13-year-old speedster Kasey “Cash” Kleyn has signed with the Naake-Klauer Motorsports (NKM) Driver Development Roster.
Kleyn will be part of the professional team for the 2022 Madera 51Fifty LTM MavTV Jr. Late Model Series Season, a press release dated Aug. 27 stated. He will be making his debut in the vehicle No. 88 Jr. Late Model on Sept. 18 in race No. 8 of the 51Fifty LTM MavTV televised series at Madera Speedway, located in Madera, Calif.
“We are excited for this opportunity for him,” Kleyn’s mom, Rhonda, said.
NKM offers a ladder of progression that begins with the 51Fifty LTM Jr Late Model Series and advances to the Nut-Up Pro Late Model Series, SRL Super Late Model Series and the ARCA West Series. This allows young racers the opportunity to progress through the different series with the same group of mentors, coaches and crew chiefs around them. They are able to focus more on learning the cars and tracks and not having to build chemistry with new teams at each step along the way, the release states.
For the Jr. Late Model Series, NKM only takes on two drivers. They made an exception for the remainder of the 2021 season to take on Kleyn as a third driver for the final two races.
Signing to this team means that Kleyn now has a full-time crew through the team. The car will also stay in Madera with the new crew instead of the Kleyn family hauling the car back and forth from Quincy to California. The family still plans on traveling to support Kleyn during his races as much as possible.
“The team and I have worked for the past three years to get to this point,” Kleyn said in the press release, “I hope to work my way up to the NASCAR level and working with this team will give me the equipment and knowledge to hopefully get me to that level. We have raced at several different tracks in both the Jr. Late Model Series and Pro Late Model Series and worked with different crew chiefs along the way.
He then added, “I am grateful for all of my crew and crew chiefs to this point. I wouldn’t be here today without each one of them. They have all played a big role in my success, but I’m excited for this next step. Also, I’d like to thank my sponsors and fans. I appreciate your support every step of the way.”