NASCAR Race Weekend Central

2012 NASCAR Driver Review: Landon Cassill

Landon Cassill

2012 Ride: No. 83 BK Racing Toyota
2012 Primary Sponsors: Burger King, Dr. Pepper
2012 Car Owners: Ron Devine, Wayne Press
2012 Crew Chief: Doug Richert
2012 Stats: 36 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s, 4 DNFs, 31st in points

High Point: Considering that Cassill was rideless and overlooked this time last year, the very fact that the young Iowa native got a steady ride for 2012 has to be a high point in and of itself. But Cassill did not just rest on his laurels after landing what was arguably the biggest break of his career. He and the promising upstart BK Racing team raised many eyebrows in 2012, culminating in a trio of respectable 18th-place runs at Charlotte, Michigan and Kansas. Cassill proved himself to many observers by consistently taking care of his equipment and performing admirably in cars that are just a tick above subpar.

Low Point: The June race at Pocono was the lowest point of Cassill’s season. After qualifying well and putting the car on the inside of row eight on the starting grid, Cassill got a bit too eager in turn 3 on the first lap of the race and lost control of his No. 83 machine. Cassill ended up taking out three other cars in the process, angering many veterans who felt that the young driver was pushing just a bit too hard early on in the race. The wreck came at a time of relative uncertainty for BK Racing, as many in the garage were doubtful about the team’s long-term viability in the sport, and Cassill’s blunder certainly didn’t help.

Summary: Despite a few bumps in the road, Cassill performed admirably in 2012. It’s no secret that the Triad engines in Cassill’s BK Racing cars are heavily underpowered (there have been estimates that they are down as much as 80 HP), thus making what he and teammate Travis Kvapil did this season that much more impressive. Solid runs at places like Charlotte, Kansas and Michigan serve as a testament to the improvement of both Cassill and his race team, and they should only get better if they stick together.

By approaching each race with a cool and workmanlike attitude, Cassill (along with teammate Kvapil) helped elevate the ragtag BK Racing group into a bonafide fringe-level competitive team capable of hanging with the likes of Richard Petty Motorsports and Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing. Not bad for a team that only came together two weeks before the Daytona 500.

Team Ranking: Second of two. It’s probably a bit unfair to say that the No. 83 team was the worse of the two cars at BK Racing given how close together the two squads ran all year. However, Kvapil and the No. 93 Toyota was just a tick better than Cassill’s team as a whole in 2012.

2013 Outlook: Hard to say at this point. BK Racing has not fully announced what their 2013 plans are, but most indications seem to suggest Cassill will be back. Assuming a full return in 2013, look for this organization to improve even more, perhaps even flirting with a top-25 finish in points.

2012 Frontstretch Grade: C+

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