Havasu 95 Speedway
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Meet NASCAR West Series Driver Cassie Gannis this Thursday in Lake Havasu City
by Dave Grayson
LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. -- The excitement of the inaugural appearance of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West at the Havasu 95 Speedway continues to mount as the April 14th race date gets closer at the quarter mile paved oval located in Lake Havasu City-Arizona. In addition to the racing excitement that will come with the Toyota/Napa Auto Parts 150, presented by Gene Price Motorsports, the fans will be presented an opportunity to meet the West Series drivers.
That includes a special meet and greet with NASCAR driver Cassie Gannis this Thursday, April 12th, from 6 to 9 pm at Jake's Bar and Grill, located at 3453 Maricopa Avenue in Lake Havasu City.
Originally from Ahwatukee-Arizona, now residing in Phoenix, Cassie Gannis is launching a full scale assault on the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West schedule and is a canidate for the series' Sunoco Rookie of the Year title. She will be driving the #1 Quick Lane@San Tan Ford/Majerles/River Cities Night Out dot com Ford Fusion fielded by GSR Racing and team owner Nancy Cano in Saturday night's race.
Like so many of the modern day drivers across the country, Gannis' great American racing began at an early age. She was all of ten years old when she began racing quarter midgets at a local dirt track. Two years later she elevated her status to Bandolero cars where, during the 2003 season, she won the Arizona State Championship. She also had some successful runs in Legend Cars during 2005. Gannis' racing progression, at age 16, eventually led her to driving Super Late Models where she scored a series of top ten finishes at Tucson Raceway Park, the Bullring in Las Vegas and the Irwindale Speedway in southern California. She also found room in her schedule to successfully graduate from the Lyn St James Driving Academy.
However it was the 2010 season where Cassie Gannis really scored a golden opportunity for her budding racing career. She was one of thirty drivers who were selected to compete in NASCAR's Drive For Diversity Combine held in Charlotte-North Carolina. Gannis' performance in this program was so impressive it earned her a spot in the program's reality television show, "Changing Lanes", that was aired nationally on the BET Network.
As impressive as her accomplishments are on the track, there are aspects to Cassie Gannis' off track world that are equally impressive. That's especially true in the area of motivational speaking. In recent years Gannis' has taken on the important role of being a spokesperson for teen driving safety issues and has eagerly participated in special events such as the Boys and Girls Club of Arizona Safety Days, as well as AAA of Southern California safety events and CHP Designated Driver programs. She's also a strong advocate of supporting the men and women of the armed forces and was a guest speaker at the 101 Days Of Summer Military Tour, a safety event presentation held at military bases in Arizona and California.
Gannis finds a way to fit these motivational speaking engagements into her schedule at the communities where she races at. Alarmed by national statistics regarding injuries and fatalities caused by the mixture of driving and using cell phones, Gannis makes it a point to speak before high school students every chance she gets. During these talks, she asks the students to make a pledge with her which goes as follows:
"Never drink or use drugs while driving.
Never talk on cell phones while driving.
Never apply make up while driving.
Always use your turn signals.
NEVER EVER text message while driving.
Believe driving is a privilege and we should all use common sense.
Cars can be two ton weapons and should be handled with respect."
Those are very powerful words from an individual who passionately believes in the message from those words.
Again, you can meet this outstanding young lady during a racing meet and greet at Jake's Bar and Grill on Thursday from 6 to 9 pm. Make sure you wish here a happy birthday, she turned 21 years old this past April 7th.
Next, watch this young race driver during the Toyota/Napa Auto Parts 150, presented by Gene Price Motorsports, at the Havasu 95 Speedway this Saturday night as she launches the next phase of her great American racing dream.