Nashville, TN (March 10, 2010) … Veteran NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Sterling Marlin has signed Puerto Rican Bryan Ortiz to a driver development deal for the 2010 season. Marlin, the 1994 and 1995 winner of the Daytona 500, formed a new race team, BD Racing with Sterling Marlin, and will compete in the Sunoco National Tour (previously known as the ASA Late Model Challenge Series) with Ortiz.
Marlin, a three-time track Champion at Nashville Speedway USA and winner of eleven poles and ten victories in his 748 career NASCAR Sprint Cup starts, tested the 21-year old Ortiz at the Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tennessee in November and liked what he saw.
“Bryan (Ortiz) did a great job in our test at the Fairgrounds,” Marlin stated. “He has tremendous talent and I was impressed with his ability to communicate about the car based on his engineering knowledge. I see a very bright future for this young man.”
Ortiz began his quest for speed at age five as a skilled snow skier and aptly handled the family boat by age eight. At fourteen, Ortiz became a member of the “Puerto Rico Power Squadron”, a participating group in the Europe-based Federation of International Motor Boats.
In 2002, Ortiz made the transition to kart racing, capturing the Yamaha Junior Karting Championship and Rookie of the Year. One year later, he won the Tag Light Karting Championship, was named Rookie of the Year, and placed second in his first Renault Formula Championship. Ortiz captured the Formula Renault Championship in ’04 and ’05, then moved to the Rolex Grand Am and Koni Challenge Series earning several honors in the past several seasons.
“I’m very thankful to Sterling Marlin for the opportunity that he has given me,” Ortiz commented. “With his guidance and direction, I look forward to competing in the Sunoco National Tour.”
BD Racing with Sterling Marling is teaming with High Performance Motorsports to build and field 2010 Chevrolet Camaros for Ortiz. High Performance Motorsports was established in 2009 after previously being known as R.V. Performance. Since the ASA Late Model Series’ inception in 2003, High Performance Motorsports has enlisted such drivers as 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year, Landon Cassill, as well as former winner in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and 2005 ASA Late Model Series Challenge Division (now Sunoco National Tour) Champion, Stephen Leicht. In previous seasons, 2008 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion, Johnny Benson Jr., has steered a High Performance Motorsports entry in the ASA Late Model Series.
Ortiz plans to compete in all ten of the Sunoco National Tour events in 2010. The first scheduled race is March 27th at the New Smyrna Speedway in Florida.