Ryan Gifford’s grandfather was a drag racer. But when it came time for Gifford to choose a path, he opted for straightaways that had a turn at the end.

It seems like it was a pretty good decision. The 21-year-old Gifford has finished in the top five in two of the first three races of the season on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and headed into the Made In America Whelen 200/UNOH Performance 200 at Martinsville Speedway on June 6, he is fifth in the series points standings.

“My grandfather used to be a drag racer. I had a big interest in either racing junior dragsters or go karts. There was a go-kart track about 15 minutes down the road from us,” said the Winchester, TN driver, who was eight years old at the time. “He took me down there and I fell in love with it. “

He conquered the World Karting Association and moved to dirt late models in 2005 and immediately started winning races. He caught the eye of Sprint Cup team owner Richard Childress and signed on as a developmental driver for RCR in 2009. He remains an RCR driver, but is also a member of the 2010 Drive For Diversity Class, racing for Revolution Racing. Read the rest…

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