Wheatland, Missouri (June 23, 2020) - Las Cruces New Mexico native Garrett Alberson is the latest driver to announce intentions on competing for the 2020 Lucas Oil MLRA Rookie of the Year award, presented by Sunoco Race Fuels. Alberson will campaign as part of a two car team for car owners Ken & Beth Roberts, alongside of fellow MLRA Rookie contender Jeremiah Hurst.
The thirty-one-year-old Alberson has spent the past two season behind the scenes, building on experience while learning from the some of the best in the industry as crew chief on the Black Diamond house car driven by Earl Person Jr. At the end of last season he made the decisions to step away, and pursue his passion of driving super late models. "I told Ronnie Stuckey close to the end of last season that my plan was to leave his team and try to focus on driving again. At the end of last-year I started looking around for somewhere to land and there just wasn't a whole lot going on," stated Alberson.
With time running out on landing a spot for the 2020 season, he decided to make one last phone call and follow up on earlier conversations with Ken Roberts. "Ken had tried to help me land a deal with another team this off season, but unfortunately it just never materialized. When that happened Ken kind of knew where I was at and what I was hoping to do, so just a couple of weeks ago I ended up calling him because I knew him and his guys had mentioned the possibility of doing two cars."
"I was trying to be easy on them because I know how difficult a two car deal can be. He suggested it and I though it sounded like a pretty cool opportunity. To actually race last weekend was a little bit of a surprise. We went up there just planning to ride along with them, but the team decided to get the car ready so all we had to do was swap seats and get some shocks ready, so it worked out pretty well."
|Garrett Alberson (#59)-- FastTrack Photos|
Alberson's first full season of driving a super late model came in 2011 in his home state of New Mexico, where he racked up numerous feature wins to go along with track and regional championships. Looking to develop his career he moved to Louisiana in 2014 and continued his successful journey, adding more wins and a 2017 runner-up finish in the COMP Cams Super Dirt Series standings, before finding himself out of a ride when the Childress Racing team abruptly closed their doors.
"Whenever the Childress team shut down in 2017 there wasn't a really good immediate option to drive. Then the team came available with Ronnie and the house car deal with Earl, and it just seemed like a really good way to get a chance to be around really good experience with Earl and just learn and pick up on things like how a veteran kind of conducts himself and how he goes about racing."
"That first year touring especially, I felt like I learned a whole lot and gained a lot of good info and contacts, but that second year it got to the point where I felt like I wasn't gaining as much as I was losing by sitting outside of the car," noted Alberson. "My passion in the sport is definitely in driving, and I'm not where I need to be yet, as far as experience and stuff like that, but I think I'm going in a good direction if I can stay after it."
His time spent behind the scenes over the past couple of seasons has given him an opportunity to see things from a broader perspective which he feels will benefit him now when he gets behind the seat of the Roberts Motorsports Clements powered Black Diamond Chassis.
"I feel like I can make better decisions now as far as anticipating the track. I've got to be around so many different tracks and track conditions than I ever had before and I feel like it helps me now to be able to read the tracks better."
With the opening MLRA swing of the year in the rear view, in which he raced his way into all three main events, Alberson's focus is now on finding more consistency. "I think the first weekend showed we weren't where we need to be on preparations and we didn't have as good of game plan as we needed. If we can progress and get everything going and organized I think both of us have a shot at winning some races. We've got good cars and good motors and good people around us, so I don't see why we shouldn't be able to go it."
Alberson joins a strong contingent of drivers who will vie for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors, including his teammate Jeremiah Hurst, Justin Duty, Jeremy Conaway, Tony Toste, and Brennon Willard.
The Lucas Oil MLRA is back in action this Wednesday night at the Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, MO before a return visit to the Outlaw Motor Speedway in Oktaha, OK on Thursday night. Action will conclude with a Friday-Saturday double header at the Salina High Banks Speedway in Pryor Creek, OK.
Roberts Motorsports Marketing Partners: Black Diamond Race Cars, Bader Construction, Capri College, Dirty Slots Slot Cars, Lucas Oil, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Preston Telephone Company, Roemer Machine & Welding, Sling Studio
Team Members: Ken & Beth Roberts (car owners), Dani Alberson, Dude, Tharp, Jeremiah Hurst