By Kyle Brandt
IRVINGTON, Ala. (April 26, 2014) – For most of the drivers who turn laps at the Mobile International Speedway on Saturday nights, it is not about money or fame—but rather to fulfill a passion for speed and fun. The same rings true for Pensacola’s Jeremy Tassin.
Like most racing drivers, Tassin was born into a racing family, and the thrill of speed and competition was instilled in him before he could walk. The circumstances that led to his first time behind the wheel of a racecar, however; are unique and different from most.
Being different and doing things his own way is a theme that has weighed heavily throughout his racing career.
“My dad raced for years,” said Tassin earlier this week. “What got me into racing was that I was at Mike Moore’s shop and we were working out in his yard and he actually asked me if I wanted to drive an old car that he had – an old Sportsman car – and I didn’t heart him at first.”
“We went back into the shop and I was messing around in there and he asked me why I ignored him when he asked me to drive from him,” he continued. “I looked at him confused because I didn’t know what he was talking about and he asked me again.”
After being asked a second time, and eventually agreeing to drive the car, Tassin had the car pulled from the bushes behind the shop the very same night and running in time to make the first race of the 2006 season. Needless to say, the rest was history.
Racing almost every weekend until he was 18-years-old, Tassin was forced to make major life choices regarding his future like many his age. Electing to forego college at the time, the young man enlisted in the United States Army—but even that couldn’t stop him from enjoying his life-long passion of racing.
“I was in the Army for six years,” he explained. “I even raced off and on while I was in.”
“While I was deployed in Iraq – and because they have internet access set up on base – I got on Racing Junk and they had a Street Stock car for sale. I immediately called my dad, told him about it, transferred the money to their account, and I told him to pick up the car.”
After going on leave halfway through his tour, Tassin returned him for a few weeks and immediately got to work on the car by going straight to Flomaton Speedway to pick up tires. After mounting them and loading everything up, he was racing the next day. Before heading back to Iraq, he would race a total of three times during his short time back in the United States.
Following six years of service in the Army, Tassin would return back home to Florida for good. Now eight years later, he has transitioned to racing on asphalt at Mobile and 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola (Florida).
Starting the 2014 racing season by competing in the Super Stock class, Tassin did the unimaginable halfway through the year. Striking a deal with Brandon Tipton, who races in the Super Truck class at Mobile, Tassin would trade his car for a racing truck.
“To be honest, I don’t know why I did it,” he explained. “I kind of messed up in my mind switching, but I was trying to think long term. The Super Stock class is pretty expensive to run and I didn’t have a lot of money in my motor, and if it were to blow, I wouldn’t have been able to afford to get another one.”
“I ran across the opportunity with Brandon (Tipton) and we kind of did a swap deal and I kind of lost out on it,” he continued.
Fighting the handling of the truck since the deal was completed; Tassin has been all but eliminated from championship contention in both classes. Despite the struggles, however; his passion and determination has not wavered.
Logging laps since, he has been preparing for the Lee Fields Memorial at Mobile—the track’s biggest race of the season that offers major bragging rights to those who win on that special night in late August. Looking further down the road, Tassin also has his sights set on winning during Snowball Derby weekend at 5 Flags Speedway in December. A win in either of the two races would be his first, and couldn’t come on a bigger stage.
With the remainder of the 2014 season being all about having fun and preparing for a breakthrough season next year, Tassin once again did the unthinkable on July 26th. Being out of championship contention, he elected to let his girlfriend, Madison Schneider, drive his truck for the night’s 25-lap feature.
“She had been watching me race all year,” Tassin explained. “I think she has run one Pro Late Model race this year and I kind of felt bad for her. It isn’t right for me to have all the fun in racing and stuff so I figured I would let her drive it.”
Unfortunately, the ill-handling of the new-to-them Super Truck reared its ugly head that night and Schneider wasn’t able to fully compete. Despite the disappointment, however; Tassin was able to share his passion for racing with her and enjoy the unique circumstances that came along with it.
As the 2014 season slowly comes to a close at Alabama’s fastest half-mile, Tassin will continue to turn laps in his No. 13 truck in preparation for a big year in 2015. Despite being eliminated from championship contention, he is still enjoying a life-long passion behind the wheel at Mobile International Speedway.
Who knows what the young man will have up his sleeve next.
Racing fans on the Gulf Coast can catch Jeremy Tassin and the rest of the stars of Mobile International Speedway in action on Saturday night, August 9th at 7pm. With a packed night of racing including five classes in action, it is a night of racing that cannot be missed.
About Mobile International Speedway: Mobile International Speedway is the longest continuously operating sports facility in Mobile County. It was built in 1964 and has presented weekly motorsports events every year since then. As an indication of increasing community acceptance and enthusiasm, both the Mobile Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Mobile Sports Authority became MIS partners beginning in 2013.
Family attendance and participation have been the keys to the track’s continued success. Kids 5 and under are always admitted free to the grandstands. Family nights and family-oriented shows have always been staples of the annual MIS schedules. Over 30,000 people will attend the 14 scheduled MIS events in 2014.