Cassill's Unique Itinerary
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on June 20, 2014 | 4:30 P.M. EST
Landon Cassill is concerned about making his flight after the Nationwide race at Road America to get back for Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Sonoma. (Photo: Getty Images)
SONOMA, Calif. - Landon Cassill’s most exciting race this weekend might not be at the track but on the way to the airport.
Cassill is attempting to run both Saturday’s Nationwide race at Road America and Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Sonoma, but there’s a twist.
He’s flying commercial.
Cassill couldn’t find anyone hop-scotching between those races on a private plane, so he’ll go through security, wait for his zone to be called to board and hope his coach seat isn’t surrounded by a rowdy child.
Cassill enters the Nationwide race 11th in points - he’s not scoring points in the Cup series - so why not just run the Nationwide race and let another driver race his Cup car?
“You’ve seen everything I’ve gone through in the last five years,’’ Cassill said Friday at Sonoma Raceway. “It was really hard to not run a Cup race. It’s worth the work to be here on Sunday.’’
It is quite a lot of work. Here’s Cassill’s schedule:
He drove his Cup car in Friday’s first practice session at Sonoma before leaving the track and heading to the airport in San Francisco. Timmy Hill will drive Cassill’s car in Friday’s second practice session and Saturday’s qualifying.
With the time change - he’ll lose two hours going from San Francisco to Chicago's O'Hare Airport - Cassill land at 1:33 a.m. CT His mom and sister will meet him and they’ll drive more than two hours to the hotel near the Wisconsin track.
Saturday, Cassill will qualify his car and then race it in the Nationwide event at Road America.
Then comes the hard part.
Cassill knows he’ll need to be checked in at the airport about an hour before his flight, scheduled to leave at 8:17 pm. CT Based on his estimation of when the Nationwide race will end - and knowing it’s a 2-hour, 15-minute drive from Road America to the airport in Chicago - he knows there’s a chance he could miss his flight. If he makes it, he'll arrive in San Francisco at 11:03 p.m. PT
He’s hoping he can park his car near the garage to leave immediately and is seeking a police escort to help get through race traffic.
What happens if he misses his return flight to San Francisco?
“My mom texted me this morning and asked me that question, and I just said that I’m not planning on missing the flight,’’ he said.
He has a backup plan. Sort of.
“I was thinking getting a wad of cash and seeing if I could buy somebody’s seat (on another flight),’’ he said. “I figure I could beg and plead my way.’’
Travel will be as tough as the tracks for Cassill.
“The toughest part is that it’s two road courses,’’ Cassill said. “If it were Iowa and Pocono, it wouldn’t be a problem. I’d be able to strap right in. But the two tracks are so different. The road courses, we don’t run them very often, and I’m not a road course specialist by any means. It is a job for me to do these road courses let alone be bouncing between the two. I’m going to have to be extra smart.’’
And maybe ready to run in the airport.
Motor Racing Network – "The Voice of NASCAR" – will have live coverage of the Nationwide Series from Road America. Air time for Saturday’s Gardner Denver 200 is 2:15 p.m. (ET), with live streaming at MRN.com.