Drew Herring has been racing since he was 10 years old and he isn’t planning to slow down any time soon. He started his career in 1998 running in Bandoleros at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the Summer Shootout Series and, as recently as last weekend, wheeled a Nationwide Series car for Joe Gibbs Racing. Herring is pursuing his mechanical engineering degree at North Carolina State University while hoping to make his career as a professional race car driver.
Herring is a native of Benson, NC which is just south of Raleigh. Within three years of starting in the Summer Shootout Series at CMS, he had made 60 starts and won 20 races. He stepped up to the Allison Legacy Series in 2001 and moved on to Late Models in 2002. His age kept him from competing at NASCAR sanctioned tracks so he ran at Coastal Plains in Jacksonville, NC which was run by NASCAR rules but not NASCAR sanctioned. In 2003, he qualified for the Taco Bell 300, which is one of the biggest Late Model races in the country, in Martinsville, VA. He ran in the top 10 for most of the race before a late race spin took him out.
In 2004, he won his first Late Model race at Southern National Raceway–which is where he raced against Denny Hamlin–followed by a run in 2005 at South Boston for the entire season, coming home second in the points. The following year, Herring scored his first track championship at South Boston. Then in 2007, he went back to Southern National and took the track championship.
He’s continued up the racing ladder, competing in the USAR Pro Cup series and ultimately getting a ride with Gibbs in the Nationwide Series thanks to Denny Hamlin putting his name before the decision makers at JGR. He ran four races for them in 2010 and has competed in an additional four races for them this season. Frontstretch caught up with Herring after the Nationwide race at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis for a few quick questions.
Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com: What do you think of Lucas Oil Raceway?
Drew Herring: It was a long day but this is a great race track. I grew up racing on short tracks but I have never raced on anything like this. This place is really fun to run on.
Neff: Tell us a little about your race today.
Herring: My guys absolutely busted their tails all day in this heat. They made my car better all day long through practice and the race. We were tight in the middle and loose off but we made gains all day long on every stop. I can’t thank my guys enough for the effort they put in for me.
Neff: Joe Gibbs cars are some of the best in the series. What is it like driving their race cars?
Herring: I’ll tell you what, these cars are great but the thing that makes driving them so great is the guys. These guys are way better than the equipment. They are the best group of guys that I have ever worked with in racing. Whatever I tell them they use to make the cars better. When the cars unload every week they’re strong and we just fine tune them. I am truly honored to drive their cars.
After finishing eighth at Lucas Oil Raceway Herring went on to run 11th at Iowa Speedway. He currently doesn’t have any more scheduled races in JGR equipment but he’ll continue to pursue his degree and make starts when he can. He does not have plans to run his Late Model any time soon. It has been mothballed since 2007.
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