As the nights begin to get longer, and the temperatures start to drop, racing series all across the country are starting to wind down. Soon, the only hum of a racing engine will be on television, at least until the teams start preparing for next season!
In his first full-season of running at Norway Speedway Dalton Zehr dominated the Late Models division winning nine of 11 races, took the early lead in the 2013 ASA Member Track National Championship standings and never gave it up en route to winning the 2013 ASA Member Track National Championship.
At his best, Zehr’s season included a six race win streak and he recorded 10 top-three and nine top-five finishes. He paced the 2013 ASA Member Track National Championship throughout the eight weeks of standings and finished with a 4.3540 average.
Zehr was born in Middleton, Idaho, grew up in Port Orange, Florida and now splits his time between Port Orange and Menominee, Michigan. The 22-year-old rising star earned his first track championship at Norway after running a part-time schedule the previous seven seasons.
“This is a great thrill for me and our race team,” said Zehr. “We were unaware of our position within the national championship until the halfway point of the season but once we realized we had a shot we stepped up our efforts and kept our noses to the ground and battled our way to the track title and the national championship.
“I really want to thank my team owner Joe Nechodom of Racetech Chassis for giving me the opportunity to run all season-long at Norway Speedway and also Gene Adcock who brought Joe and me together last off-season. I also owe a special thanks to Gene Coleman for his years of mentoring; I don’t think I would be a champion without Gene’s guidance.”
It is also the first National Championship for Norway Speedway, a slightly banked one-third mile asphalt oval located at the Dickinson County Fairgrounds in Norway, Michigan. The track, originally built as a dirt track in 1942, was blacktopped in 1979. Racing is held on Friday eveningsfrom mid-May through Labor Day weekend when the champions are crowned during the fair.
“This is great recognition for Dalton and all of us at Norway Speedway,” said Caleb Fulcher, the treasurer for the Dickinson County Racing Association. “As a club run venue we are very proud of the great car counts and strong competition we offer race fans each week. It feels good to share this great news with all of our board members.
“It is a pleasure to be a part of the ASA racing family and our association with ASA has made a difference for us as a weekly racing facility.”
The ASA Pro Trucks completed a successful 2013 season in September with Johnny “JP” Pierre securing his first series championship.
Pierre has raced the ASA Pro Trucks for seven seasons and had been runner-up three times before breaking through in 2013. He led the series point battle from the opener until Hannah Newhouse’s win at Pocatello on July 13.
Two races later, Pierre took both races (August 10-11) at Rocky Mountain Raceways taking over the point lead again and keeping it for the remainder of the season.
For the season, Pierre took home six victories as he battled Newhouse and Drew Reitsma, who each won an ASA Pro Trucks event.
"It was a season of highs and lows but outside of that it was a great year,” said Pierre. “Although I'm sorry to see it end I'm looking forward to representing the ASA Pro Trucks as the 2013 Champion."
Pierre recorded eight top-three’s and nine top-five’s in edging Newhouse by 22 points in the final standings. Newhouse had five top-three’s and 10 top-five finishes.
“I had a great time with all the tight side-by-side competitive racing” said Newhouse. “I gained even more experience this year and built stronger friendships. I really loved racing the dirt, it was by far the most fun I've ever had at a track."
Reitsma, the 2012 ASA Pro Trucks champion, finished third in the overall standings after two top-three and six top-five finishes.
"This year was about never giving up no matter what the circumstances and it paid off for us,” said Reitsma. “We had a lot of ups and downs this year and it was rough and despite all that it was still really fun and that is our main goal as a family team, is just to have fun with our fellow racers and friends."
The American Speed Association started as a single racing series in 1968 and is a fast growing racing sanctioning body today. The ASA Member Track program sanctions dirt and asphalt short tracks along with road courses around the United States, as well as a variety of regional and national touring series. For more information call (386) 258-2221, or send an email. ASA®, ASA Racing®, American Speed Association® are registered trademarks of Racing Speed Associates, LLC.
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