his event winning title on Saturday.

Track activity for the Nationwide Series at Gateway International Raceway begins on Saturday with practice from 10-11:15 a.m. and final practice from 11:45 a.m. until 1 p.m. Nationwide Series qualifying kicks off at

4:35 p.m. and the green flag waves for the start of the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 at 8 p.m. A live broadcast of qualifying airs at 4:30 p.m. and live race coverage begins at 8 p.m. on ESPN 2. All times are ET.

For more information on Michael Annett and Germain Racing’s No. 15 NASCAR Nationwide Series team, check out www.MichaelAnnett.com and www.GermainRacing.com

Get live updates on Twitter @MichaelAnnett.

Contact: Maggie Martin, Rising Star Management Group, mmartin@risingstarmg.com

Jul 15
2010

Germain Racing Looking for Perfect Balance at Gateway International Raceway

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , Germain Racing

 July 13, 2010 (Mooresville, N.C.) - Gateway International Raceway is a bright spot on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule for the No. 30 Germain.com Tundra team. The team has one win at the Madison, Ill., race track, and knows how to be a fixture at the top of the running order there.

 “Gateway is a track I’ve always enjoyed racing because it’s a challenge for drivers and crew chiefs to find a perfect balance in the setup. It’s critical to get your race truck to handle the differences in both ends of the track,” explained Bodine. “The Germain.com Tundra is always a contender at Gateway and that’s because our team does such a great job of focusing on whole track setup at every track we race.”

 Crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. explains that the No. 30 Germain.com Tundra team focuses on ‘feel’ each weekend, which means Gateway preparation isn’t really different for their team compared to any other race track, despite the track’s very unique corners.

 “The feel that Todd is looking for at Gateway is similar to what he looks for in any track that’s under a mile and a half in length. We’ll take the setup we had at Iowa and make small changes for Gateway,” said Hillman, who’s No. 30 Germain.com Tundra team has scored three top-five and four top-ten finishes in five Truck Series races at the St. Louis area race track.

 Bodine will race chassis TRD-131. Hillman says it’s the best in the fleet, and, true to the team philosophy, he always puts out the best truck.

 “This truck is our Texas race winner, but it’s also the best truck we’ve got for racing at Gateway. The most important race on the schedule is the next one, so Gateway is getting the best equipment we have,” explained Hillman.

 Bodine captured the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship points lead following race seven at Charlotte. After ten races,  he has an 88-point lead over second-place Aric Almirola. In the Truck Series owner’s standings, Germain Racing leads Kyle Busch Motorsports by ten points.

 Watch the Germain.com Tundra race Friday, July 31st at Gateway International Raceway on SPEED beginning at 8:30 PM Eastern, or tune into your local MRN affiliate. Follow Germain Racing on Twitter @GermainRacing or on the web at Germainracing.com or become a Facebook fan.

 When shopping for your new or used car or truck, head directly to Germain.com to find the perfect vehicle or visit your local Germain dealer in Ohio, Florida, or Arkansas. Germain.com is part of Germain Motor Company, a top-25 automotive retail network with 21 dealerships and more than 60 years of experience.

 ###

Jul 13
2010

Iowa Shake-up Can’t Knock Bodine from Top Spot

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , Germain Racing

Mooresville, N.C. (07-12-2010) – Sunday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Iowa Speedway had all of the drama and excitement one would expect from a short-track race. All four of the top-ranked drivers in the series experienced disappointing and dramatic days, but Todd Bodine was able to withstand the Iowa Speedway shakedown and maintain his spot atop the championship standings. Bodine started ninth and finished 17th after being a party to two on-track altercations. He leads the points by an 88-point margin over second-place Aric Almirola.

 

“This season has been a return to form for the No. 30 Germain.com Tundra team. We’ve been competitive each weekend and this was no exception. The reason we lead the Truck Series points is because of all the hard work that everyone at Germain Racing has been putting in to improve our race trucks. We are ten races into our 25-race season and we’ve only left two race tracks with finishes that didn’t match the quality of our race truck, and, unfortunately, Iowa Speedway was one of those two race tracks,” explained crew chief Mike Hillman Jr., who has led Bodine and the No. 30 Germain.com Tundra crew to eight top-five finishes this season, including one win.

 

Bodine was fasted after first practice at Iowa and ranked eighth in final practice. He felt he had a shot to win the pole award heading into qualifying, but knew he had a race truck capable of earning a great finish in the race.

 

“I think we had a shot at the pole,” said Bodine after qualifying on Saturday at Iowa. “The second lap was the money lap and the Germain.com Tundra broke loose on me in the middle of turns one and two and I didn’t get the lap when it counted. This 30 team has a great Tundra for Sunday, so I’m not too worried about starting ninth.”    

 

That confidence turned out to be well-placed. Bodine worked his way into the top-three within 50 laps of the race beginning and raced as high as second-place before a few wrinkles relegated the Germain.com Tundra to a 17th-place finish; rookie Austin Dillon scored the victory.

 

“I am really proud of how hard the guys on the 30 truck worked to make sure our performance at Iowa was an improvement over last year. The Germain.com Tundra was a top-five truck, just like we it has been every week,” said Hillman.

 

Bodine races the Germain.com Tundra next at Gateway International Raceway on Friday night, July 16th. Watch the action on SPEED or tune in to your local MRN affiliate.

 

When shopping for your new or used car or truck, head directly to Germain.com to find the perfect vehicle or visit your local Germain dealer in Ohio, Florida, or Arkansas. Germain.com is part of Germain Motor Company, a top-25 automotive retail network with 21 dealerships and more than 60 years of experience.

 

Germain Racing competes in each of NASCAR’s three national divisions as well as the K&N Pro Series East. A variety of sponsorship opportunities are available. Visit Germainracing.com for more information. To keep up with team news, follow on Twitter @Germainracing or become a fan on Facebook.

 

###

 

Jul 12
2010

SPLIT DECISION: Germain Chases His NASCAR Dream With Determination

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , Germain Racing , GEICO Racing , GEICO

K&N Pro Series rookie embracing the stock-car challenge By Travis Barrett, Special to NASCARHomeTracks.com
July 10, 2010 - 11:37am

MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Decisions, decisions. For Zach Germain, there really was no decision to be made.

"Race cars or sell cars?" the Bexley, Ohio, native recalled of weighing his future options late in the summer of 2009. "It was the easiest decision I've ever had to make."

As the son of Steve Germain, who owns Germain Motor Company with his brothers, the 25-year-old Zach got a relatively late start in racing. Despite Germain Motorsports fielding entries in each of NASCAR's top three national series -- Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Trucks -- there was very little pressure on Zach Germain to pursue a racing career.

In fact, he says, there was none.

"It was definitely me putting the pressure on everybody else to get into racing," he said. "The more I've been around it, I've wanted to pursue it more and more."

2010_NKNPS_Feature_Zach_Germain_headshot_200As hard as it is to believe, Zach Germain -- a rookie in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in 2010 -- is just four years into his career as a driver. He spent parts of three seasons in Legends cars at Columbus Motor Speedway near his hometown, and then in 2009 competed full-time at that track in its Super Late Model division.

Germain said he only got started in racing when his family did. And despite Germain Racing's success in places like the Camping World Truck Series, the organization is still a relative newcomer to NASCAR.

"We're pretty new when you compare us to the other bigger teams in the sport," Germain said. "We got started in NASCAR in 2004, and I didn't start racing myself until 2006.

"It wasn't something that I set out to do when I was younger. But I saw my family getting into NASCAR and that got me thinking. I've always had a fascination with cars from very early on."

And while some of the other drivers he races against in the K&N Pro Series have been racing since they were seven or eight years old, Germain hasn't. Which is not to say he had no experience behind the wheel of a car.

It just wasn't a race car.

"I've been driving cars around the parking lot since I was a kid," Germain said as he started laughing. "When I was 12 years old, I could drive a manual (shift). I wasn't out racing go-karts like Cole Whitt or some of the others, but I was running '100-lap races' on a new car lot.

"Instead of running into walls, I was running into other new cars."

Germain always viewed his future in the family business of selling cars. When he headed off to Miami (Ohio) University, he'd still never turned a competitive lap behind the wheel of a stock car. In fact, it wasn't until he was well on his way to earning a political science degree that he ended up racing Legends.

Germain figured racing would be something fun on the side while he looked at heading to law school, following in the footsteps of his older sister.

In a strange twist of fate, though, a broken hand and wrist in 2008 -- suffered while racing his Legend car -- sidelined Germain for half that season. It was then that he realized how difficult it was to sit on the sidelines and not race.

The next season, he was in a Super Late Model. He finished seventh in Columbus Motor Speedway's standings in 2009. This year, he jumped into the deep end of a racing career with both feet.

"I just knew that if I was really going to do this, I needed to pursue it to a much greater degree than I  was," said Germain, who has one top-10 in five races this season in the No. 24 Germain.com Toyota. "I knew that if I hadn't have poured myself into it, I always would have looked back later on and wondered, 'What if?'"

This year, Germain packed up and moved to Mooresville, N.C., -- the NASCAR hub -- and cleared out a conference room above the race shop where his cars are prepared. That's where he lives now. Every morning, he's up at 6:45 and joins the guys 15 minutes later working on the team’s K&N Series cars.

For a driver sporting a trademark 'faux-hawk' atop his head -- a strip of hair spiked tall along the middle of his head -- image is, well, everything.

"I know that there are some drivers in the past in this sport who haven't had the best, well ..." Germain pauses, choosing his words carefully, perhaps to draw from that political science background. "Let's just say, some teams would rather not have drivers around because they're not the hardest workers in the world.

"I wasn't going to let them say that about me. I don't want people to ever be able to hold it against me that I'm the son of the team owner with all the money, and I'm lackadaisical and not approaching everything like it matters. ... Sometimes I think that makes me work even harder at this."

Germain feels that being older than most traditional rookies gives him a maturity to understand the bigger picture. That maturity also helps with a steep learning curve.

"It's definitely a learning curve," Germain said. "And I know I've made mistakes at a much higher level than I probably should have. Unfortunately, that's the truth -- I just haven't had the seat time at the local tracks over the years. But everyone's been really gracious with me and supportive, and I feel like as long as I don't make the same mistakes twice, they'll continue to help me and be supportive.

"Every type of car I've raced -- going from Legends to Super Late Models, from Super Late Models to the K&N cars -- it's been night and day different. Every lap I get more and more comfortable and learn a lot. I've learned a tremendous amount in five races. Look at Iowa Speedway -- the biggest track I'd ever been on and I wrecked early. But I learned a lot, and I wish I could go back now and try again."

Despite the trials and tribulations, Germain is as committed to racing as ever.

"There is nothing better than racing cars," said Germain, who has no timetable for a graduation from the K&N Pro Series but has an ultimate goal of racing a Camping World Truck. "The rush, the atmosphere, all of it is unbelievable to me.

"I told my dad the other day and he laughed at me, but I'm living the dream. I'm so fortunate to be able to put things on hold for a while and chase my dream like this. I'm just trying to do my part to make that happen."

###

Original Article published at: http://hometracks.nascar.com/feature/SPLIT_DECISION_Germain_Chases_His_NASCAR_Dream

Vote for Zach Germain for Most Popular Driver in the K&N Pro Series East:
http://www.nascar.com/2010/news/headlines/official/07/02/2010.most.popular.driver.voting.opens/index.html