Thiering Continues Record Run in Alberta
Earns Fifth Straight Track, Province Titles
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Erica Thiering endured the most difficult year of her racing career and still came out a champion, continuing one of the most dominant runs of success in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
Thiering, 25, captured the 2015 track championship at Edmonton International Raceway and the accompanying Alberta provincial crown for the fifth year in a row and the seventh time in eight seasons.
During that timeframe only Keith Rocco’s eight consecutive championships in Connecticut is better among the 31 U.S. state and Canada provinces that were represented in the Whelen All-American Series program in 2015.
Despite racking up five wins, 10 top fives and 11 top 10s in 12 national points races in the late model super stock division at Edmonton, Thiering faced multiple challenges to keep her streak alive.
A checkered flag in the season finale gave her a come-from-behind championship victory to retain the track and province crowns by a final score of 171-163 over Ian Wilson in NASCAR points and 604-596 in the track standings.
“We ended up winning it on the last night,” Thiering said. “With three or four races to go we were in fourth place in points. It just so happened that it all turned around. We had our bad luck at the beginning of the season and they (the other contenders) had their bad luck at the end of the season.”
Despite the confidence built by sustained success through the years, the Sherwood Park, Alberta, native all but came to terms with the potential end to her championship streak as the season progressed.
“When I didn’t think I was going to win, it wasn’t going to be the end of the world,” Thiering said. “Ian did a really fantastic job this year, so I didn’t mind if I lost because it would have been well-deserved for him. The fact that we ended up pulling it through in the very last race was pretty phenomenal.”
Thiering branched out from her Alberta home base the last two seasons to run part-time in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series. She made six appearances in the Canadian touring series in 2015, and faced adversity there as well.
“That was probably one of my more trying seasons between here and in the Pinty’s Series,” Thiering said. “It just seemed like if we were going to do well, something happened, but every racer kind of has that year at some point. It definitely ended well for us though.”
Thiering’s championship-winning No. 96 Pontiac is owned by her father, Ron, who also operates Edmonton International Raceway along with her mother, Loretta. The No. 96 was maintained with the help of crew chief Kevin Grimstead and team members Rob Settes and Rob Hildebrand.
Following the remarkable run at her home track, Thiering is looking to branch out even more in 2016. She’s seeking more opportunities to compete on the Pinty’s Series and will start off the season down in Nevada running a Whelen All-American Series super late model at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Time will tell how those two ventures progress, but Thiering figures to return to compete at Edmonton on occasion, although she will likely relinquish the track and province titles this year.
Edmonton’s 2016 season will commence on May 14 with the first NASCAR Whelen All-American Series features of the year.
Established in 1982, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is NASCAR’s national championship program for weekly short track auto racing. In all, 57 paved and dirt tracks throughout the United States and Canada participated in 2015.
Connecticut-based Whelen Engineering is the series’ title sponsor. Whelen Engineering is a leading manufacturer of automotive, aviation, industrial and emergency vehicle lighting. NASCAR tracks and pace cars are among the many showcases for Whelen products.
Thiering won five of 12 late model super stock features in 2015. Edmonton International Raceway