DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Justin Philpott captured his second NASCAR Whelen All-American Series title at his hometown track, Stockton 99 Speedway, after winning the Grand American Modified feature division this past season.
“This season was totally different,” the Tracy, California native said. “Last year we raced full time and didn’t have any success. I said I wasn’t going to come back until we had everything 100-percent together. We got ourselves together this season and had success.”
Last season the 25 year-old faced a lot of challenges on the track. The 2014 campaign was filled with Victory Lane celebrations.
“This season was all about having fun,” Philpott said. “Everybody knew their jobs and we executed them perfectly. Our favorite race of the season was the last one, when everything was all said and done.”
Philpott named the finale as the most important race of his 2014 season.
“I couldn’t have a bad night,” said Philpott. “I had to be smart and get it done. I was lucky to win the race and be crowned the track champion.”
Philpott won his first championship at the quarter-mile paved oval in 2009.
“This win was just as good as the first, maybe a little better,” Philpott said. “I dreamed of winning at Stockton growing up. This season was a dream because nobody beat us. To win at my home track in front of all my family and friends was pretty cool.”
Philpott grew up around racing and eventually he followed in his family’s footsteps.
“My grandfather started racing in 1978 and my dad followed along shortly after,” Philpott said. “I started racing when I was 14 and loved it. I grew up around the Stockton 99 track either racing or watching my dad and grandfather race.”
Philpott says one of his best racing experiences is racing against his father, David Philpott, who earned back-to-back NASCAR titles at Stockton in 1992-93.
“I want to beat him,” said Philpott. “But if I beat him, I have to fix his car. It’s nerve-wracking for sure. He’s harder on me than any other competitor. But overall, it’s great.”
Philpott has many people to thank for his success on the track.
“My parents and grandparents for sure,” Philpott said. “My family who also serves as my crew and also a special thanks to my girlfriend who understands the job and its hours.”
As for the coming season, Philpott and his team are cutting back.
“We’re not racing as much as last year,” Philpott said. “We want to travel more and hit bigger races and we obviously want to win.”
– Brooke Franceschini, NASCAR Media
Photo Credit: Jessica McAnelly, Jessie’s Fast Photos