Wenatchee, WA -- Tristan Haider has been behind the wheel of a race car of some type since he was nine years old. Along the way success, wins and accolades have been part of his rise in the Northwest.
Count 2019 as another big step in Haider’s career as the Olympia, Wash. driver finished fourth in the Northwest Super Late Model Series championship standings and earned the season’s Jefferson Racing Rookie of the Year award.
Taking experiences from the climbs to the top of each division Haider has competed in along the route of his young career, 2019 goals were set to show he was capable of challenging the best of the best on the series.
“For the 2019 season, our team set some aggressive goals which included running up front and competing for the NWSLMS championship. We had a good season, which included winning the rookie of the year award, and being in contention for the championship. Even though we didn’t quite have the consistent speed needed throughout the year to win the championship, we had our moments of running up front. Our main goals for the 2020 season will be to have more consistent speed and to go after the championship.”
An upgrade in the engine department opened the door for Haider to run up front in NWSLMS action this season and in the future, he explained.
“This was our first year not running a crate motor which changed how I had to approach each race. With the more races that I got under my belt, I gained a better understanding of how hard to push the car throughout the race and still have tires at the end. The level of competition we faced pushed us every weekend and the experience gained this year will help out a lot for next year.”
Having run all but one track on the series schedule also helped Haider build his finishes from week to week. But, like all rookies, one stop did through a curveball at Haider and his team.
“The most challenging track this year for us was Hermiston Raceway, as it was the only track on the NWSLM schedule that I had zero prior experience on. The limited amount of practice time to figure out the track and determine what the car wanted made things difficult, but my team worked hard and at the end of the day we were happy with the progress we made.”
Lining up alongside some of the greatest talent in Northwest late model racing, Haider took it all in each race weekend.
“It’s been a goal of mine since I was a kid to race a super late model and compete with some of the best in the region. Getting to run against high caliber drivers every race this season has been a great learning experience and has really helped increase my driving ability. It's humbling to know that our team has been able to compete with them, and I look forward to what next year brings.”
To be one of the top drivers on the series takes sponsors and a strong team. Haider has had both behind this season as he raced to the Rookie of the Year title.
“My parents have been the biggest help to get me to this point in my career, and they’re the reason that I began racing cars in the first place. Over the years they have spent a lot of time and made many sacrifices to allow me to follow my passion. Thank you to them for everything that they do, I couldn’t do it without them. I also have to thank Knight Fire Protection, Sunset Air, Daikin, Thurston County Transmission, DeVere Public Affairs and Consulting for being part of our team in 2019.”
Haider will be part of the NWSLMS Awards Evening set for Nov. 9 in Wenatchee, Wash. The gathering brings together the top drivers of the series, crew chiefs and this season’s contingency winners for a gala event put together in conjunction with Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval.
ABOUT THE NORTHWEST SUPER LATE MODEL SERIES
The Northwest Super Late Model Series is the premier regional touring Super Late Model series in the Northwest. The series has many valued sponsors including Hoosier Racing Tire, McGunegill Engine Performance, Port City Race Cars, AR Bodies, Joes Racing Products, Penske Racing Shocks, Jostens, Accelerated Graphics, Five Star Bodies, Longacre Racing Products, Wheel Chill, KRC Power Steering, Atomic Screenprinting and Embroidery, Franks Racing Radio, BLP, Jefferson Racing, Leonard Evans Used Car Super Store, The Ti Company and Pacific Steel Structures LLC. For more information on the series visit www.nwslms.com or on Facebook or Twitter. To contact the series please email [email protected]
-Northwest Super Late Model Series Press Release
-Photo Credit: NWSLMS