Landon Cassill: Starting at the Bottom of the Chain
Please note: ALL pictures used with permission of Landon Cassill.
By Dominic Aragon
TheRacingExperts.com Lead Reporter
Having to prove your skills is nothing new to Landon Cassill. Racing for three different teams in the Sprint Cup Series this year has shown that he has what it takes to race with the “big dogs”
With Daytona’ s Speedweeks approaching around the corner, Cassill’s future in the Cup Series is uncertain. He will be in a ride for the Nationwide race at Daytona, but Sprint Cup plans are cloudy at this point.
With a once fruitful development driver program for many teams, NASCAR’s youngest drivers are having to find a way to get into successful rides --- even if that means starting at the bottom of the food chain.
Growing up, Landon Cassill always wanted to become a NASCAR driver. “My family was in the car business … and I always wanted to race,” recalls Cassill.
Growing up in Iowa, Landon made his debut in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2007 for Hendrick Motorsports. Scoring four top-10 runs in 25 races for the team, Cassill looks back racing for the team as a blessing. “[When you score a top-10], you have beat many of the Nationwide regulars, and you are running up front with the Sprint Cup guys. It is a great accomplishment.”
After running one Nationwide race in 2009 to a top-10 finish, Cassill raced six NNS races in 2010, three for JR Motorsports and three for RAB Racing.
In the summer however, a new deal was about to emerge for the 21 year old.
2010 was the year James Finch’s Phoenix Racing would lock in to the top-35. This past year, the team was supposed to attempt the full schedule with Aric Almirola. Unfortunately, a couple weeks before Daytona, longtime partner Miccosukee left the team.
Through race 14 of 36, Phoenix Racing had three different drivers attempt the schedule with an unsponsored car. At Michigan, race 15, Phoenix Racing would call upon the talents of Landon Cassill to race his way into the field.
“I have a good relationship with James Finch,” he said. “[James] called me to ask to qualify his car at Michigan,” With a 35th place qualifying run, he would make his debut in the Sprint Cup Series. Running a total of 51 laps, Cassill finished 38th.
Cassill would then go on to race for TRG’s 71 car at Chicagoland, finishing 39th, and run at Indianapolis for the team.
“It was amazing to run [at Indianapolis]. I Qualified 20th,” said Cassill. “Seeing my name on the pit wall, and leading a lap was just amazing.”
On September 11th, 2010, Cassill would again race for TRG, but this time was different. Running the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill car on the 9th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, Cassill would run the full race. Cassill recalls the race as a lot of hard work that paid off. Finishing 33rd, this would be Cassill’s best finish of the season.
After running a total of 16 races for three teams, Cassill hopes that his Cup experience will help earn him a ride. “Mark Martin said it the best: this might be the way the young guys might have to make it in the sport. I appreciate the encouragement, but it’s the truth.”
Other things about Landon Cassill:
Car: Porsche Panamera
Junk Food: Tequila, margaritas
Vacation Spot: Cabo, Mexico
Cereal: Peanut Butter Captain Crunch
NFL: Green Bay Packers
NBA: Don’t have favorite. I root for LeBron.
Promo for the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill car
that Landon Cassill drove at Richmond