Ross White has always been highly regarded as a racer around east Tennessee. But over the past couple of seasons, the Knoxville driver has carved out his own niche in the Dirt Late Model world that has resulted in making him a serious threat to win every time he takes to the track in his Crate Late Model machine.
This past season demonstrated exactly that as the 27-year-old driver compiled the best season of his racing career by scoring six feature wins and a number of podium(top-3) finishes.
“2017 was hands down been our best year yet,” White insisted in an interview with InsideDirtRacing.com. “We’ve been very fortunate and blessed to have a lot of good runs and even had a few surprises thrown our way. We went to Boyd’s there late in the season and that’s a place where we’ve not really run well in the past and had an awesome race car from the time we unloaded and got lucky enough to win the race.”
White’s success was widespread as he won races on multiple tracks throughout the region. In particular, the Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tenn. provided several good memories for the sheet metal fabricator for Bruce Nunnally at Knoxville-based Brucebilt Performance.
“We’ve had really good runs at Bulls Gap all year,” White recalled. “That’s always been my favorite race track because it’s fun and there’s room to race. We just kind of hit on something there earlier in the year and then we built this new car, which has been awesome since Bruce built it and we put it together. We’ve run it 17 times with two DNF’s, but other than that, we haven’t run worse than fourth.”
White believes that his Monday through Friday job aids his weekend racing endeavors.
“I’m exposed to all the racers and I get feedback from everybody,” he pointed out. “And I’m exposed to the distributors. Brad Hall is on the tech side of that and he shares information with me so it’s definitely helped my program being up there.”
White tried to race in the Super Late Model division several years ago but found that there were too many negatives for his family run operation to remain competitive there over the long term. It was at that time when he decided Crate Late Models were the better option for his team.
“We branched out there a few years back and tried to Super race,” White explained. “We had some success but we found that it was getting to be a bit over our budget so we kind of backed up and regrouped. I had been trying for several years to convince my mom and dad that we needed to get a Crate motor because we had done some Steelhead stuff, and even in Steelhead stuff there’s guys who are spending $20,000 and that’s just not logical in my mind. We bought a new motor from GM then took it to Junior Weisgarber and he dyno tested it for me. Other than that, it’s straight out of the box. We put it in the car and we were successful from the get-go. It’s a lot more in our budget and it’s a lot more competitive.”
The driver who has been racing competitively since the age of seven hopes that he can venture a bit further away from home in 2018.
“I would like to travel some more next year if we can budget it. I feel like we run well enough that we could go be competitive at these bigger paying Crate Late Model shows.”