Joey Mucciacciaro "Tests Out" of Pre-Race Nerves Following Practice at New Smyrna Speedway

Sunday, Feb 03 1173

Fifteen-year-old Pro Late Model driver, Joey Mucciacciaro is no stranger to pre-race butterflies. The three years he spent behind the wheel of Legends Cars taught him to channel that nervousness into motivation, driving him to many victories. When given the opportunity by Tim Russell to join his Pro Late Model team, Joey was more than prepared for the challenge. This past Monday and Tuesday, Mucciacciaro took the track with the Tim Russell Motorsports No. 36 team at New Smyrna Speedway to prepare for the upcoming Speedweeks races from February 13th through the 24th, and gained more than just experience.

"I love being in a full body car with more horsepower and higher speeds," said Mucciacciaro. "I was at the point in Legends racing where the pre-race butterflies weren't there as much because my comfort level was so high. The thrill of racing through those nerves is what I live for and I found them again behind the wheel of the Late Model car this week, they just didn't last long. With a great driver coach like Tim Russell, it took me no time to feel comfortable and motivated in the new driver's seat. We finished practice in less time than expected because we were thrilled by what we already had."

Among many thrilling opportunities that lie ahead for "Mooch" during Speedweeks, he notes one of the biggest honors will be having the most winningest spotter in NASCAR in his ear. "Mike Calinoff has become a huge supporter and a good friend of mine, and there's no one else that would be able to make me feel more confident during my first stock car race than him. I know he'll have my back as my spotter, but as a friend, I also know he can keep me calm and motivated through any nervousness. And he's bound to give me a good laugh or two to lighten the mood."

The test at New Smyrna Speedway proved to the young driver and his team that he is not only able to race well in the bigger and faster cars, but could very likely take home the championship by the end of that week. 



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