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MADERA, Ca. – Nick Loden, a 14-year-old aspiring racer from just outside Charlotte, North Carolina, was one of 15 young racers from across the USA and the UK who took part in last month’s Jr. Late Model Driver Development Challenge Camp at Madera Speedway in Madera, California.  

12 finalists and 3 alternates from as far away as England spent two days at Madera getting seat time and training in a 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model under the guidance of the Naake-Klauer team and several other top motorsports insiders,  and the aspiring young racers also participated in workshops covering a variety of on and off-track topics. 

The camp was the result of the combined efforts of the speedway, Race Face Brand Development and Naake-Klauer Motorsports as well as main sponsors I Pull-You Pull and the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.  

As an alternate, Loden was able to get 30 laps of track time in a Naake-Klauer Motorsports prepared machine and received excellent feedback from the instructors after his run.  He thoroughly enjoyed his experience at the camp, making many friends he will now have for a lifetime as well as learning a lot about what it takes to be successful in motorsports on and off the track. 

“I am really thankful to everyone who organized the camp for the opportunity,” Loden said. “I definitely learned a lot about marketing and about the business side of the sport. Everyone who was there working on the cars, talking to us in the seminars and taking part in the camp was very nice to us and supportive of all of us racers who were involved.”  

Loden is competing this summer with the Professional Racing Association (PRA) in the 602 Super Limited division with his family owned and operated late model.  He has shown top five speed but has been caught up in other drivers’ incidents in a string of bad luck that has him determined to finish strong this coming weekend when the series moves from Caraway Speedway to Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, North Carolina.  

“I’m excited to get to Orange County. It’s a new track for me and I am looking forward to testing my skills there.  I’m told it’s wide enough to run two or even three-wide so it sounds like fun.  I’m still learning about what it takes to win in a late model and we’ve gotten crashed out of the last couple of races so I’m determined to change our luck this weekend and get our team a solid finish at Orange County. We go to Ace Speedway, also here in North Carolina, the following Friday so hopefully everyone will race each other with respect at Orange County so we can all have our cars in good shape to go put on a nice show at Ace the following week.”

A winner of 180 Quarter-Midget races, four USAC National Championships and 8 Battle At The Brickyard events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a career that saw him compete in several different classes, Nick Loden is competing for the first time in full size late model stock cars in 2019 under the direction of his father, multi-time late model race winner and champion Andy Loden. Nick is an honors student and is working toward becoming an Eagle Scout. 

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