Pete Shepherd III - Off Season Update



For those of you that dont know ... I'm The Team Coordinator for the CASCAR Super Series - Team ATTO Car #50 - Pete Shepherd III

Pete's long time dream ofcourse is to potentially race with the big boys in NASCAR someday. Pete is now, more then ever, starting to experience things that potentially may have his dreams come true ...

"Nice to see Pete get a test with the big boys....!!!! Testing with Roush is nothing to be ashamed of... "

North Wilkesboro being used?
Roush's 'Gong Show': been told that North Wilkesboro Speedway is being used next week to test some drivers for the Roush Racing #99 Truck ride, the test has been nicknamed "The Gong Show"(10-20-2004)

On Speed Channel's "Wind Tunnel" with Dave Despain, it was reported that 26 drivers will test at North Wilkesboro, with the six being chosen, who then will test at a larger track in the near future. North Wilkesboro was chosen as they wanted a track that none of the drivers had any experience at.(10-21-2004)

Race cars will return to North Wilkesboro Speedway next week. The track, which has been dormant since it was closed after the 1996 season, will be the site for a three-day "Race for the Ride" held by Roush Racing. Roush will bring in 26 drivers between the ages of 18 and 32 and from as far away at New Zealand in the latest version of its "Gong Show"-style tryout that led to current Nextel Cup points leader getting a ride with the team. The event, which will run from Monday through Wednesday, is not open to the public.(

Roush's "Race for the Ride", North Wilkesboro Speedway, North Wilkesboro, NC, Monday – Wednesday, October 25-27, 2004 to test new drivers for Roush’s Craftsman Truck program. Roush Racing will test approximately 26 drivers over three days at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Drivers ranging in age from 18 – 32 years old are coming from as far away as New Zealand and California, and as close as North Carolina to have a shot at becoming one of the next NASCAR champions. This event is not open to the public.(Rosuh Racing PR)(10-24-2004)
An UNOFFICIAL list of drivers [11 of 26]:
Nate Monteith [Busch, Trucks]
Danny O'Quinn [Hooters ProCup]
Wade Day [ASA/Dash]
Jason Boyd [Goodyear Challenge Series]
Johnny Clark of Maine [PASS]
Erik Darnell
Josh Krug of Omaha, Neb
Todd Kluever [ASA]
Kevin Conway [Ernie Irvan's protege]
Pete Shepherd III [CASCAR]
Timothy Peters [Late Model Stock]

(These updates were posted originally in the cascaronline forum)

I thought I'd share the updates with you here in the NASCAR forums, as I too hope, that you all one day have a better opportunity to become familar with Pete. I guess we will see how our Canadian Driver measures up against the American Boys...

I wish him the Best of Luck. My Heart is with you Petey!

For those of you that may not know or be too familiar with who Pete Shepherd III is you may find a Bio, articles and press releases here:
Got this off jayski....

Update 4:
This edition of the now famous Roush gong show will take place this week, at the now mothballed North Wilkesboro Speedway. Joining Roush in review of the 24 hopefuls will be some of Roush Racing’s other premier talent—Mark Martin, Carl Edwards and Jon Wood—who’ll be doing far more than watching this contest of speed. Then a few of the behind the scene’s marketing types will be there to watch for each participant’s marketability angles. The official name of the program is Race for the Ride.
Mega Ford car owner Roush explains the culling process that took quite a number of hopefuls and forged them into 24 drivers who stand of a chance of following in Busch’s footsteps. “We anticipate needing at least one, potentially two drivers, for our truck program next year. As we’ve done in the past when we haven’t had someone standing right in front of us that was a clear choice we cast a seine and did a survey and collected initially 400 names. From there we made some enquires, did some interviews over the phone and reduced the list to less than 100.” Continuing Roush added, “Then we got the crew chiefs together and Mark and Matt had some opinions and Kurt. Then we reduced that number to 50. “Then I sat down with Mark and Kurt and all the crew chiefs and the marketing people and reduced that number to 24.”
Giving specifics for the Race for the Ride Roush says, “We’re going over to Wilkesboro on the 25th, 26th, 27th—Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday—with three trucks and a couple of tractor trailer loads of tires. We got some of last years IROC soft tires that should all be the same.” Whether it’s Roush’s exposure to NACAR parity or a sense of fairness, Roush wants all of the test vehicles to be as identically prepared as he can make them and is going to great lengths. “Jon Wood is going to drive the trucks to get them all set up,” Roush says of leveling the tools he needs to explore pure, but untested, talent. “They’ll be as close as we can make them. They’re middle of the road trucks, but they won’t be the best stuff that that we could put out for a championship. But there’s not a truck there that will have a problem. We’ll look at how fast Jon goes with the trucks and consider that a baseline. Then we’ll consider how they [the gong show participants] do with those same trucks.”
North Wilkesboro was a logical choice as Jack explains. “We wanted something that was close and wouldn’t be something the drivers had ever seen,” Roush offers matter of factly. “If you have a driver run where he’s raced before, well that’s an advantage. We talked to Bruton Smith, and he called Bob Bahre, I reckon,” Roush says of his agreement to use the track. “He agreed that if we’d take our own porta-john and if we availed ourselves of all the necessary track equipment, which there’s nothing up there. So we’ve got to take our own broom for sweeping the track and getting down some oil dry if we put some oil down.”(Team Ford Racing site)(10-25-2004)

Story about day 1 - no driver names at: the Winston Salem Journal:
Fans recall the good old race days - Vehicles, drivers take to the track again at North Wilkesboro Speedway by Mike Mulhern

FANS WELCOME: Fans had been told that this week's Roush Racing "Race for the Ride" testing of 26 drivers trying out for a ride in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series wasn't open to the public. They came anyway, about 20 or so at any one time sitting in the metal bleachers or clinging to the fence. Roush officials noticed and said that if fans want to come out for the testing that continues today and Wednesday and sit in the grandstands, that's fine with them.(10-26-2004)

An UNOFFICIAL list of drivers [18 of 24...not 26]:

Jason Boyd [Goodyear Challenge Series from FL, picked by Martin]
Johnny Clark of Maine [PASS]
Kevin Conway [Ernie Irvan's protege]
Erik Darnell
Wade Day [ASA/Dash]
Jason Hogan [Southeast Series NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division]
Todd Kluever [ASA]
Josh Krug of Omaha, Neb
Nate Monteith [Busch, Trucks]
J.R. Norris [Southeast Series NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division]
Danny O'Quinn [Hooters ProCup]
Timothy Peters [Late Model Stock]
Michael Pickens [dirt sprints from New Zealand]
Clay Rogers [Hooters ProCup Series]
Pete Shepherd III [CASCAR]
Regan Smith [Busch Series driver]
Matt McCall [2004 Hickory Motor Speedway Champ]
David Gilliland [NASCAR Grand National West Series]

Gong Show Image Page:
Got this off Jayski ...

AND MORE - extended test on 11-1-2004: Last week Jack Roush held auditions for the next up-and-coming Roush Racing star. The process for candidate selection was the famed Gong Show with this episode staged at North Wilkesboro Speedway. As www.teamfordracing reported last week, Roush took a pair of NASCAR Craftsman Trucks and several truckloads of tires to see how 24 drivers would stack up against each other. With so much in place for the test Roush only had one fear—weather. “We had three days scheduled with 24 drivers and we got two days in and the third day rained out so it was incomplete in that we didn’t get through all the candidates,” Roush reported of his biggest concern of the test. Despite the weather, the tests went well for those who had a shot behind the wheel of the high-powered F-150; and at the end of two days quite a number of drivers made their laps, completely incident free. “They all did a nice job,” reported Roush. “You have to be slow to feed the throttle and everybody did a good job with it. We didn’t put a wheel on it [the wall]—we didn’t hurt a car. Or truck, as it were.”
Roush wasn’t able to be there for every step of the way, but with the talent pool at Roush Racing that wasn’t too much of a concern. “Fact is I didn’t spend much time with them, I wasn’t there until 4 o’clock Monday,” said Roush, who had to take care of a dental problem early that day. “As it turned out they lost Monday morning due to weather. We went from noon Monday until 6 o’clock. I hadn’t seen everybody; I presided over the chief judge, Pat Tryson. Of course Mark [Martin] was there Tuesday and Cowboy [Kevin Starland] and Tony Price were the two crew chiefs for the truck series and they were paying attention,” Roush added. “I was just there paying attention and dealing with the engineering people that were there.”
The engineering side of the exercise was interesting as Roush loaded the trucks up with Pi data acquisition systems to see how the drivers would handle themselves. “We had data acquisition on the vehicles so we could see brake trace and throttle trace and steering inputs,” Roush said talking about the tools that helped take the guesswork out of the driver feedback they’d get after a driver made his runs. “That was very interesting when you compare one driver to another in the same vehicle on the same day.”
Adding a twist to the Gong Show, this test at North Wilkesboro was just the first of two tests that will take place in the talent culling process. “That was our first venue for our event,” Roush said of the new and improved Gong Show. “That was the challenging short track, not too much speed but finesse being the order of the day. We’re going to go to Charlotte or Kentucky and try the same thing again. There‘s at least eight or 10 candidates that are really standing out. We plan to take eight to Charlotte to see what we can figure out.” Asked if he liked what he saw, Roush just shook his head grinning as he answered. “The amount of talent that’s out there, young people vying for success running in series that can be viewed as feeder series for the Trucks, Busch and Cup is just incredible.” There was no word on when the next test is scheduled, but with Carl Edwards destined for his fulltime Cup ride in 2005 too much time cannot pass without a replacement being chosen to take over the #99 Roush Racing Ford F-150.(Team Ford Racing)(11-1-2004)
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