Cole Butcher’s quest for a second Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour championship in the Canadian Maritimes got a tremendous early boost this past Saturday as he cruised to victory in the Cummins 150 at Scotia Speedworld in Nova Scotia.
The 21-year-old Kulwicki Driver Development Program driver had one of the best cars of the day, but waited until the second half of the race to go after early race leader Dylan Blenkhorn.
“We had a good car all day in practice, second on the board all afternoon. We were able to win our heat race from the pole. In the feature, we just kind of rode around a little bit following the 67 (Blenkhorn). About 60 to 70 laps to go I saw he was getting a little tight so I made my move, luckily enough there was no caution and we were able to get the victory,” Butcher told Speed51.com.
“It's a pretty special race win. I haven't been this good at the start of the year,” Butcher admitted. “Being able to win the second race of the season is really good; it shows we've been working in the shop, the guys have put their time in. It seems like it takes six races before I can even lead a lap.”
The win on Saturday was the eighth career win for Butcher in the Maritime Pro Stocks, and also gives a boost to his 2018 campaign in the Kulwicki Driver Development Program. All the of the 2018 finalists in the program have been fired up with the announcement of Alan Kulwicki being selected to the 2019 NASCAR Hall of Fame class.
“It's been going pretty good, we've been doing some stuff in our community, and our performance has been showing on track,” Butcher stated. “It's great to see Mr. Kulwicki inducted into the Hall of Fame for 2019. We'll be working hard on and off the track to show the Kulwicki crew what we have and why we deserve to be there.”
This year marks Butcher’s second year in the program as a finalist, and he is determined to make the best of what he feels is a massive opportunity.
“There's not very many people that are able to get a second chance. For me it's very special, it's an opportunity to get even better this season and learn from my mistakes last year. I'm looking forward to working with the Kulwicki team throughout the season.”
As for Butcher’s growing fan base in the United States, he expects to head south later on this season, mostly sticking close to home with a few planned trips to Maine. But he is also planning to eventually return to the Southeast for a slate with the Donnie Wilson Racing team.
“Right now we've only got the Oxford 250 planned and we may come down and run a few weekly shows to get ready. But right now, we're just focusing on the Maritime Pro stocks and a couple of PASS races. We are planning a few races with Donnie Wilson later on in the season which we will announce later, but right now we're just trying to get all our ducks in a row.”
-By: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Cole Butcher Twitter