ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Lee Tissot captured the 2015 Southeast Super Truck Series championship in convincing fashion.
Tissot rolled out of the gate by serving notice to his fellow competitors that he had only one thing in mind – winning the title. And at season’s end for the 46-year-old from Asheville, it was mission accomplished.
Over the course of 12 races during the season, Tissot recorded five wins, three runner-up finishes, with two third-place and also two fourth-place efforts – plus no DNFs (Did Not Finish) to his credit.
Tissot captured four truck wins in 2014, but due to having missed one event he came up just short of winning the title.
“The team I drive for at Kingsport Speedway in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, we were running for the track championship in 2014,” said Tissot. “I missed a Southeast Super Truck Series race that was scheduled on a Friday because it conflicted with our Friday race night at Kingsport, and that wound up costing us winning the truck championship.
“Oh, at season’s end and looking back at how crucial it was for us missing the race, that was a really disappointing deal to have won four truck races last year and finished second in points, despite missing one race.”
Back during the winter months prior to start of the 2015 racing season, Tissot set goals of leading the series in wins and also winning the championship.
The key to winning a championship is recording consistent finishes, and more importantly you’ve got to be running when the checkered flag waves in order to receive maximum points for each event.
Tissot opened the season by finishing fourth at Tri-County Motor Speedway (Hudson, N.C.), with a runner-up effort at Anderson Motor Speedway (Williamston, S.C.), followed by another fourth-place run at Lonesome Pine Raceway, located in Coeburn, Va.
Over the next three Southeast Super Truck races at Kingsport (Tenn.) Speedway, Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway, and back for the second stop at Tri-County, Tissot reeled off three consecutive wins to solidify his perch atop the point standings.
During the dog days of summer, Tissot remained hot as he posted a third-place finish at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, followed by a second-place run at LPR, and then another third-place outing at GPS.
You often see racers have winning streaks, and just as Tissot had done earlier in the season with three straight wins, he put together another two-race stretch of reaching victory lane by winning at Anderson and Kingsport. His win at “The Concrete Jungle” in Kingsport gave him a sweep of SEST action at the track for the season.
Tissot’s victory at Kingsport Speedway sealed the deal – he was officially the 2015 Southeast Super Truck Series champion – with still one race remaining. In the series finale at Tri-County, Tissot started from the pole position and finished second.
It’s quite common for controversy to arise in racing when a particular driver is winning races and also is leading the point standings, and that scenario played out with Tissot.
“I started the year off driving for Jeff Myers, who owns the truck series,” Tissot said. “Well, some drivers and race teams got to crying and whining around complaining over how I had an unfair advantage because I was driving Myers’ truck, and that’s why I had three wins and was leading the points at midseason. But that was crazy, I was running strong because I put in the hours working on the equipment between races back in the shop and I was ready to race when we arrived at the track.
“Myers has a really good thing going with the Southeast Super Trucks, it’s a good regional touring series. I’m going to do all I can to help support the series and help it be successful and continue to grow. So at the first of July before our next race at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, my longtime racing partner Jeff Caldwell who owns Jeff’s Auto Sale just outside of Asheville in Leicester, he and I leased the truck from Myers and we finished the season off racing out of my Lee Tissot Racing shop.”
To go through an entire racing season without experiencing any bad luck with mechanical issues, and also to not be involved in any wrecks, is remarkable in itself. But when you combine a veteran driver (Lee Tissot) with a racing partner (Jeff Caldwell) who believes in his wheelman’s abilities to get the job done on the track, you’ve got the key ingredients for dynamic success.
“Hey, we had a really good year competing with the Southeast Super Truck Series and we earned this championship,” Tissot said while reflecting back on his championship season. “After not winning the title last year, it just kind of left a sour taste in my mouth. You can’t go back and change things, but with us not running the one race in 2014 is what cost us a championship. A situation like that motivates you and makes you want to do well. When I show up at a racetrack I only have one thing on my mind, and that’s running up front and winning races.
“So before the season began, I set goals of leading the series in wins and also winning the championship. When you can accomplish goals you set, that’s gratification and you feel very good about how you got the job done. We ran 12 races and had five wins, along with three second-place finishes and then a couple of thirds and two fourth-place runs, plus we didn’t have any races we didn’t finish. That in itself is a big deal. I really want to thank everybody who helped contribute to our championship-winning season, it was a really enjoyable year racing with the SEST and all of the success we had.”
Taking a look back over the years at the second generation racer Tissot’s background – he’s been successful all along the way.
It was a given Lee would drive a race car, because he grew up watching his father, Randy Tissot, compete with NASCAR’s biggest names around the Southeast during the 1970s and 1980s.
Lee got his start in racing at New Asheville Speedway in a Street Stock back in 1988, and he would eventually go on to record back-to-back NASCAR Late Model Stock Car championships in 1998 and ’99. Besides in his hometown racing along “The River,” Tissot also visited victory lane at NASCAR sanctioned tracks in North Carolina such as Hickory Motor Speedway and Tri-County Motor Speedway in Hudson, plus in the Palmetto State at Greenville-Pickens Speedway.
With Tissot enjoying much success on the local level, he branched out and began competing with the NASCAR Slim Jim All-Pro Series, United Speed Alliance Racing Hooters Pro Cup Series, and United Auto Racing Association-Southern Touring Asphalt Racing Series. He won not only feature events with each series, but in 2003 he captured the UARA-STARS championship on the strength of four victories and only finished outside of the top-10 once during the season.
Since Kingsport Speedway reopened for weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing in 2011, Tissot has visited victory lane at the East Tennessee track on 10 occasions in NWAAS competition. He also has one UARA-STARS victory, plus three Southeast Super Truck Series wins, giving him a total of 14 victories at the .375-mile banked concrete oval.
With Lee Tissot behind the wheel, crew members include Jeff Caldwell, David Ball, Tony Warren, Mike Canipe, Kevin Morgan, Ed Morgan, and Campbell Hall.
Supporters of Lee Tissot Racing in 2015 on the No. 27 Chevrolet truck were: Jeff’s Auto Sales (828-683-JEFF ... jeffsautosalesllc.com), Weaverville Tire & Wheel, Little Caesar’s Pizza, and David Ball Construction.
For more information regarding Lee Tissot Racing, contact Lee Tissot at (828) 243-8549.
-Lee Tissot Racing Press Release & Photo