TWIN FALLS, Idaho -- Jonathon Gomez used to be a motocross rider.
That is, until broken bones, trips to the emergency room and commitments to his family and work at JandC Custom LLC had him re-think his high speed hobby.
He gave up the sport, but thanks to his friends dragging him to Magic Valley Speedway races, Gomez became a fan of high speed on four wheels instead of two.
"I had never really followed the sport at all, never watched NASCAR or anything," Gomez said. "But my friends took me to the races, and we had this guy come work for us who said he could get me in a car. I was like, 'Really?'"
That guy was Trent Champlin, a driver in the NAPA Pony Stocks division, and he helped Gomez get set up in a car for a couple races in 2006.
"He got me in the race car and it was pretty nerve racking not knowing what to do, but from there I was hooked," said Gomez, now racing in the NASCAR KandN Pro Series. "I remember that first year when I ran the Pony Stock, thinking 'Wouldn't it be cool to race things like this all the time?'"
Gomez made his Pony Stocks debut in 2007 and hasn't looked back since. He currently sits seventh in the KandN Pro Series standings.
"Not where we want to be," Gomez said, but he is coming off three consecutive top-10 performances at Iowa Speedway, Brainerd International Raceway (Minn.), and Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and said his No. 22 Chevrolet is running great right now.
"For the most part, since we've unloaded, we've been fast and competitive. All year, it's been a really close deal. We're right there with everyone else. We've just had a couple things happen that were out of our control," Gomez said.
Like a flat tire with two laps to go in Salt Lake. And a lost engine in Phoenix.
"Twice we've had a mechanical failure, but when the car is running good, our worst finish has been third. We're feeling good about the car right now," Gomez said.
Long term, Gomez wants to continue riding up the NASCAR ladder to a possible run in a Sprint Cup Series race.
"I think anybody in racing wants to move up, and of course the Sprint Cup is a goal. That's what everyone shoots for," Gomez said. "Right now, it's pretty far out of reach, but you never know what can happen."