Wenatchee, WA – Idaho native Trevor Cristiani finds himself atop the Northwest Super Late Model Series championship standings with a grueling three-race run still ahead. That stretch begins Sunday, September 1 with the running of the Labor Day Spectacular 125 at Hermiston Raceway.
Continuing to run up front and battling the best in the Northwest region, race results will do the team’s talking in the championship chase, according to the driver of the No. 90 Chevrolet.
“To have a championship in sight is pretty neat, but that isn’t my goal. I am here to win races and do the best we can as a team. If that works out, then the championship will follow, but results at each race are what I try to hold at the top of my list,” Cristiani said.
No stranger to tough competition, Cristiani cut his teeth in late model and modified racing in the Southern Idaho region of the Northwest. The chance to drive for car owners Don and Luanne Newman on the region’s top super late model tour has allowed him to have a breakout season against some of the country’s best talent.
“What stands out to me the most is the competition; everyone is fast. You don’t just have two or three fast cars in the field (as you would in a local late model race). There are different cars that come to each event, so you aren’t racing all the same people week in and out.
“The only tracks we have run (prior to this season) have been Wenatchee and Hermiston in 2013. All the new tracks have definitely been difficult to grasp, and I feel I adapt well to new race tracks, but something about these tracks have a different flavor of Kool-Aid in them. We have had to work hard in finding different things to change on the car than we normally would to accommodate the roughness and lack of grip compared to where we’ve run before. I am looking forward to coming back to these tracks now after getting some laps under my belt to have a better understanding of what to expect.”
Staring down three races left in the season and returning to tracks he and his team know what it takes to succeed, Cristiani is eager to finish the year on a strong note.
“I feel I know more going into those final few events. Every track is different with weather and such through the year. It’s difficult to go back with the same setup and expect to be fast, but we will have a better understanding of the track format and myself as a driver knowing where the bumps and bruises are on the track that I didn’t know before. I am excited to return to those tracks though, assuming everything goes as planned.”
Racing for the Newman’s and having family as crewmembers have added to the excitement of the NWSLMS season, Cristiani noted.
“Without them (the Newman’s) I wouldn’t have gained all this experience nor would I have any idea if I would even be racing. I really owe it to them. We literally have the smallest team out there but we have very good chemistry, which is why I think we’re able to get away with working on the car with such little help. My dad (Dan) is the crew chief, and my uncle (Troy) is my spotter. We have an excellent team.”
Cristiani plays a role in the team structure, he added.
“Fortunately, I usually know what change I want to make in the car so it makes it easier on my dad to make the adjustment, and if I or he feels we need to do something one way, we evaluate it and it works pretty well.”
There is one more important key to the whole team that has allowed Cristiani to got out and challenge for victories, he said.
“Of course, I have to thank my beautiful wife, Aubree, for allowing me to go on these race adventures.”
The stars of the Northwest Super Late Model Series invade Hermiston Raceway on Labor Day weekend followed by stops in Wenatchee and Yakima respectively. To learn more log onto nwslms.com or the series Facebook page.