NWES Moves Hockenheim Race To Last Week Of July

NWES Moves Hockenheim Race To Last Week Of July

American-Themed Event To Take Place On July 29-30 And Close The Regular Season

NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and Hockenheimring announced today that the 2017 NWES race at the legendary German track will take place on July 29-30, moving from its initial slot at the beginning of July to take the date usually reserved to the Formula 1 Grand Prix.

This new announced race is now called “American Fan Fest” and of course has the NWES races as the main attraction.

“Hockenheim is one of the best circuits in Europe and I rely on our teams and drivers to offer a great show. This first NASCAR German event at Hockenheimring promise to be memorable!” said Jerome Galpin, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series President – CEO

“Having NASCAR in Hockenheim is a dream coming true. The NWES as well as the side show with thrilling races with cars and bikes, exhibitions of NASCAR racing cars, dragsters and US street cars and many more attractions in or around the paddock takes us to a new level of Racing. We hope everybody will enjoy a great weekend at the Hockenheimring”, said Jörg Bensemann, president of the organizing club at Hockenheim.

With this date change, Hockenheim will become the last round of the 2017 NWES regular season and will be decisive in shaping up the playoffs.

More details regarding the Hockenheimring event will be revealed in the upcoming weeks.

Drive For Diversity Announces Driver Class

Drive For Diversity Announces Driver Class

Six Drivers Selected to Join Rev Racing For 2017

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – After a season of milestones for NASCAR Drive for Diversity graduates competing across NASCAR national series, the industry’s flagship development program for multicultural and female drivers has announced that six drivers will join its 2017 class. The drivers were selected after a competitive combine held last October at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway and will compete for Rev Racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

The 2017 class features a former NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series champion, the granddaughter of one of the sport’s female pioneers, and NASCAR Drive for Diversity’s first sibling teammates. The drivers will follow in the footsteps of program graduates and current national series drivers Kyle Larson, Darrell Wallace Jr., and 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series champion Daniel Suárez. 

“Now more than ever, we’re seeing the impact of NASCAR’s development program in producing drivers who excel at the highest echelons of our sport,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “There’s a great deal of talent and potential in this year’s class. With the strong foundation that NASCAR Drive for Diversity provides, these drivers will have the opportunity to develop the skills needed to elevate their racing careers.”

The 2017 class is led by four returning drivers, Collin Cabre, Jay Beasley, Madeline Crane and Rubén García Jr.. Garcia first competed in stock car racing in his native Mexico. Collin’s younger brother, Chase Cabre, joins 16-year-old Macy Causey as this year’s NASCAR Drive for Diversity newcomers. Causey’s grandmother, Diane Teel, was the first woman to compete in a NASCAR XFINITY Series race in 1982. 

Rev Racing, the operational arm of NASCAR Drive for Diversity, will field four teams in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and two in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. 

The 2017 NASCAR Drive for Diversity roster features: 

Collin Cabre: An impressive second year in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program was highlighted by four top-five and six top-10 finishes and a sixth-place finish in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship standings. After winning the 2015 season finale at Dover International Speedway, Cabre was named to the 2016-2017 NASCAR Next class. The 23-year-old from Tampa, Florida, will compete in his third season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East with Rev Racing.

Chase Cabre: Cabre, 20, registered 12 race wins in 21 starts in a 600 Mini Sprint Car and is a two-time Fall Brawl Champion at Florida’s Ocala Bullring. In 2016, he averaged a fourth-place finish in races at Hickory Motor Speedway and set two poles during the season. Chase will compete in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in his rookie season with Rev Racing.

Rubén García Jr.: At age 20, the Mexico City native became the youngest NASCAR PEAK Mexico driver to win the series championship in 2015. García was also part of the NASCAR Next program in both 2015 and 2016. He returns to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East after finishing 10th in the series last season. 

Jay Beasley: Beasley, 24, made history in 2013 by becoming the first African-American driver to win a Super Late Model race at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In his first season with the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program in 2014, he earned two top-five and five top-10 finishes in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. He returns to the series for his third season with Rev Racing. 

Macy Causey: Causey was honored with the NASCAR Young Racer Award in 2016. The year prior, she won the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Virginia State Rookie of the Year Award and earned top rookie honors at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia, where in 1978 her grandmother became the first woman to win a NASCAR-sanctioned race at the track. Causey will compete for Rev Racing in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series. 

Madeline Crane: The Georgia native began her career racing Bandoleros at Atlanta Motor Speedway at age 10. Crane, 19, moved into Legend cars, and by the time she was 14 had garnered 59 top-five finishes in 82 starts. Returning for a second season with NASCAR Drive for Diversity, she will compete in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series following two top-five and 12 top-10 finishes in 2016. 

NASCAR Drive for Diversity aligns drivers with a team of executives, athletic directors, crew chiefs and mentors tasked with helping them achieve career successes, and thus improving their goal of reaching one of the three NASCAR national series.

Since it began fielding NASCAR Drive for Diversity cars in 2010, Rev Racing has been one of the most consistent teams in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, registering 17 wins, 65 top-five and 124 top-10 finishes with drivers finishing in the top-10 in points each season.

“Each year the applicant pool and talent level rises and our program continues to evolve and create more opportunities for advancement,” said Max Siegel, CEO and owner of Rev Racing. “NASCAR Drive for Diversity and Rev Racing are proud of the impact that we have had in the sport and we look forward to graduating the next generation of athletes to the national series.”

The 2016 NASCAR season was a historic year for NASCAR Drive for Diversity alumni. Larson, who is Asian-American, became the first program graduate to win a race and reach the playoffs in the sport’s premier series, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. 

With his NASCAR XFINITY Series victory at Michigan International Speedway, Suárez was the first Mexican-born driver to win a national series race, and last November he became the first foreign-born driver to win a national series championship. Suárez will make his debut in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series racing for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2017. 

The 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season opener will take place on Feb. 19 at New Smyrna Speedway, where Rev Racing scored a win with Suárez in 2014. 

For more information on NASCAR Drive for Diversity, visit NASCARDiversity.com.

NWES Cars Shine At The Race Of Champions

NWES Cars Shine At The Race Of Champions

Deliver A Fantastic Show In The Hands Of Champions

The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series cars once again provided huge fun to drivers and race fans of the Race Of Champions in Miami, Florida and proved to be a great benchmark to measure the skills of some of the best drivers in the world. The epic battle between NASCAR Champion Kurt Bush and F1 driver David Coulthard on the NWES cars was a highlight of the week-end and thrilled the whole Marlins Park.

An impressive list of motorsports icons – including NASCAR Champions Kyle and Kurt Busch, endurance legend Tom Kristensen, Indycar Champion and Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, two-time FIA World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg, Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi and Formula 1 race winner David Coulthard – truly enjoyed mastering the Euro NASCAR cars and the 450 unassisted horsepower produced by their thunderous 5.7-litre V8 around the temporary track built in Miami, Florida.

Here’s what some of the Race Of Champions drivers had to say about the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series cars:

Kyle Busch (USA) 2015 NASCAR champion – “It reminds me the late model cars. It’s still a full-body stock car and it does a lot of things we’re used to. It doesn’t stop on a dime, it doesn’t turn on a dime but all in all it’s stock-car racing, it’s NASCAR at its best.”

Kurt Busch (USA) 2004 NASCAR champion – “It was a lot of fun !! It wasn’t a Gene Haas car or a Joe Gibbs car. It’s neat though the comparison between the Euro NASCAR car and our Cup cars. It kind of reminds us of the past. Steering box and setup are very good to blend the car with the kind of track you have at the ROC.”

Tom Kristensen (Denmark) nine-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner – “This car is always very good to drive. It fits very well in the Race Of Champions. It gives a good feeling both accelerating and under breaking. It a little bit heavier in changing direction and it take some energy to drive it but it’s really nice.”

Petter Solberg (Norway) double FIA World Rallycross Champion – “I love the Euro NASCAR car, it’s fantastic. I made a big mistake last year but I was fast and like it, it’s still very cool.”

Pascal Werlhein (Germany) 2015 DTM champion and new Sauber Formula 1 driver – “It is my third time in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series car at the Race Of Champions and I really like it. It is a heavy car compared to a Formula 1 but it is fast and the control is unbelievable.”

Stefan Rzadzinski (Canada) 2017 ROC Factor winner – “It was my first time on the Euro NASCAR car and was really funny. I really enjoyed it and I had a lot of fun.” 

Jerome Galpin NWES President – CEO – “It’s a huge honor to welcome such great champions in our NWES cars! You can’t imagine how proud we are when the best drivers of the world declare that they love driving our cars. This is all about the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, delivering a Pure Racing Experience and great fun to every driver and every fan! This is exactly what we want to be!” 

The 2017 edition of the Race of Champions crowned Juan Pablo Montoya the Champion of Champions as a rookie on Saturday, while Team Germany won the Nations Cup on Sunday.

The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will begin its 2017 campaign on April 8-9 in Valencia, Spain at the Circuit De La Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo.

Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series

NWES Champ Set For Xfinity Series Campaign

NWES Champ Set For Xfinity Series Campaign

Anthony Kumpen Returns To Daytona, Adds Road Course Race

Reigning NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Champion Anthony Kumpen will return to the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2017 thanks to the Nexteer Road to Daytona program. He benefited from the prize awarded by NWES for his 2016 title to help him building this campaign which will include at least two races at the wheel of the #46 LeasePlan Chevrolet Camaro fielded by Precision Performance Motorsports at Daytona and at Mid-Ohio. 

Before engaging in his European title defense campaign in Valencia in April, Kumpen will race for the second time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series season opener on February 25 at the world famous Daytona International Speedway, the day before the mythic Daytona 500. In 2016, the Belgian finished a solid 26th in his first ever outing on the 2.5-mile oval, engaging in door-to-door battles with some of the best NASCAR drivers in America.

“Daytona is the biggest event in NASCAR. I can’t wait to be back and I want to thank Leaseplan, all my partners, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and its Nexteer Road to Daytona program for making this happen,” said the Belgian, who joined the program built by NWES and Nexteer following his championship season in 2014. “Last year I had to learn a lot –  especially about racing in the pack and drafting – in a very short time. This time we will build on the experience as a team and work to make the car faster and do better each and every lap. I would be really happy to finish in the top-15.”

“Anthony is a 2-time European NASCAR Champion and definitely a very talented driver behind the wheel, but also outside the car. We are very proud to support him in his US program and feel very lucky to have such a great ambassador for our Series,” said Jerome Galpin, NWES President – CEO

During the  NWES summer break Kumpen will return to the US to enter his first NASCAR Xfinity Series road course race on August 12 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The two-time Euro-NASCAR Champion aims to capitalize on his road course experience and success to bring home a strong result.

“I am really looking forward to my first race on a road course. I have a lot of experience and the right team to set the bar high and aim for a top-10 finish,” said the Hasselt-native, who won five times on road courses in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, three of which in 2016.

Kumpen will also join the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series organization for the January 21-22 Race Of Champions at the Miami Marlins Park to help set up the NWES cars for the world-famous offseason event.

“It’s great to be able to support the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series at this event and I look forward to get back in our NWES cars,” concluded the Belgian. “The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is growing fast. I am sure the 2017 season will be tougher than ever, but that’s what makes it so exciting: going for the the third title against such a competitive field and helping NASCAR grow in Europe”.

The Feb 25 NASCAR Xfinity Series PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway will go green at 9:30 pm CET, while the 2017 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season will kick off in Valencia on April 8-9 with the third edition of the Valencia NASCAR Fest.

 

NWES Appoints Kennol As Official Oil Supplier

NWES Appoints Kennol As Official Oil Supplier

The French Brand Will Provide High-Performance Products To The Series

The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series announced today a sponsorship deal that will make Kennol the official oil supplier of the European NASCAR Series for the 2017 season and beyond.

The French lubricant manufacturer will provide NWES teams with a new generation of specific high-performance synthetic oils, especially developed for the 450 HP, 5.7 litre V8 and the 4-gear transmission equipping the NWES cars: the Kennol Ultimate 15W50 and the Kennol Ultimate 75W140. The Kennol brand will also be featured on every NWES car for the entire season and in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series communication.

“We are happy to welcome Kennol in the Series and we are proud to promote their products across Europe. I am sure our teams and the whole Series will benefit from their technology and knowledge,” said Jerome Galpin, NWES President CEO.

“We are present in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series since many years now with drivers like Christophe Bouchut, Mathias Lauda and Freddie Hunt, who raced cars fielded by our partners. Today this major agreement testifies the confidence the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series has in our know-how. For us associating the championship’s popularity with our international growth is a natural step to take,” said Olivier Morihain, Kennol President CEO.

The Kennol brand was literally born for the track at the end of the 20th century and quickly established itself among the market leaders for high-end racing products by winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Spa 24 Hours, the GP2 Series and the FIA GT World Championship. Kennol tests its products on track before industrializing them and this process grants that they have all the qualities needed to protect a production engine.

The 2017 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season will kick-off in Valencia, Spain on April 8-9 with the Valencia NASCAR Fest at the Circuit De La Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo.

 

NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

Helliwell Takes Home First Championship

Helliwell Takes Home First Championship

Continues Family Success At Lee USA

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – New Hampshire’s Helliwell family is well known for winning races in championships in the Northeast and this year another Helliwell added his name to the record books.

Dave Helliwell, from Pelham, New Hampshire, captured the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I super modified track championship at New Hampshire’s Lee USA Speedway this year during his rookie season in the class. 

He is just the latest racer in his family to have success at Lee USA Speedway. His father, Wayne Helliwell and his three brothers George Helliwell, Wayne Helliwell Jr. and Bill Helliwell have all been successful at Lee USA Speedway. Now Dave Helliwell can proudly say the same about himself.

Helliwell said that the opportunity to race in the premier division at Lee USA came about thanks to a partnership with his boss at his day job, Rick Silva. 

“My boss, Rick Silva, he actually used to be involved in racing with a friend way back in the heyday at Westboro Stadium in Westboro, Massachusetts,” Helliwell explained. “I was actually leaving sticky notes around his office. I would draw a picture of a super modified and I would tell him all the time, ‘Hey, Rick, we need to get one of these.’

Eventually Helliwell convinced Silva to partner with him and the pair worked together to build a super modified program for Lee USA Speedway. It was a major step for Helliwell, who previously raced a dwarf car in the region.

“I had sold the dwarf car I was driving and I had some money I could put together,” Helliwell said. “I actually didn’t have a garage to put together a car like this. My boss was nice enough to lend me his garage at his house.

“He gave me a place where we could build the thing. In the winter we just did it. We made it happen and come spring time we had a real, real nice piece.”

After spending several weeks fine tuning his race car, Helliwell prepared for opening night at Lee USA Speedway. His goal, he explained, was simply to finish the race. He ended up doing far better than that.

“I just wanted to finish the race, stay out of trouble and don’t get in anybody’s way. We went out there and we were at speed and we were competitive,” 26-year-old Helliwell said. “We were coming up through the pack and we were making moves and we were real good.

“I thought we can only get better from here.”

Helliwell was right. After a fifth-place finish on opening night he kept the momentum going, scoring finishes of 10th and third before earning his first super modified victory in the fourth race of the year on June 17.

“I hit victory lane and I was so excited,” Helliwell recalled. “It was like I just hit it big on a scratch ticket. I’d watched my brother (Wayne Helliwell Jr.) win so many times in a super modified there. Entering the season, I never would have thought in my wildest dreams I’d be doing this well this fast.”

Helliwell went on to score three more victories alongside 14 top fives and 17 top-10 finishes in 17 starts to capture the track championship at Lee USA Speedway by 25 points over Moe Lattime. 

“I just went out with the mindset of respect the track, respect the competitors and just go out and run your race. Stay clean and stay out of trouble hopefully things will pan out,” Helliwell said. “For those 17 weeks I just didn’t want to go in over my head. I just wanted to bring it home in one piece. It just worked out.”

The championship made him the second member of the Helliwell family to win a NASCAR track championship at Lee USA Speedway, joining Wayne Helliwell Jr. as a NASCAR champion.

“In our family, there are a lot of trophies kicking around and a lot of big checks sticking up on the wall,” Helliwell said. “If I don’t do good on race night, I have to come home and explain to my brothers and my father why I didn’t do good. The urge to win is so high and now I’ve got a championship in my rookie year. And not just a local championship, it’s a NASCAR championship.

“It’s a big to-do.”

Helliwell has already begun planning for the 2017 season. He’ll have a new car to drive after agreeing to take over the super modified fielded by Ed and Bobby Witkum, the same car Wayne Helliwell Jr. drove to the track championship at Lee USA Speedway in 2011. 

Given the success he had in 2016, Helliwell said he can’t wait to get started on 2017.

“I’d love to see what next year brings, but as far as a rookie season goes, it just could not get any better,” Helliwell said. “I just feel like 2017…I’ve got a good feeling that we can go out there and take another stab at another NASCAR championship.”


In 17 starts at Lee USA Speedway, Helliwell scored four wins, 14 top fives and 17 tops to finish 25-points ahead of runner-up Moe Lattime. Courtesy of Rich Hayes, Lee USA Speedway photographer

Smith Makes History At Dominion Raceway

Smith Makes History At Dominion Raceway

Crowned Track’s First Whelen All-American Series Champion

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – When a race track opens its doors for the first time, there are always a lot of firsts to be had. 

The first pole winner, the first feature winner and perhaps most importantly, the first track champion.

At Dominion Raceway in Thornburg, Virginia, Nick Smith can proudly say he was the first NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I champion in the history of the new .4-mile oval that hosted its inaugural season of racing in 2016.

“Dominion is one of the nicest tracks I’ve ever been on and one of the nicest facilities I’ve ever raced at, especially at a local home track level,” said the 30-year-old racer from Newport News, Virginia. “It’s one of the most fun tracks I’ve ever been on and it makes a lot of great racing.”

Smith was nearly the first late model stock car feature winner during track’s inaugural season in April as well, but a bizarre scoring mix-up cost Smith the victory and allowed Tyler Hughes to win the first race of the year. 

Smith took the checkered flag as the race leader, but the scoring system had lost track of how many laps had been run. After a review of the results, officials realized that Hughes was actually the race leader at the time the checkered flag should have waved and awarded the victory to him.

“We won the first race the first night but we weren’t granted the win because they said we ran too many laps,” Smith said. “That kind of made me wonder how my season was going to be, but we kind of put that behind us and moved forward and from there on out we just had a great season.

“I felt like I had a win stolen from me. There was some talk about not ever coming back because we were upset, but I just kind of told myself that I wanted to show them that I deserved to win.”

Not to be deterred, Smith proceeded to rattle off 12 victories at Dominion Raceway to comfortably capture the track championship. No other driver had more than two victories at Dominion Raceway in 2016.

“We battled hard for 12 wins this year. We had some really close racing and some close finishes, some of the hardest racing I’ve had in the past 10 years that I’ve been racing,” Smith said. “I really don’t know why we were so good. We built a brand new car this year and we had a lot of good help from our chassis builder and our motor builder.

“It’s an aggressive race track and you’ve really got to charge the corners hard. There is a lot of grip there and it is a really fast track and maybe that is my style of racing. I just adapted to it very well.”

Along with his 12 victories at Dominion, Smith scored 18 top-five and 19 top-10 finishes in 21 starts between Dominion and another Virginia track, South Boston Speedway. Those numbers were so good that it allowed him to finish fourth in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National standings behind champion Matt Bowling, Keith Rocco and Ty Majeski. He also ended the year second in the Virginia state rankings behind Bowling by just nine points.

“Obviously I just wanted to go out on a weekly basis and just try and win the race,” Smith said. “At the beginning of the year I wouldn’t even say we were shooting for a track championship. We just wanted to go win some races and then it turned into a situation at one time towards the middle and end of the season that we were in the running for the (Virginia) state championship and the National championship all in one year. That’s never really happened to me before.

“I only ran 21 races this year and some of the guys that I beat in the state and the nation ran 40 races this year. We were really good on the track when we were on the track and we had good car count to get us there. It’s an unbelievable thing and an unbelievable thought to be able to accomplish all that in one year, a track championship, a state championship and a National championship in the same year like Matt Bowling did. That’s a dream season. 

“We just wanted to go out and win some races and we had a chance to be that guy.”

Looking ahead to the 2017 season, Smith said he isn’t sure if he’ll return to Dominion to defend his track championship. He admitted that if his hometown track Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia, returns to action then in all likelihood he’ll race there.

“They didn’t open up this year,” Smith said about Langley Speedway. “There is a possibility that they may open next year and it is only 10 minutes from my house for me to run at Langley versus a two-and-a-half-hour drive to Dominion. We’re just going to wait and see.”


Smith tallied 12 wins and 19 top-five finishes in 21 starts in the inaugural season at Dominion Raceway. Courtesty of Dinah Marie Photography

Pollard Celebrates First Win of 2017

Pollard Celebrates First Win of 2017

Edges Past May For The Red Eye 100 Trophy

NEW SMYRNA, Fla. – Bubba Pollard kicked-off the 2017 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season with a celebration in Victory Lane Saturday night at New Smyrna Speedway.

Pollard won the 31st Red Eye Super Late Model 100 after an intense finish with New Smyrna’s 2016 champion Brad May at the end of the 100-lap feature. 

“I let Brad [May] go at the beginning of the race hoping he’d burn his right front tire off,” said Pollard. “But I stayed with him. We were able to cool our tires off there and get a restart. He had a good racecar and he made it tough on us for sure.”

With 14 laps remaining, a spin in Turn 2 set up a dramatic finish for the 100-lap feature event. 

“I spun the tires on the restart,” said May. “I shifted and spun the tires the rest of the way down the straightaway, almost.”

Pollard was able to beat May at the line to earn his second Red Eye 100 win. His win made him the first repeat winner since Stephen Nasse in 2011 and 2013 and the third repeat winner overall. 

Nasse, NASCAR Next driver Spencer Davis and Mason Diaz rounded out the top-five.

Jeff Choquette finished sixth, followed by Jerry Artuso, David Rogers, Korbin Forrister and Daniel Keene, Jr.

Earlier in the night, Casey Roderick won the Zack Dunatti Memorial 100 after a late race battle with Davis for the lead.

Scully Finally Seals Deal At Seekonk

Scully Finally Seals Deal At Seekonk

Captures First Track Title With Consistent Season

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Late in the 2015 Seekonk Speedway Pro Stock season, Tom Scully Jr. was in the middle of an intense championship battle with young rising star Angelo Belsito.

After a fight right down to the final laps, he came up short of winning the championship. But it was nothing that Scully wasn’t used to. For the better part of the past decade, he had felt the same frustration each year.

nwaas16_trk-champ

In 2008, he came just two positions away from defeating Fred Astle Jr. for the title and ever since then, it seemed as though a championship was just a fleeting dream that would never actually be within his grasp.

But in 2016, it finally all came together for the West Warwick, Rhode Island, driver. The 36-year-old only had to roll onto the track and take the green flag for the season finale to hoist the trophy as champion for the first time in his career. In a competitive Pro Stock class, Scully scored two feature wins during the course of the season.

Just before the season started, Scully teamed up with Don Parsons and Anytime Realty as primary sponsor, with the first-year combination producing a title together by season’s end.

“It gave the whole team a different look this year,” Scully said. “Color-wise and how we approached things was kind of different. We had a new car this year and it was like a brand new beginning. With the same people, they all just needed a refresh.”

Everything almost went away on Aug. 20, when Scully was running inside the top five and contact between his car and another sent him hard into the outside wall and destroyed his No. 2 Anytime Realty car. The team sent the car to Jeff Taylor at Distance Racing Chassis right away, hoping to get it fixed for the following week.

“We lost the point lead that night and at that point we didn’t really know what was going to go on,” Scully Jr. said. “We didn’t know if Jeff was going to be able to take the car in and we were pretty stunned with the whole thing. Luckily, he took the car and we worked every single night up until 2 a.m. to work on it and get it ready.”

The following Saturday night, in a double-points 65-lap feature race, Scully Jr. took the same car that had been destroyed a week prior and parked it in victory lane. After battling David Darling for the final half of the race, Scully had just enough to hold him off and score the win in the extra-distance main. The win gave him back the points lead and from there, he never looked back.

Over the final few weeks of the season, it was all about getting top five finishes and just doing enough to hold the championship advantage he had. The last thing Scully wanted to do was put himself in a position to give it away.

“(Our) consistency has always been there, it was usually just those one or two bad nights before this year,” Scully added.  “You’re going against a lot of veterans, a lot of champions and a lot of upcoming drivers. I’ve been trying to win championships and hadn’t because of Fred Astle and David Darling for years … they have been the roadblock. I’ve been right with them, but I hadn’t been able to take the title because they were more consistent in other years.”

As Scully looks ahead towards the 2017 racing season that is already approaching, the goal is the same it always was — win races and chase the title. He will be returning to the division full-time and going for a second straight crown.

But for now, the celebration of the 2016 championship is on. Over the last few years, his mom Debra has been fighting illness and the team has rallied behind her. They have made racing more about the enjoyment of being at the track together and have been fighting for wins as a result.

Now, Scully finally has the ultimate prize he has been searching for.

“We’ve been trying to win a championship there for a long time. My mom is going through a stage where you have to be thankful for what you have right now because you never know what can happen,” Scully said. “The exclamation point of the championship is forever engraved in our lives.”

Established in 1982, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is NASCAR’s national championship program for weekly short track auto racing. 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.

nwaas_track-champ_seekonk_scully_car_010616

Tom Scully Jr. took home the Pro Late Model title at Massachusetts’ Seekonk Speedway with two wins, 10 top fives and 15 top 10s in 16 starts this year. Courtesy Seekonk Speedway

Alon Day Athlete Of The Year In Israel

Alon Day Athlete Of The Year In Israel

Tops The Motorsports Category, Voted By Fans And Government Committee

Alon Day’s rising star was recognized on Tuesday during an official ceremony in Tel Aviv, Israel in which the two-time NWES Junior Trophy winner and NASCAR Next driver was recognized as Israel’s Athlete Of The Year in the motorsports category.

Israel’s Ministry Of Culture and Sports rewards every year the best athletes in different categories, with olympic sports, paralympic sports and other sports among them. 2016 marked the first year motorsport was included in the selection and Day is the first ever driver to receive the award.

“It is a huge achievement for me and for the Israeli motorsport movement to win this prize for the first time ever. It shows that people are watching me, watching NASCAR and becoming more and more interested in motorsports,” said the Ashdod-native, who was voted both by a selected committee counting for the 51% of the votes and the fans, who expressed their preferences through an online poll. “And more than that, it rewards my hard work and this is the biggest lesson I have learned. Hard work pays off.” 

Day’s career literally took off since he joined the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series in 2015. He won two consecutive Junior Trophies and amassed six wins, four pole positions, 12 top-5s and 18 top-10s in just two seasons. Thanks to his success in Europe, Day was the first driver coming from outside North-America to be selected for the NASCAR Next program and in 2016 he competed in four NASCAR races in the US, impressing in his NASCAR Xfinity Series at Mid-Ohio.

The Israeli is currently at work on his 2017 program and sees the award he just received as great opportunity both for him and for all the young drivers in Israel looking of a professional career.

“I definitely hope that this award will open the door for many drivers in Israel to follow me, achieve great results and develop motorsport in Israel,” concluded Day.

 

Print This Post Print This Post