DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Two weeks into the season and successfully defending his Kalamazoo Speedway Outlaw Super Late Model Division championship was the last thing on Mike “Bubba” Brooks’ mind.
“We opened the season with a win at Kalamazoo and obviously we felt pretty good about the start of our season,” Brooks said. “Then we went out and destroyed the car during the second race of the year and we pretty much had to start from scratch.”
While a new car can be a struggle, Brooks was able to adjust quickly thanks to help from his crew and sponsors.
The result was the 2014 track championship.
“We worked just to get the car on the hauler after the accident and when we unloaded all we could do was take any parts off we could salvage and put them on the shelf to use again,” Brooks said. “Then we went to work and got a car ready for next weekend and went out and won the race. It was a total team effort with the help of a lot of people to make that happen.”
Brooks scored five wins in the competitive division that featured eight different drivers winning races during the 15-race schedule.
Brooks became just the seventh driver in the storied history of Kalamazoo to win multiple track titles in the Outlaw Super Late Model Division, and the first to win consecutive titles at the track since Andy Bozell did it in 2007-08.
Champions will be crowned at each of the 58 NASCAR-sanctioned tracks across the United states and Canada. The champions, along with the top three in the national standings, state and province champions, top finishers in the Div. II-V and special award winners, will be honored at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards in December at the NASCAR Hall of Fame / Charlotte Convention Center on Friday, Dec. 12.
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I drivers are ranked by their best 18 NASCAR points finishes in series-sanctioned events. Drivers receive two points for every car they finish ahead of – up to 18 cars – and three points for a win, with an additional two points available if the driver starts 10th or lower.
South Carolina’s Anthony Anders begins the final month with the points lead he has held all season. He did not race this past weekend and has 27 wins, 40 top fives and 44 top 10s in 46 starts at South Carolina’s Greenville Pickens Speedway, Anderson Speedway and Myrtle Beach Speedway, and North Carolina’s Hickory Motor Speedway.
Neither of his two nearest challengers were able to gain ground.
Two-time defending national champion Lee Pulliam of Semora, N.C., who like Anders races in the asphalt Late Model divisions in the southeast, had a win and a fourth-place at Virginia’s South Boston Speedway Saturday. Keith Rocco of Wallingford, Conn., was 14th at Stafford Motor Speedway Friday and second at Waterford Speedbowl Saturday – two of the three Connecticut tracks he races his asphalt SK Modified.
Anders has 718 points to Pulliam’s 708 and Rocco’s 690.
North Carolina teenager Dillon Bassett, who has raced his asphalt Late Model at eight tracks in the southeast, remained fourth, followed by Connecticut’s Ryan Preece (Thompson Speedway, Stafford, Waterford and New York’s Riverhead Raceway).
Chad Finchum (Virginia’s Lonesome Pine, Kingsport Speedway in Tennessee) moved up to sixth thanks to his pair of asphalt Late Model wins at Kingsport. He’s followed by Peyton Sellers (South Boston, Langley, Caraway, Motor Mile), Kres Van Dyke (Lonesome Pine and Kingsport), Tommy Lemons Jr. (South Boston, Southern National, Caraway and Motor Mile) and Stewart Friesen (New York’s Utica-Rome and Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pa.).
Brooks is 78th in the national standings and holds a commanding lead in the Michigan championship race.
After a series of 20-hour days during that key week in April helped brooks get back on the track, the Kalamazoo native was able to make history at his home track.
“I had the opportunity to drive other people’s cars after the accident, but I have always driven my own cars and I just wanted to keep doing that,” Brooks said. “With the help of some great crew members and sponsors like Leduc Blueberries, Blueberry Ridge, Knapp Energy, and McDonalds Towing and others I was able to keep driving my own car and that meant a lot to me.”
Brooks came up just a few points short last year of winning the Michigan title in the NASCAR All-American Series. Sweeping both championships this year will make the trip to North Carolina in December even sweeter.
“We came so close last year to winning the Michigan state title last year and it was frustrating to come so close and not get it done (after winning the track title),” Brooks said. “It means so much to a weekly racer to get to go to Charlotte and celebrate a championship and we are looking forward to coming down there.”
Established in 1982, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is NASCAR’s national championship program for weekly short track auto racing. In all, 58 paved and dirt tracks throughout the United States and Canada participate.
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 across North America are among the many showcases for Whelen products.
NASCAR IMC – RW Motorsports Marketing Photo
|9||Tommy Lemons, Jr||38||6||24||31||611|
|32||Craig Von Dohren||20||3||11||16||511|
|43||Tom Rogers, Jr||22||7||16||20||485|
|61||Rob Janovic, Jr||20||1||12||12||445|
|68||Toni Marie McCray||14||5||14||14||431|
|72||Bill Leighton, Jr||18||2||12||18||422|
|92||David Garborcauskas, Jr||21||1||10||14||385|
|95||Bruce Anderson, Jr||21||1||6||14||383|