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3rd Time the Charm for Robertson Racing
May 26, 2006 - updated May 26th, 2006 3:09pm
Web posted by

--

For Immediate Release

3 Generations of Speed: Mike, Ryan, and Gerald Robertson


Young local driver heating up the tracks –

Ryan Robertson has been quietly and consistently heating up the local late model division racing scene. At the young age of 20 and only in his second full season, this driver is beginning to turn some heads. If the future for this young racer is as rich as his past, then this may well be a story for the ages.

The Robertson Racing story goes back generations…literally. Beginning with Gerald Robertson who raced at Winston-Salem’s Bowman Gray stadium (the longest-running NASCAR sanctioned track in the US), for over 30 years in the famed modified class.

His oldest son, Mike, was soon to follow in his footsteps. Beginning his racing career at the age of 26, Mike Robertson became a 36 time Bowman Gray winner in the stadium stock and limited sportsman divisions, and was awarded the Sportsmanship of the year award in 1991 and 1995. Mike still races a limited schedule today, keeping in tune with the sport and in competition with his now 20 year old son, Ryan.

“We’ll be around a long time. We don’t know how to do anything else. We can’t golf and we can’t play tennis. This is what we do. At family gatherings, this is what we talk about”. Racing is, literally, in Ryan Robertson’s blood.

Having begun racing shortly after turning 16 (he ran his first race only four weeks after getting his NC driver’s license), Ryan has quickly risen to the next level. He was awarded the prestigious Rookie of the Year award in 2005, after finishing the season fifth in the ASA points standings. His first two starts of 2006 have been equally impressive, winning the Budweiser pole position in the qualifying round of his first race to then finish third, and finishing fourth in his second race.

“I love the feeling of the unexpected. You have to be prepared and be willing to be patient and see how a race unfolds and then react. You have to know your limits and the limits of your car, and be able to take it right to that point and keep it there”, said young Robertson.

Robertson Racing is still a family event. Ryan’s Dad, Mike, is heavily involved with the crew and all the operations of the team, and still holds down a successful full-time career. Ryan’s grandfather, Gerald, is present at every race, and still hangs out at the family garage to offer sage advice.

“It’s gotta be right. Mike runs a tight ship. He makes sure we do our job and keep our game faces on. I guess I would too if that was my son in the seat”, says Kenneth Palmer, the wiley head crew chief and 16 year veteran of racing.

“It’s not just one thing that will lead to a win. Everything has to work together”, said Ryan. “When we run well, everybody feels great because everybody had a part in it”.

The Robertson Racing team began this year without a sponsor, since their previous cigarette sponsor, Tucson, is no longer legally allowed to participate. “This is an expensive sport”, stated Mike Robertson. “The loss of a sponsor to help us cover our costs has come at a tough time. Ryan’s ready to crack into the next level and run the bigger Busch Series races in Bristol, Martinsville, Richmond and the like. But we can’t afford to go until we get the sponsor replaced”.

Ryan is currently scheduled to run 21 races at Friendship Speedway in Elkin, NC, with several additional larger races in Asheboro and Martinsville. “As soon as we get somebody signed, we’ll open up and run a much more expanded schedule”, said Mike. “We really want to get Ryan out and see what he can do”.

When asked to describe Ryan as a racer, Palmer commented, “Ryan’s a smooth driver. He’s patient, and just aggressive enough. He’s got a natural finesse and a cool head. More than that, he’s consistent and that’s what you need for big track racing.”

“The biggest thing he needs now is a shot”, said another member of the crew. Perhaps this is the year he gets it.

3 Generations celebrate in the pits at Friendship Motor Speedway

Ryan in action

Ryan with Rookie of the Year Award and Bud Pole Trophy


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