Dave Moody Joins Racing America Snowball Derby Broadcast Team
Nov 29, 2022
Andrew Grady is 'stupid excited.'
In fact, he has probably run out of superlatives to discuss the last-minute opportunity he has received this week to run the Snowflake 100 with Mike Darne Racing, making both his Five Flags Speedway and Straight Rail Late Model debut in the process.
The second-generation short tracker, son of Tony Grady, got the call when Parker Eatmon was unable to make the trip and now there is a lot to learn in a small amount of time for the CARS Late Model Stock Tour regular.
"Never seen the place, never been in a Pro Late Model either," Grady said. "Everyone says they're like Limited (Late Models) but with way better turn so if they are, we should be decent. I just want to get in there, get experience, and get into the show, move forward and get out of there with a good run."
Naturally, the key for Grady and Darne will be making the show, which means getting comfortable enough in practice on Thursday to be able to mock up at some point in the hopes of making the show on qualifying and not relying on a last chance race.
"We'll mock up at some point once I get comfortable but everyone I talk to says that place is a different animal," Grady said. "I'm looking forward to it. It's definitely going to be a challenge. It's one of the biggest things I've done in my career.
"If we go down there and run well, who knows what could happen. I'm just excited for the opportunity. My family, Mike Darne, all these guys put their faith in me, and I want to go down there and do the job for them."
Grady, who has entered prestigious races at Martinsville, North Wilkesboro and Southern National, has long dreamed of even just being a part of December at Five Flags Speedway in some capacity.
"It's amazing," Grady said. "It's been on my bucket list since I was a kid. To be able to go down there with an amazing team that's made the show before, run well, it's huge. Maybe make a name for myself."
Of course, Grady has already made a name for himself this season, famously punching Davey Callian at Martinsville following a crash in a heat race that determined the starting lineup for the Valleystar Credit Union 300.
He hopes to make a name for himself for getting back in Victory Lane too.
"I have a couple of buddies I plan to start texting," Grady said. "iRacing is going to be a huge tool. I've already found some in-cars on YouTube and see how much these guys turn the wheel because with the rack and pinion, it's completely different from what I've been running.
"It's definitely going to be different but I am really excited for this opportunity. I'm excited to go down there. Period."
On a positive, Grady has made most of his starts at Southern National, a big fast track that has become increasingly abrasive. It's something the 2018 track champion should feel comfortable with at Pensacola this week.
"Everywhere we go, I'm pretty good at saving tire," Grady said. "I know that place eats tire from what I hear. Here at Southern National, the grip changed a lot from lap 1 to 250. I'm going to lean on my experience running these low grip race tracks like Langley -- that place taught me a lot when we went there. It made me a better race car driver, hands down, because that place is so weird. I love it though. I love that kind of racing."
All told, he's just happy to have this shot.
"I'm just really really happy to be able to race there -- it's a dream come true."