One of the more interesting stories in this weekend’s ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race at Talladega Superspeedway, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 200, comes in the form of series rookie Tyler Audie.
Audie – whose name is only one letter away from the German car manufacturer – has a different goal he’s looking to achieve beyond the racetrack in the No. 12 Audie Expo-NP Properties Toyota
The series rookie has been accepted to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa with a Presidential scholarship. That means the Orlando, Fla. resident will have full out-of-state tuition covered as he pursues a degree in Aerospace Engineering from the College of Engineering.
“Nothing’s really set in stone, but I’d like to fly planes in the Navy,” Audie said, via a series release.
“My cousin on my mom’s side is an Army pilot and flies the newer version of the Black Hawk helicopter. My dad also flies…licensed for single engine airplanes. I’ve always enjoyed it.”
Per the release, Audie will soon graduate from Lake Highland Preparatory School with an overall grade point average of 3.7 and an ACT score of 32.
His racing career has followed the traditional path of Bandoleros, Legends Cars, Pro Late Models and Super Late Models before moving into ARCA.
Audie will do a meet and greet at the University of Alabama this afternoon from 12 to 4 p.m.
“A huge blessing for us there,” Tomac told host Mike Tirico during a “Lunch Talk Live” interview (click on the video above) in which he also joked about becoming a pro at busting off diaper changes. “That was one good blessing for us as we had our daughter on a Sunday, that would have been on a travel day coming back from the race in Las Vegas.
“That was probably the only positive out of all this mess was being able to be there for the birth.”
The elevation could favor Tomac, who was born and lives in Colorado and is accustomed to riding and training at altitude, which is a departure for many Supercross riders (many of whom hail from California and Florida).
“That’s going to be the test for us,” said the Kawasaki rider, who five of the first 10 races this season. “We’re at elevation in Salt Lake, so when you’re on a motorcycle, you have a little bit of a loss of power. That’s just what happens when you come up in elevation. And a lot of guys train at sea level, and we’re at 4,000 to 5,000 feet, so cardio-wise, we’ll be pushed to the limit.
“Most of our races are Saturday nights and back to back weeks, but this go around it’s Sunday and Wednesday, so recovery is going to be key.”
“Most of us we can rely on our past riding pretty well,” Tomac said. “The question is if you can go the distance. That’s what a lot of guys have to train on is going the distance. We go 20 minutes plus a lap. That’s what you’ve got to keep sharp is your general muscles. Within two to three days, your brain starts warming up more if you take a few weeks off the motorcycle.”
Here is the schedule and TV information for the rest of the season:
Sunday, May 31 (3-4 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4-6 p.m. ET, NBC);
Wednesday, June 3 ( 10:00 pm – 1:00 am ET, NBCSN);
Sunday, June 7 (5-8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
Wednesday, June 10 (7–10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
Sunday, June 14 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
Wednesday, June 17 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
Sunday, June 21 (3-4:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. ET, NBC).