ASHLEY ASKS…… Cole Powell
After a successful career expanding in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Series tour and ARCA Racing Series, Cole Powell is set to run the full NASCAR Pinty’s Series schedule in 2018, driving for Ed Hakonson Racing.
Before kicking off the year with the Clarington 200 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, the 25-year-old offer his thoughts for POPULAR SPEED.
POPULAR SPEED: What are your thoughts going into this season?
COLE POWELL: I think we have a really good program with EHR. The cars are being prepared really well by the crew and we’ve tested a few times at CTMP and the tests have gone well. Everybody is jelling pretty good. We gained speed every test, so that’s positive. Going into the weekend, I’m hoping it doesn’t rain, but it does, that’s just another challenge I’ll have to overcome. Excited to get back racing.
PS: What’s the toughest part of the CTMP road course?
COLE: The hardest part I would have to say is getting your braking and shift points down. There’s 10 corners, so that’s 10 corners you could have a mess up or screw up, so it’s a lot different than circle track racing where there’s only four corners. But I noticed you just have to stay focused with the 10 corners and hit your lines. It’s all about hitting your lines and not screwing up, but if you do, don’t do a big screw up.
PS: What are your goals for this season?
COLE: We’re chasing a championship so that’d be the number one goal. Well obviously, we go to win every race. There’s a lot of time, and money spent into this program not to try and go win every race. We’re all competitive people at EHR so winning is the number one goal. Other things for me is I want to finish every race, race every lap, top-fives and wins, and the championship.
PS: Beyond CTMP this weekend, what track are you most excited to get to?
COLE: I would have to say Jukasa or New Hampshire because those are the only two tracks that I’ve actually raced on in other series of racing. Every other track that we go to will be brand new for me, especially road course racing. The ovals, I think I’ll be able to get a grasp on it pretty quick because I am an oval racer. The new road course races will be a little tricky just because I haven’t been too them and a lot of them are on the streets. So I’m sure that’ll be a different atmosphere of racing in itself.
PS: How did you get started in racing?
COLE: Long time ago. My dad used to race a challenge motor crate truck over at Delaware Speedway, and I was over there hanging out with him every Friday night. I ended up coming home and he got me a little 13 hp mini truck that we raced up at Grand Bend Speedway; it’s like a go-kart. I thought it was cool; it looked just like his truck, just a smaller version, and we haven’t looked back since.
PS: You’ve been able to accomplish a lot in your career to date. What’s been the most memorable moment?
COLE: Memorable moment – winning the NASCAR Rookie of the Year in the (Whelen All-American Series) Modifieds was a really big accomplishment for us. Traveling to the States every weekend on a very small budget compared to the other teams and actually pulling off the Rookie of the Year, which was our goal, was a pretty big accomplishment and I’m really thankful for that. Another one would be leading the pack around Daytona in an ARCA car. That was pretty cool, just because Daytona is such a historic track and it is Daytona. Leading the pack around there for a lap or two was pretty cool.
PS: Who is your racing hero?
COLE: I have two. I would have to say Junior Hanley. I go over to his place quite a bit and he helps me work on the cars; he’s taught me quite a bit in the past years. Really hard worker, so he’d definitely have to be one. The other one would have to be Ron Hornaday. Really good friends with Ron Hornaday. He’s taught me a lot as well. Super hard worker – I look up to both of them for sure.
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