CORONA, California – A decision Jack Madrid and his father made during the 2014 racing season will pay dividends Saturday (November 7) at Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
That’s when the Lucas Oil Modified Series presented by LoanMart will conclude its 10-race championship and Madrid will officially become the winner of the inaugural DJ Safety Rookie of the Year Award.
DJ Safety, a leading supplier of safety equipment for both racing and passenger vehicles, approached series promoter Greg Scheidecker during the winter with a proposal to recognize the growing number of young drivers by establishing the Rookie of the Year program.
The competition was open to any driver who had not run more than three series races. A rookie points scale was established (30-25-20-15-10-5), based on the results of each event but separate from the championship, with each driver’s eight best finishes determining the final standings.
Madrid is one of four drivers who have competed in all nine races so far (13 have scored points) and has been the top finishing rookie six times. That has given the 20-year-old from San Clemente, California, an insurmountable 60-point lead over former dirt Modified champion Eric Hamilton of Hanford, California, going into Saturday night’s Hoosier Tires West Championship presented by Carlyle Tools.
Eric Rhead of West Jordan, Utah, is third, but won’t be racing this weekend, and Blake Rogers of Yuma, Arizona, is fourth.
“We’re very pleased with the response to the program,” Loren Hill of DJ Safety said. “We appreciate all the racers who competed for the title and we’re excited to have Jack representing the company next year through the prize package.
“We’re also excited to announce that the program will return in 2016 and we look forward to another group of young, hungry racers competing for the prize.”
Madrid, a member of the 2013 NASCAR Drive for Diversity team and a past Legends road racing national champion, said he and dad Jim began looking at the Lucas Oil Modified Series midway through last season while racing a Super Late Model at Irwindale, California.
“We knew the Super Late Models were dying and we saw that the Modified series has been thriving,” said Jack Madrid, who has six top 10 finishes in the Murray Construction/Morrow Meadows Electrical Phil’s Phabrication Chevrolet. “It’s a great series. We have great competitors, it’s affordable, you get to travel around to different tracks and it’s televised. I’m really happy I got to do it this year and we’re looking forward to next year as well.”
As the series’ first Rookie of the Year winner Madrid will receive a prize package worth more than $3,000 at the series’ awards banquet. The package includes a custom driving suit, helmet, gloves and shoes worth at least $1,750 from DJ Safety, a $750 gift certificate for the art design and production of 10 crew shirts from Prothings.com, a gift certificate for a Driven Steering Wheel valued at $265, a $200 gift certificate from Joes Racing Products and more.
“We’re extremely grateful to everyone at DJ Safety for putting this program together,” Scheidecker said. “It got a lot of attention from the drivers in our series and others thinking of racing with us and based on the number of inquiries we’ve been getting next year should be tremendously exciting.”
The Lucas Oil Modified Series presented by LoanMart is supported by a potent marketing concept known as “Team Lucas” whose members include General Tire, GEICO, E3 Spark Plugs, Optima Batteries, Carlyle Tools, Kawasaki, AutoMeter, iON Cameras, Speedco Truck Lube and Tire, BILSTEIN Shocks, LoanMart and SuperClean.
Additional sponsorship is provided by Lucas Oil Products, Protect the Harvest, MAVTV Motorsports Network, Hoosier Tire West, Sunoco Race Fuels, K&N Filters, Aero Racing Wheels, ASI Racewear, Bosch, Five Star Race Car Bodies, Frank’s Radios, Racing Plus and DJ Safety.
Detailed information on the series is available at www.LucasOilModifieds.com.
-Lucas Oil Modified Series Press Release & Photo