RIDGEFIELD, Conn. – Fresh off a solid podium finish in his Super Late Model at SpeedFest 2013 in Cordele, Ga., Scott Heckert is preparing for the next stage in his racing career.
Heckert, 19, is partnering with B.J. McLeod Motorsports to run the entire NASCAR K&N Pro Series East tour in 2013. Though the Ridgefield, Connecticut native will be a rookie in the series, Heckert believes that his team will turn some heads during the season.
“I’m really excited because I think we are ready for the next step in the racing world,” said Heckert. “Running the East Series with a great team, B.J. McLeod Motorsports, will help a lot. I think we will do really well this season. “
Heckert has gained experience the last few seasons racing Super Late Models across the United States. While the machines are super fast, they are extremely light compared to the NASCAR-style machines he is preparing to drive.
Learning a new style of racecar will be a challenge, but it’s one that Heckert is ready to tackle.
“The sheer weight of the car will be the biggest difference for me,” said Heckert. “The cars have similar amounts of horsepower and similar tires, so the weight is the issue. I will have to learn how the weight affects the car and setups. With the extra weight, you have to be more aware of how you are treating the car and tires. I would think that you have to conserve a little more, and be gentle in the early stages of the event. “
Heckert continues to climb the racing ladder with the many of the same faces he has seen for years. Heckert has competed against many current drivers on the East Series.
“It has been pretty to cool to move through the ranks with pretty much the same group of guys,” said Heckert. “I believe that this class of young racers is one of the better ones in recent memory. I have raced against these same guys in Super Late Models and to be able to keep doing that is really a lot of fun.”
The K&N Pro Series East will visit a variety of different tracks this season. The season opens with a special non-points event at Daytona before officially getting underway at Bristol Motor Speedway in March.
“I am very excited about the first race on the schedule being Bristol. It will be fun to have a joint weekend with the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series guys,” said Heckert. “All the companion events will be fun because places like Richmond, Dover and New Hampshire are places you grew up seeing on TV, but it will also be really cool to go to Bowman Gray and Five Flags. The bigger tracks will take some getting used to, since the speeds are a little higher. “
Heckert will utilize the knowledge of veteran short track racer and current NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular BJ McLeod and his development program based in Florida during the 2013 season. Heckert has made a name for himself in the Late Model ranks as a part of the McLeod program and will continue his progress with the same crew that he has been working with for several seasons.
“Learning from B.J. has really helped me progress faster then I would’ve somewhere else,” said Heckert. “He’s a wealth of knowledge when it comes to NASCAR racing and I’m excited to make the next step with him.”