Coleman Set For Debut

Every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver had to start his first race somewhere. Jeff Gordon debuted at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Bobby Labonte did it at Dover International Speedway. His brother Terry started at Darlington Raceway. Charlotte Motor Speedway was the site of Jimmie Johnson’s first Sprint Cup Series start. And Tony Stewart’s first race with the big boys came at Daytona International Speedway.

For 20-year old Brad Coleman, historic Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, the 2-mile D-shaped oval nestled in the scenic Irish Hills region, will serve as the setting for his Sprint Cup Series debut.

“It’s my lifetime dream coming true," Coleman said. "I’m just really excited to do my first race for Hall of Fame Racing, DLP and Toyota. After the year of testing I’ve done, I feel prepared and I’m ready to get in the car.”

Coleman, who will attempt to qualify the No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota into Sunday’s 3M Performance 400 at MIS, has built a solid resume as he’s risen through the racing ranks. In 43 Nationwide Series starts, he’s scored three top-five and seven top-10 finishes. He won his first career Nationwide Series pole in April 2007 at Talladega Superspeedway and scored his best Nationwide Series result in June 2007, when he finished second at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

In addition to his experience in the Nationwide Series, the Houston-born Coleman also has nine starts in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, with two top-five finishes at MIS among his eight total top-fives, three poles and a win at Kentucky Speedway, all of which came in 2006. In 2005, Coleman competed in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series and finished fourth in the track championship at Ace Speedway in Altamahaw, N.C., while earning the most points of any rookie driver that season.

At age 16, Coleman teamed with fellow 16-year-olds Colin Braun and Adrian Carrio to finish seventh in the GT class at the prestigious 24 Hours At Daytona on the 3.56-mile, 12-turn road course at Daytona International Speedway. The trio was the youngest ever to compete in the endurance classic.

Coleman’s racing career began when he was 12 after being discovered at a Houston-area indoor karting center by fellow Texan Price Cobb, the veteran racer who won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1990 with co-drivers John Nielson and Martin Brundle. While working as a crew member on Cobb’s Toyota Atlantic Series team, Coleman continued to compete in karts. He advanced through open wheel’s Fran-Am 1600 Series and the Star Mazda Championship Series before turning his attention to stock cars in 2005.

Everyone starts somewhere. For Coleman, it was a Houston-area karting center. And the latest phase is about to begin at Michigan.

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