Jimmy Zacharias has put up some incredible numbers over recent years in his home state of New York. Perhaps coming off his best season yet with double-digit wins and a top-five finish in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national standings, the Candor, New York driver has momentum riding high into the new season.
To stay ahead and keep up with the competition, many of those winning Modifieds that earned several trophies went up for sale over the autumn and winter months. Acquired over the offseason were two top machines that have been proven to win.
The look of the No. 71 Modified will be a little different when the team begins the year at the 50th Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway (FL). The familiar red scheme changes to blue after purchasing a car formerly campaigned by the Pasteryak family. Another car being prepared for 2016 was previously piloted by NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and Race of Champions Asphalt Tour regular Patrick Emerling.
In an entire effort to branch out from the success he has accomplished beyond the five championships at Chemung Speedrome and two New York state titles, there would not be a better place to start with a victory during the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna (FL).
“That’s basically the main goal,” Zacharias said. “This year we have put all our eggs in one basket, being 100 percent prepared, and doing things a little differently. We want to win, if not more than once, then win the championship.”
Zacharias is no stranger to Tour-Type Modified competition at New Smyrna. Steady improvement year after year culminated in one of his most consistent performances in 2015, with four top-five finishes and not a single result outside the top 10.
A cast of family and friends surrounding him continues to help step up their game each season in the Sunshine State, and an added partner well-known in the industry brings support as well at an event Zacharias has been attending since childhood.
“It was up in the air before, but a big help is Doug Dunleavy came on board,” Zacharias mentioned. “I’ve been going to Florida every year since I was 11 or 12, and this will be my 14th year going.”
Beyond Florida the plans for 2016 are still not set in stone, but after a year away from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour expect to see Zacharias back on at least a limited basis including one event closer to home.
“We’ll see how Speedweeks goes, but we’re planning to do some Tour races and looking into a spec motor. We’re definitely looking at the event in Oswego this year as well as some others.”
-By Aaron Creed, Speed51.com Central NY & PA Editor – Twitter: @aaron_creed
-Photo credit: Kyle Williams