Landon Cassill Determined for Potent Finish in 2015

Landon Cassill feels optimistic about his No. 01 JD Motorsports Chevy team.

In three seasons with the JD Motorsports team, Landon Cassill has been a part of an organization that’s trending upwards with solid results in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.

Driving for a multicar team that’s focused on strong performances and finishes as a unit rather than as individual components, the 26-year-old Cedar Rapids, IA native has seen this season as one that’s filled with plentifully good opportunities for a bright future and immediate solid results.

Cassill has the unique perspective of being one of the few full-time NASCAR XFINITY Series competitors who also races nearly every event in the Sprint Cup division.  This young gun racer can appreciate the challenges of both levels of NASCAR with competing against the very best weekend warriors battling at the asphalt arenas.

A few weeks ago, Cassill reflected on his No. 01 JD Motorsports Chevy Camaro team’s season, pointing out how a recent crew chief change could be a catalyst for a strong finish in 2015.

Landon Cassill and his No. 01 team ready for the battle ahead at the asphalt arena. (Photo Courtesy of JD Motorsports)

Landon Cassill and his No. 01 team ready for the battle ahead at the asphalt arena. (Photo Courtesy of JD Motorsports)

“We’ve got a new crew chief, Wayne Setterington, and I’ve worked with him before,” Cassill said prior to the XFINITY Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  “He’s really ambitious, young, and smart.  I feel like he’s doing a good job of step by step, getting our cars where they need to be so that we can run consistently in the top-15.”

In Cassill’s seven races with Setterington, the No. 01 team has scored two top-20 finishes, including 17th at Charlotte in May and 16th at Kentucky last month.  All told, the building blocks for a strong, solid No. 01 team are there and as for the team as a three car unit, they’re making steady strides towards becoming a consistent force for strong finishes during every race weekend.

Working with teammates in Ross Chastain and Harrison Rhodes this year, Cassill sang praises about them, as each have scored top-10 runs respectively at Iowa and Daytona in recent times.

“I like them both for sure,” Cassill observed.  “Harrison’s a good driver who’s constantly getting better and Ross is especially fun to work with as he’s good and aggressive.  We’ve got a good teammate competition going on.”

That teammate competition is the healthy kind that can only motivate a budding organization like JD Motorsports to go to the next level.  Much like great sports teams like the Chicago Blackhawks or the Boston Celtics of yesteryear, teammates who can elevate each other’s competitiveness can be that much needed ingredient to bring the big picture into the forefront as a formidable contender against the best in NASCAR.

One way that Cassill has worked on being a more competitive and stronger racer in the NASCAR XFINITY Series is through his commitment to physical fitness.  On June 21st, he competed in an Ironman triathlon competition at Montreal.  Like his Chevy colleague Jimmie Johnson, this athletic racer also cycles and runs on a regular basis.

When asked if he finds those activities to be just as enjoyable as racing in terms of pushing himself to the limits for long term success with not only his passion but with his health, he reflected on his response with a smile, realizing the joys that it brings to him for his outlook with life and racing.

Red's the color Landon's Chevy rocks and rolls. (Photo Courtesy of JD Motorsports)

Red’s the color Landon’s Chevy rocks and rolls. (Photo Courtesy of JD Motorsports)

“I have a lot of fun doing it as it’s a competition and race when I do compete,” Cassill observed.  “I enjoy it and I enjoy the training aspect.  I think it helps me behind the wheel in a racecar.  The endurance is extremely valuable and I’m definitely hooked on the triathlon and I love the sport.

Remarkably, Cassill, pointed out how he’ll compete in another Ironman triathlon that takes place on August 30th in Austria.  Similar to the event in Montreal, he will complete 70.3 miles in total distance of this race which includes a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride, and 13.1-mile run.

“I’m looking forward to going to the World Championships in Austria in August,” Cassill said.  “It’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s during a Cup off weekend so it should be a lot of fun.”

Speaking of fun, Cassill is perhaps known for his great sense of humor.  Over the years, he’s done an impersonation of Juan Pablo Montoya during a NASCAR show in 2012 and he’s laid down his classic thoughts on Twitter.   Needless to say, if NASCAR had a yearbook that gave superlatives to him and your peers on the track, he opined a unique but perhaps genuine suggestion.

“A yearbook? I don’t know,” Cassill said with a bit of laughter.  “I have no idea.  I think that would be up for them to decide and I might be afraid to see what they say.  I couldn’t even tell you but hopefully, ‘The Athlete.’  I know I’m kind of the funny guy on Twitter.

The internet’s a lot of fun and I think that you can have an interesting sense of humor behind the computer and on the internet.  It’s fun to make people laugh and to inspire people to be fit.  My sponsor, Snap Fitness, is really supportive of everything that I do and it’s cool to see fans that are into it.”

It's all about making progress and gains for this No. 01 team. (Photo Courtesy of JD Motorsports)

It’s all about making progress and gains for this No. 01 team. (Photo Courtesy of JD Motorsports)

Simply put, Cassill knows no limits.  Following the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte this past May, he ran 14 miles from the 1.5-mile track at Concord, NC in the wee hours of the morning to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in nearby downtown Charlotte.  His focus and attention to detail is quite impressive, as he is committed to being the best driver to his No. 01 brigade and teammate to Harrison Rhodes and Ross Chastain of JD Motorsports.

A driven and focused NASCAR competitor on and off the track, Cassill became a father when his wife Katilan welcomed their son Beckham Bear Alan into the world on May 27th.  To say the least, 2015 has been quite a blessing for the Cassill family.

On the track, Cassill has an an optimistic outlook with the remainder of this season when it comes to his No. 01 team.

“If we can keep this thing in the top-15 in points, it’ll be a good season,” Cassill said.  “We’re a good team and we’ve been together for a couple of years now.  I’d like to see us get a couple of top-10 finishes.”

Focus, dedication, and swagger is what Cassill has when he’s behind the wheel.  Standing by him is a hungry and determined team whose commitment to excellence is unwavering, battling against the odds and often standing tall when the battle on the track is done after a hard day’s work.  Look for Cassill and company to keep knocking on the door and perhaps score more than just a couple of top-10 finishes from here on out.

Rob Tiongson

Rob Tiongson is a 30-something motorsports journalist who enjoys sports like baseball, basketball, football, soccer, track and field and hockey. A Boston native turned Austinite, racing was the first sport that caught his eyes.

From interviews to retrospective articles, if it's about anything with an engine and four wheels, it'll be here on TPF, by him or by one of his talented columnists who have a passion for racing.

Currently seeking a sports writing, public relations, or sports marketing career, particularly in motorsports. He enjoys editing and writing articles and features, as well as photography. Moreover, he enjoys time with his family and friends, traveling, cooking, working out and being a fun uncle or "funcle" to his nephew, niece and cat.

Tiongson, a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, pursues his Master of Arts in Digital Communications at St. Bonaventure University. Indeed, while Tiongson is proud to be from Massachusetts, he's just as happy to be a Texan.

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