The 2018 racing season was a big year for Greely, Colorado’s Brett Yackey, being one of the seven drivers selected to the 2018 Kulwicki Driver Development Program and proceeding to come away with the title. Amidst the season of opportunities came one to travel and race further from home than ever before, at one of the tracks Alan Kulwicki cut his teeth at; the mighty Wisconsin International Raceway.
Competing in the biggest race of the year at Kaukauna, WI, the Dixieland 250 under the ARCA Midwest Tour, Yackey’s Badger State debut was a difficult one as fought an ill-handling car the entire time. With the 2019 edition of the Dixieland 250 fast approaching on Tuesday, August 6, Yackey and the No. 32 crew are gearing up for round two, this time armed with notes and on-track experience.
“I’m really looking forward to going back, carrying on Alan Kulwicki’s tradition last year was really an honor. Unfortunately, when we got to Kaukauna we didn’t have any success. So, we’re looking to rebound this year and continue to carry his name proud as always,” Yackey told Speed51.
With last year’s visit backing the 32 camp this time around, Yackey doesn’t see any reason why they can’t come away with a positive on-track performance.
“I have to think so, we just went out there, and didn’t know what to expect. The track was a lot different than we thought it would be, it’s different than anything we have here in Colorado. We just didn’t go there with the right combination on the car, so we’re doing things drastically different compared to last year. Hopefully the results are a lot better.”
Despite not having a car best suited to take on WIR’s size and unique shape, Yackey still enjoyed driving on the challenging Wisconsin oval.
“It was a lot of fun. The track does have an unusual shape that takes some getting used to. We got a lot of laps while we were out there, so I think I have an idea of how best to drive it going back. I’m looking forward to it, the crew is looking forward to it. It’s just about putting in the hard work when we get there.”
One part of 2018’s easterly excursion that Yackey is looking forward to once again is meeting the Wisconsin race fans and competing against the stiff, but classy competition of the ARCA Midwest Tour.
“That was the most fun part of the trip. Despite the results the people out there are just great, Gregg McKarns and the ARCA Midwest Tour run a great show. The racers out there are top notch, but very friendly and helpful. It’s a top notch field, to go out there, and do well against them would mean a lot. It’s a whole different crowd than anywhere I’ve been, and I can’t wait to see everyone again.”
One part of the trip that Yackey knows will not be easy despite their experience last year, is the trek from Colorado to Wisconsin and back. This is especially with he and 32 team not letting up from their home racing schedule in the Rockies.
“It’s not an easy task, we race Saturday nights here in Colorado, we’ll get home late Saturday night because it’s a three-and-a-half hour visit to where we’re running that night. We’ll get everything switched over with the car we’re running in Wisconsin. It’s about a 16 hour drive, we’ll stop and sleep for a couple of hours. We’ll get there Monday just so we can enjoy the day and rest up for Tuesday.”
Speaking of his home schedule, the 2019 season has treated Yackey well for the most part. With the usual bumps in the road, Yackey remains in championship contention at both his home tracks in Super Late Models, and currently leads the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Colorado State Championship points, with his championship-winning father, Bruce Yackey, his closest competitor.
It is a season-long performance that Brett Yackey hopes to not only take to WIR on August 6, but also Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis (IN) on Saturday, September 7, when he competes against the nation’s hottest Super Late Model stars in the Speed51 Super Select.
“The season has been pretty good, with some ups and downs. I’m currently third at Colorado National Speedway points after I had one DNF that hurt me. At I-25 Speedway, I’m leading the championship there. Overall, five wins in the Super Late Model, one in the Late Model, and one in the Super Stock. Pretty solid, just keep learning every week, and getting better. Hopefully we can take some of what we learn to Kaukauna and then Indy for the 51 Super Select the month after.”
Stay with Speed51 in the coming days for information on how you can watch both the Dixieland 250 at Wisconsin International Raceway and the Speed51 Super Select at Lucas Oil Raceway Indianapolis live on Speed51.com.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51