Press release and photo courtesy of NVW Motorsports Promotion
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 7) – Canadian Top Alcohol Funny Car team Kon Rodz Racing is preparing for its fifth season with fan-favorite driver Cassie Simonton. Also back with the team is veteran crew chief Randy Anderson, who won the 1993 and 1994 TAFC world titles as a driver. Kon Rodz has spent the last month preparing their red, black, and white Monte Carlo, which will hit the track at Valdosta testing next week.
“We've been at the North Carolina shop for the last couple weeks, preparing the car and stocking the trailer full of parts. Randy arrived this week to help make sure everything is ready for testing at the beginning of next week. He also worked on some new ideas for the fuel system over the winter that we're excited to test,” said Simonton, who lives in Brownsburg, Ind.
Cassie and the team will take part in South Georgia Motorsports Park's pre-Gatornationals test session, March 10-11.
“The first couple of passes will basically be shakedown passes to get me back into the routine, as I haven't been in the car in five months. The weather should be cool, which will hopefully help get us into the 5.50s and maybe even our first 5.4 once we get to Gainesville,” Cassie added.
Simonton, a UNOH graduate who started at Kon Rodz as a crew member intern, is starting her fifth season as the driver of the Spiro Kontos-owned alcohol funny car. She's eager to kick off the 2014 season with a new mindset.
“I feel a lot calmer going into this season. I'm going to have fun and not stress over so many things. I think sometimes drivers get caught up in the stress, then they start making mistakes. Maybe that's what started to happen at the end of last season. I know how to drive the car; I just need to go out there, get in the right mindset, have fun, and hopefully success will follow. We would love to get back into the groove we were in in 2012 when we were winning rounds.”
Team president Stefan Kontos has also been busy over the winter, working to maintain sponsor relationships and create new partnerships.
“CRC Industries has signed on as a major associate sponsor to help promote their line of automotive chemical products, including CRC Brakleen ®. The team's Bell Helmets will be painted by new team partner Nick Pastura Motorsports, a leading painter for top NHRA and NASCAR drivers. 2013 supporters Aerodine Composites and Sparco USA will return to become the exclusive carbon composites and firesuit providers, respectively. Goodyear Tire, NGK Spark Plugs, MAHLE/Clevite, Goodson Tools, Hedman Husler Hedders, and CleanBoost Performance Oils round out Kon Rodz Racing's marketing partners,” Kontos commented.
Rat Pack Apparel, Stefan's new retro-themed racing clothing line will also appear on the car as a major associate sponsor.
Kon Rodz Racing is an NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car team owned by Canadian businessman Spiro Kontos. Minnesota native Cassie Simonton drives the team's KonRodzRacing.com Monte Carlo Alcohol Funny Car in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. Spiro, Cassie, and the entire Kon Rodz team are grateful to the companies that support their racing program: Rat Pack Apparel, CRC Industries, Aerodine Composites Group, Bell Helmets, CleanBoost Performance Oils, Nick Pastura Motorsports, Sparco USA, Bell Helmets, Goodyear Tire, NGK Spark Plugs, MAHLE/Clevite, Goodson Tools, and Hedman Hedders.
For more information on Kon Rodz Racing, please visit www.konrodzracing.com. Keep up with Cassie on the team on Facebook (www.facebook.com/konrodzracing) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/cassiesimonton and www.twitter.com/konrodzpr).