Ken Butler III Ready for First Race As a Dad

Jim BobCorrespondent IMay 26, 2009

LAS VEGAS - FEBRUARY 28:  Ken Butler driver of the #23 Aaron's Chevrolet slides through his pit stall during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Sam's Town 300 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on February 28, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.(Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images)

Ken Butler III, driver of the No. 23 Aaron’s Chevrolet at R3 Motorsports, has had many career firsts so far in his young NASCAR career.

However, as the series heads into Dover International Speedway, it will not only be his first start at Dover, it will also be his first NASCAR start since the birth of his first child.

Butler III and his wife, Jaime, welcomed their new baby girl, Piper Shay Butler, into the world last Saturday at 2:32 p.m.

“Man, this is very cool,” Butler III said. “I’ve been waiting for this day ever since we found out Piper was on the way. I can’t believe it; I’m a dad. I hope she likes racing. Then again, she was born on the 23rd and our Aaron’s car is No. 23.”

Butler III will have to learn quickly this weekend, as he will be visiting Dover for the first time in his career. He says the first thing he wants to do is learn the track.

“The first thing I want do is learn how to drive that track,” commented Butler III. “I’ve talked to and heard from everyone how tough Dover can be to figure out. Once I can get comfortable with the tendencies of the track, then I can start to relay that information to the team. From there, Walter [Giles, crew chief] and I can start to figure out how to get the car better each run we make in practice. After that, it’s all about having a good qualifying run and backing that up with a good race.

“I’m going to do what I did last time once I get in the No. 23 Aaron’s Dream Machine Chevrolet at Richmond. I’m going to make a few laps on my own and see how it feels and how the car reacts when I dive off into turns 1 and 3. Then, I’m going to see how it feels when I get back on the gas out of turns 2 and 4. My best way to learn faster is to follow some veterans around the track and see their braking and acceleration points. The most important things to work on are finding out how your car handles through the turns and getting back on the gas.”

Butler III has made five starts so far in his first year of competition, posting an average finish of 24.7, calling his 17th place finish at Las Vegas his career best.

Butler III also has two starts in the Camping World Truck Series back in 2007 for Darrell Waltrip. He brought home 33rd and 36th place finishes in those two starts.

The Heluva Good! 200 will take place Saturday, May 30 at 7 p.m. ET, live on ESPN2, MRN and SIRIUS-XM NASCAR Radio.