Young guns are sport’s grass roots

Young talent abounds in the NASCAR ranks. These drivers display the grass roots history of the sport each week on federation and local tracks around America.

One such driver is locally based in Vienna, W.Va. His name is Cale Conley.

Cale has blazed a path to his current driving realm in the K&N East Series. Cale and the No. 47 Ravici Racing team showed off their ability on June 22 at Langley Speedway with a top-5 finish. His current ranking in series points is 11th. Minor on and off track issues has plagued the team from recording more top-10 finishes this year.

Cale and his team sported a new sponsor for his last race. The team joined forces with Mark Cuban’s AXS TV and Tiat Stages. The team will be back on the track at Columbus (Ohio) Motor Speedway on July 13. He is the defending race winner from last year.

  • Corey LaJoie, son of Randy LaJoie, has signed a development deal with Richard Petty Motorsports. Petty has plans on putting the 21-year-old in a few Nationwide races later this season and running a full series schedule next year, pending sponsorship.

LaJoie has run a limited schedule with his family’s operation this season. He’d run only two NASCAR K&N Pro Series races this season before getting a chance to race at Bowman-Gray Stadium and defend last year’s win. LaJoie said he plans to run a few ARCA races later this year and will receive engines, technical support and a pit crew from RPM. His first ARCA race likely will be next month at Chicagoland Speedway.

  • RPM confirmed it has signed Ryan Truex to a development deal, Truex is the second young driver to join the organization.

Sponsorship will determine their programs. The 21-year-old Truex has run 35 Nationwide races the past three seasons for a variety of teams, including Michael Waltrip Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing. He had two top-5 finishes and nine top 10s.

He’s ran three Camping World Truck Series races, including Daytona this season.

Truex, the brother of Martin Truex Jr., was scheduled to make his NASCAR Sprint Cup debut at Richmond, but had to miss that after breaking his collarbone in two places on Easter. The changes are part of the growth Richard Petty Motorsports is seeking to make.

  • A.J. Foyt is recovering from hip replacement surgery in Houston. Foyt underwent the procedure on Monday and is expected to make a full recovery. Foyt had been battling pain in his left leg for most of the year.

Earlier in the year, he underwent a laminectomy in the lumbar region of his spine to relieve sciatic nerve pain.

The constant leg pain increased dramatically after he fell while working on his ranch and he consulted with several doctors before agreeing to the most recent surgery. Foyt will be in the hospital for several days.

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