Press Release Courtesy of Vincent Delforge, Special to Kickin’ the Tires
Sacramento, CA – Co-owners Mike Naake and Tom Klauer announce a strong racing program this year for Naake-Klauer Motorsports (NKM) with entries in ARCA Menards West Series, Spears SRL Spears Pro Late Model series, Trans Am Western TA2 championship series, as well as in multiple local races. The off-season was particularly eventful with the team moving all late model, ARCA and TA2 racing assets into a new facility in Sacramento that is three times larger than their previous racing shop in Roseville.
Below are the details of the 2023 NKM programs by series:
ARCA Menards West Series
Bradley Erickson, age 16, from Phoenix, Arizona will drive full-time in the ARCA Menards West Series with his sights set on the Bounty Rookie of the Year award or even the possibility of a championship. Erickson will be driving the NKM #88 Ford Fusion with Tony Caputo returning as his spotter and crew chief.
Mike Naake has found success with the No. 88 with other drivers including David Gilliland and hopes to continue to build upon that success in 2023. Erickson made his ARCA West debut last year in the NKM No. 84 Ford Fusion.
Erickson has shown lot of speed and control, obtaining two top-10s in four races including a P7 finish in the final in Phoenix where not only the ARCA West series regulars were in attendance, but also included many national ARCA series drivers.
Joey Iest, age 20, after a 51-Fifty Junior Late Model Championship at Madera Speedway with NKM in 2019, numerous Pro Late Model races and two full ARCA West seasons with NKM including a win at Colorado National Speedway, is expected to return in a second car with the team later in the season, but the program is still to be determined.
NKM has also established a logistical partnership with Canadian veteran David Smith to help him through his first full-time ARCA West season, as well as preparing the No. 68 car for road races with Rodd Kneeland.
On the technical side, NKM has also benefitted from support they have received from David Gilliland (formerly David Gilliland Racing), former driver and longtime friend of Mike Naake. The team has also acquired a new chassis from DGR to complete its fleet of ARCA cars.
The 14-race ARCA West Series season will begin in just over two weeks on March 10 at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. the season finale will also be held at Phoenix Raceway on November 3.
SRL SPEARS Pro Late Model Series presented by Sigma Performance Services
Bradley Erickson will also be returning in the NKM #54 Ford Mustang Pro Late Model. Erickson joined NKM in the #22 Pro Late Model in 2021 after winning the 51-Fifty Junior Late Model championship in 2020 at Madera Speedway. Erickson then transitioned to the NKM No. 54 Pro Late Model in 2022. Erickson had a successful 2022 season with the 54 car, taking numerous poles and top-5 finishes in the Spears Pro Late Model series including his first win at Kern when he led the entire 54 lap race to win $5,400. Tony Caputo will return as Erickson’s spotter and crew chief.
Holly Clark, age 16, from Colorado Springs, Colorado will be returning in the #17 NKM prepared Ford with Mike Naake returning as her spotter and crew chief. Clark started competing in quarter midgets at the age of 5. She has been climbing the ranks and joined NKM in 2021. Clark entered most of the SPEARS Pro Late Model events in 2022 and qualified on the pole at the fall race at Kern County Raceway. Clark also races a modified prepared by her father Steve and has been logging a lot of time behind the wheel.
Kasey Kleyn, age 14, from Quincy, Washington will be returning in the NKM #88 Ford Mustang. Kleyn, who was already driving Pro Late and Super Late Model last year on the tracks of Idaho, Oregon and Washington as well with NKM in 2022 in the Jr Pro Late at Madera, finishing third in the championship. He also won a race at the Las Vegas Bullring for the team. Kleyn will also run several races with NKM in Spears Pro Late model.
Jeffrey Erickson, age 13, from Phoenix, Arizona, participated in a handful of events in 2022 for NKM in the Junior late model series at Madera and Roseville, but will have a more robust calendar for 2023. The main objective for Jeffrey will be his transition to the Spears Pro Late Model series once he turns 14 in May. Erickson will drive the NKM prepared No. 22 car previously driven by his older brother.
The Spears Pro Late Model series began on January 21 at Irwindale Speedway and was cut short due to local sound curfew requirements. Bradley Erickson finished seventh, Kasey Kleyn eighth and Holly Clark P24 after a last lap incident coming to the checkered flag.
The next scheduled event will be at Kern County Raceway Park on March 25. NKM also plans to participate with its drivers, depending on the possibilities of the schedule, in local California Pro Late Model races at All-American Speedway in Roseville, Madera Speedway and Irwindale Speedway.
Trans Am Western Championship presented by Pirelli
NKM will participate with three cars in the TA2 class of the Trans Am Western Championship with road course specialists Tom Klauer, Bobby Hodges and Tim Lynn. This championship takes place only on road courses such as Sonoma Raceway (CA), Portland International Raceway (OR) or COTA in Austin, TX. NKM will use Ford Mustangs which are always spectacular to see in action.
Tom Klauer, from Reno, NV, co-owner of the team and former West Series driver will drive the No. 25 Ford Mustang in a TA2 class he has been racing since 2018 with 17 top-10s in 19 races.
Bobby Hodges of Carson City, NV will drive Mustang No. 88. On his CV we can see that he participated in countless Late Model races between 2008 and 2021, most often with NKM. Since last year he has been driving in select TA2 races where he obtained several top-fives. Demonstrating a strong potential, he who was not familiar with road tracks until then.
New to NKM this year, Tim Lynn of Kentfield, CA, will drive the Roof Options Racing No. 17. Lynn has three wins and finished second in points in 2021. He has a lot of experience on this type of car as he has participated in this championship since 2018 with many Top-Five and Top-10 finishes.
The seven-race season kicks off the weekend of March 3-5 at Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, CA.
NKM also plans to participate, depending on the schedule, in one or another TA2 race on the East Coast tracks.
TA2 Ford Mustang cars will carry the logos of Garage Row Racing, the sister facility of Naake-Klauer Motorsports.
About Naake-Klauer Motorsports
Since 2019 Naake-Klauer Motorsports (NKM) is well known for helping young racers learn to win on and off the track. NKM offers a ladder of progression that begins with the Jr Late Model Series and advances to the Pro Late Model Series, SRL Southwest Tour super late models, and the ARCA Menard’s West Series. NKM also provides opportunities in the Trans-AM TA2 Series for drivers that want to expand their circle track skills to include road racing.
No matter which of these series we run, our drivers will have the same group of mentors, coaches, and crew chiefs surrounding them. This allows the driver to focus on learning each new car and track and not have to start the process over with a different team at each step along the way. At NKM we believe this provides a better racing experience and a more seamless progression for the driver.
For more information about the 2023 season of about joining the driver advancement program with NKM please contact Mike Naake by telephone 916-212-7223 or email at [email protected].
AT NAAKE-KLAUER MOTORSPORTS, OUR PASSION DRIVES OUR SUCCESS!
About Garage Row Racing
Garage Row Racing, based in Thermal, CA, is Naake-Klauer Motorsports’ sister facility. Tom Klauer is a highly successful businessman and a avid racer. Tom created Garage Row Racing to help members fully enjoy the sport with friends, family as well as clients. Garage Row Racing is a private club for garaging your cars at the Thermal Club.
You can store and race up to four cars and have direct access to the track. Garage Row Racing is designed by race car drivers for race car drivers. The Thermal Club is Located near the Palm Springs/Palm Desert area with some of the best golf, dining, and shopping in the nation. Please call 1-760-831-0921 or visit the website at www.garagerowracing.com