The voting period is currently in full-swing for “The 51’s,” the annual end-of-year awards decided by short track racing fans on Speed51.com. While drivers like Rico Abreu, Jonathan Davenport, Lee Pulliam and Brett Hearn are all nominated for various awards, one driver who accomplished a significant amount on the race track in 2015 is missing from the ballot.
That name is Kenny Tremont.
Tremont, a 54-year-old New York racer, won 18 races in 2015 en route to a Big Block Modified championship at New York’s Albany-Saratoga Speedway, a Small Block championship at Lebanon Valley Speedway, and the dirt championship at Vermont’s Devil’s Bowl Speedway. He also finished second in Big Block points to Hearn at Lebanon Valley.
Those are stats that are worthy of having him nominated for Short Track Local Driver of the Year; however, his name is not there. You’re now probably wondering why. How could Tremont have been forgotten with stats like that? While you may be wondering that, Tremont is not.
“I guess I don’t really have a big ego to worry about something like that,” Tremont told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I’d rather do it quietly to be honest with you. “I’m not doing it for a big pat on the back or recognition. I enjoy it, and it’s more enjoyable when you win, with the guys that I have. I want to do well for the people that work hard for me. As far as getting a bunch of recognition, I don’t know if I need all that to be honest with you.”
As good as Tremont’s 2015 season was, he still does not believe that it was even the best season of his racing career. In fact, he said he thinks it was only maybe his third best season ever. But for a driver with wins all over New York, Vermont and beyond, his third best season may be considered a dream season for many other drivers throughout the country.
Tremont said the key to his successful season was how he decided to delegate the work load this year. With
three different cars, he decided keeping them all under one roof was going to just be too much work.
“We got some different people to take care of different cars in different areas,” explained Tremont. “We didn’t try to run it all under one roof like we did in the past. My dad and I and our crew took care of the Friday night crew for Albany-Saratoga, and we had a separate group of guys take care of the small block car for Saturday nights at Lebanon Valley. Then I had another shop that took care of the Saturday night Big Block Modified. So technically we had three shops that we did all of the racing out of.
“I think the main reason it helped us is that it reduced the work load on my father and I. Even though we were okay doing it, it turns out that you can do a little bit better job if you’re not the one paying attention to all of the details and not be stretched so thin and try to cover all of the race cars and tracks that you’re trying to run.”
Tremont said the key to succeeding when trying to run a race team out of three different shops is just communicating well with everyone at each location.
“I spend the week working on the Friday night car for Albany-Saratoga, and I’m in constant contact with the other shops,” he said. “Not that I’m physically going to each shop, because I’m not. I’m really relying on my guys to make sure the cars are bullet-proof and ready for the next week, but we’re always talking about what I want and what we should do for the next week.”
Another reason why Tremont said he believes he had such a successful season is because he was constantly racing against one of the best Dirt Modified drivers to ever strap into the seat, Brett Hearn.
“He forces you to do your best at all times,” Tremont said. “This isn’t a deal where you’re going to go to the races and float your way to a win. If you win against him, you ran hard and you ran well. You can bank on if he’s not the fastest car he’s going to be one of the closest ones to that.”
Now that 2015 is over Tremont is looking towards 2016 and improving on what he did last year. But what exactly does that mean?
“That would mean winning the championship at Lebanon Valley and winning the championship at Albany-Saratoga, and improving that win number,” he said.
If Tremont does that, you can guarantee that he’ll be nominated for the Short Track Local Driver of the Year award. He won’t be the forgotten man again.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com/Daryl Canfield Photo