Peter Gibbons has announced that his familiar #1 Gibbons Motorsport Chevrolet will run a number of races in the NASCAR Canadian Tire series in 2009 with teenage driving sensation Chris Raabe of Napanee, Ontario. Peter Gibbons is a past Canadian National Champion and for over 20 years has been at the top of the stock car racing scene in Canada. Gibbons also campaigned on the big tracks in the United States in the NASCAR ARCA and Nationwide series. This past September he announced his retirement from the driverâ€™s seat of his #1 Canadian Tire/Mobile Oil Chevrolet. Gibbons says of his retirement, â€śIt was time to give up driving and concentrate on other business ventures which Denise and I have been operating for the past several years. I feel that it is time for me to bring in some young talent to take over the driving and I want to take this opportunity to mentor someone who I feel has the potential to take our program we started here to the next level.â€ť
Loaded with talent and at just 17 years of age, Chris Raabe has already won Championships at every level since he started go-kart racing when he was just 7 years old. Raabe who this past year established a DIRTcar record for becoming the youngest Mr. DIRT in the 33 year history of DIRT motorsports, also holds the record for the youngest driver to win a DIRT sanctioned feature race at 14 years old and a DIRT sanctioned track championship at only 15 years old. In 2008, Raabe won 3 track championships (Brockville Ontario Speedway, Thunder Alley Speedpark, Rolling Wheels Raceway), plus the Northeast Mr. DIRT pointâ€™s championship, the Lucas Oil Eastern championship, the Lucas Oil annual ALLSTAR Shootout and recorded 22 wins out of 45 features, a win percentage of 49% ! Raabe was so dominant at his local short tracks, there was even a â€śbountyâ€ť placed on him at Thunder Alley Speedpark!
Gibbons Motorsports with headquarters in Stouffville, Ontario and Mooresville, N.C. will bring their front running equipment to the series with them, continuing to run a Chevrolet and motors built by GMS as in the past. â€ś We have the very best of equipment and motors for the series and I am very confident that Chris with some seat time and learning from my experience will adapt from dirt to pavement very quicklyâ€ť, said Peter Gibbons. â€śChris is an excellent student as his 97% grade average in his senior year of high school proves, and we will give him lots of time of testing in order to get him up to speed for the start of the 2009 seasonâ€ť.
Raabe recently was nominated by his high school for an honours scholarship at Queenâ€™s University where he wants to get his degree in mechanical engineering. â€śThis is an opportunity of a lifetime for me and I am honoured that Peter Gibbons would ask me to be his driver. I respect him so much for what he has done over the years of operating his first class race team. Mr. Gibbons is a legend in Canadian racing and I am eager to learn from his experience. We plan on running as many races as we can and hope that we can attract the right sponsors to support our racing program in 2009â€ť. Raabe noted he has maintained the same sponsors on his 01 dirt race car over the past 3 years and has done many appearances and shows with the car, learning all the aspects of life outside the race track as well!
The Gibbons Motorsports/ Chris Raabe Chevrolet is looking for sponsors for the entire 2009 series but will start by running a minimum of 5 NASCAR Canadian Tire series races.