Have The Young Guns Hit The Jackpot? How did They Do?

Date: 10/25/2011 12:37:50 AM

Have The Young Guns Hit The Jackpot?  How did They Do?
October 16, 2011

By Bonnie Nibblett


Delmar, DEÖ.. Ever since the Crate motor came into play it might seem like the jackpot of racing for all ages in racing locally and other areas.  Why? 


As the nation continues to be plagued by the poor economical state of affairs affecting our daily living conditions, racing and all other sports are as well hit with expense issues. 


One solution for this speedway began in 2004, when Delaware International Speedway track/owner Charlie Cathell introduced a new division of a small block specialty GM spec engine No. PN88958602.  The crate motor class became titled the TSS (Technician Service Specialist) Modified and is sponsored by AC Delco for this track and is simulated to the body of the big block Modifieds. 


Then in 2006, Cathell introduced the same supported engine to run the Crate Model Division (similar former Street Modified).  The same engines but different body style to imitate the super late model look. 


One thing for sure is the start of both of these divisions created many doors for drivers to be able to compete in these support divisions especially with the driversí mandatory age of only 14 years old.  Plus the field of drivers continues to grow every year for all wanting to race. 


Something, no one might have seen coming in the north, where itís big blocks ruling the territory, to convert to a formed sealed crate engine?  Bridgeport Speedway even dropped the head division of the big block modifieds this year and supports one of their crate classes as the main event now. 


Cathell may have been a bit ahead of the game or just a noble businessman, because now there seems to be many tracks following suit to offer crate divisions.  But one main effect for Cathell is that it has allowed new drivers to be able to afford in a competitive racing class and on an even playing field pretty much. 


Drivers, owners are able to move into this class much easier for any age to compete over the big block modified & super late model demanding monies.  Is it a way to increase car counts?  Sure, but not as a means to fore front the bigger divisions yet?  I personally donít believe it will, and I could be wrong of course.    


The attention of young drivers has grown ever after in racing.  Who will take over for the veterans in years to come?  Who will dominate?  Whoís the man of manís (or girl of girlís) to beat?  Whoís the next Jimmy Johnson, or Kyle Busch or Kenny Brightbill or Jamie Mills to be?  Itís the young drivers that will pave their way into history now and in the future, itís inevitable. 


Here we are with another racing season in the books and how did they do? 

This year was no different.  The number of new drivers once again offers much to watch for in years to come.  The AC Delco TSS Modified class had 10 or so new drivers to hit the track and not everyone did run the entire season.  But there were 3 drivers that were competitive fairly close all season. 


Tyler Reed (72) just turned eighteen years old and heís a 2011 graduate from Laurel High School, in Laurel, DE.  Reed was the highest rookie driver in points in this class finishing 8th overall in track points and was also recognized as the Redud69racing.com Rookie of the Year in the AC Delco Modified.  Tyler D. Reed (not the same Tyler Reed # 44 in crate model) has started to attend Del-Tech College for a Mechanical Engineer Degree.  Tyler started racing go-karts at 6 yrs old then went into the 600cc mod lite for 2 yrs at Middleford Speedway.  The following year he ran 1000cc mod lite & a full season at Delmar collecting 5 wins and was also the 2010 TUSA Mid Atlantic Champion. 


For 2011 Reed wanted to step it up by switching to the AC Delco Modified division.  Reed commented this class was an open wheel style, which is what I like, similar to the mod lites yet little bigger and more horsepower.  In the first race, this year I finished 5thand 2nd race next week I won?  So I was happy the way the year started, and just tried to be consistent each week.  I did, but in qualifying and the inversion at times I had to start further back than 10th a few times causing it harder to get through the pack while being patient too.  I really like racing in this class and hoped I would earn the respect by these drivers just as I respect them.  Iím pretty hard on myself, expecting to do the very best every time but overall I am happy with my first season.  Next year I want to be consistent and finish in the top 5 every week.  Iíd like to thank my sponsors Bonnevilles Roofing, Greg Hitchens Services, Shore Pressure Washing, Aqua Tech Water Specialties, Extreme Graphics, L & S Diesel Repair, and Robert Coulbourn Farms.


Trent Willey (17T) turned 15 years old at the start of 2011 and attends Cape Henlopen High School in Lewis, DE he had ran the last three years in mod lite then switched up to AC Delco class too.  Willey responded saying, I love racing the big track here at Delmar and hoped I would get a couple wins my first year.  I did get 1 win and the drivers in this class are all good where either one of us could win any week.  I think I handled the car pretty good all year, I liked the faster speed plus I stayed top rookie in points almost all year.  Tyler snuck up at the end just 85 pts over me.  Overall, I really loved racing in this class, I just felt comfortable behind the wheel, with the handling much better than I did in the mod lites.  I hope to win more next year & just stay consistent.  I had a lot of help from my family.  Thank you to them and my sponsors, Bob Willey & Sons Heating Oil & Propane Gas, PJ 1 Race Bodies, Bicknell and special to my Uncle Johnny.  


Another new driver was Dwayne Crockett of Laurel, DE in # 1 AC Delco Modified.   Heís young but not one of the teenagers that ran.  For his 1st year Crockett stayed consistent all season and finished 11th in the tracks points system.  Right out of the gates opening night he finished 9th.  He plans to return in this class for 2012.  Shawn Weber of Cambridge MD, in the 19Z also competed in this class from the mod lite class.  Some of the other drivers that only raced a few races were Scott Banks (7), Justin Jones (7), Paul McGinley (978), Trey Hicks (86) and Matt Slater. 


The Crate Model class had some close racing in points going on too.  The top rookie driver in track points this year went to 16 yr old Cody Dawson (36), a junior at Arcadia High School in Oak Hall, VA.  Dawson will be 17 in Nov.  Dawson started running go-karts at a very young age and raced 12 years.  The plan was to start the 2012 season in crate model.  However, while traveling home at the end of the racing season from a southern kart track last year, the hauler trailer caught on fire while speeding down the interstate. They lost everything in karting that they had. So instead of having to replace all that equipment for one more season it didnítí seem feasible so they went ahead and moved into the crate this year.  Dawson was also the top rookie in points and awarded the Redud69racing.com Rookie of the Year in Crate Model.  For next year I hope to travel a little and finish in the top 10 in Delmarís points.  He finished 15th in track points. Dawson wants to thank his sponsors R & J Poultry, Aqua Electric, Dawson & Bedsworth Electric, special thanks to Ray Huffman and my Dad, John.


The second rookie driver highest in crate model points and was only 13 pts behind Dawson and 16th in track points.   15 yr. old Derek Magee (96) of Millsboro, DE comes from kart racing too.  In the change up of racing in this class it has completely nothing to do with what we learned in karts, Dave Magee (father) stated.  Its taking us longer to get this racing down but weíve getting there, slowly.  Derek attends Sussex Technical High School and the 2nd youngest driver in the two crate classes this year by just 4 mos, over Trent Willey.  Magee would like to thank his sponsors of Seacoast Salon, Virgil P. Ellwanger Insurance, EZ Loans, Oak Construction and Hazzard Auto Parts.


Kellie Lewis (88) of Georgetown, DE has been driving a little while, lastly she ran in the 270cc Micro Sprints before the crate model.  Kellie goes to Sussex Central Senior High School.  Reese Masiello (22R) of Centerville, MD is 16 yrs old and attends Queen Anne's County High School.  Some other drivers new in this class were Stacy Roberts (14Z) of Georgetown, Kevin Witcher (34), T J Williams (69), and Nick Sapp (45). 


The Modified Lites had new drivers too.  Jake Nelson of Nanua, VA is 16 yrs old an it was his first to race in anything driving the no. 21X.  Nelson commented, that since it was my first year I didnít expect to do very well, but I did better than I thought.  I was able to run with the pack and keep up.  So that was a good start.  I plan to return in 2012.  My sponsors that helped me this year were Shore Tire & Auto, my Stepfather Harry Mears business. 


Brandon Watkins (4) officially was the youngest driver in all the classes, being only 14 yrs old.  Watkins attends Dover Central Middle School and has run mod lites the last 3 years but he was not old enough to race at Delmar until this year.  In his first year he ran Rookie Mod Lite to take home 10 straight wins in a row, then 2 more wins plus the track Championship at Middleford speedway.  His 2nd year he moved to Jr. Mod Lite collecting 10 wins but not in a row.  2011 he started at Middleford Speedway and switched to Delmar doing the year.  Near the end of the year he moved into the AC Delco class with only 2 events.  He plans to run a full season in 2012 in this class and he will still be a rookie next year as far as the requirements to be eligible according to Redbud69racing.com rookie program.  So keep you eye on him.  


Nick Nash, (27N) of Smyrna, DE began the year in mod lites but changed to the AC Delco crate class in Aug. but only ran 4 races; qualifying to run as a rookie in the Redbud69rcing.com for 2012 season.  Nash has run the last 3 yrs in Mod Lites at Middleford in Jr. Mod Lite a year and Ĺ then went into Open Mod Lite ad started this year in that class then moved to Delmar to run.  He said he has a lot of respect for the Mod Lite community.  However, I always wanted to run a big block mod so the AC Delco will be good to learn in. It seems to be the right move for us since we were racing at Delmar now.  The level of competition feels like the driver, not the motor, and makes you more competitive.  I loved running in bigger pack of cars and think it will produce better learning more about really driving.  A lot of mod lite drivers I raced with will upgrade as well.  I would like to finish in the top 10 each feature race next year.  Other new drivers to mention were Trey Hicks (86), 15 yr old Josh Clark (25), Adam Weber (20), Brandon Gallo (51) and Matt Smith (5K).  


The 2 main divisions Big Block Mod & Super Late Model had only a few new drivers; there were no new in the late model.  But the big block had DiAntonia Racingsí Eric Korman (16S) of Vineland, NJ competing his first year in the big block class to claim 7th in the tracks points.  Korman ran in sportsman until 2005 moving into the crate division at Bridgeport Speedway.  This year the team decided to travel south to Delmar.  Korman was consistent and raced all 20 events.  Kormanís the Redbud69racing.com Rookie of the Year in Big Block Mods and may very well be the tracks Rookie of the Year; the track has not announced the rookie of the year driver at the track. 


Young Kyle Fuller (68) changed to big blocks and did a super job considering he only ran 16 of the 20 events.  The team had some set backs with engine woes to finish 15th in the tracks points.  Shawn Ward (14K) also moved to big block after a super AC Delco year like Fuller.  Ward had engine troubles too and only ran 12 events but still finished 18th in track points.  Both drivers feel they did okay this year but would like to have done better as anyone else would.  Just keeping up with the big dogs means a lot and a victory in a sense.


The super late model rookies from last year, Amanda Whaley (44) and Andrew Mullins (51) continued with a good season.  Mullins finished 4th in track points and Whaley was 12th.  Whaley had a bad case of bad luck plague her all year and did not get to run every race with mechanical issues.  Weíll get them next year she said.


The award Redbud69racing.com Rookie of the Year is not associated with the Delmar track.  It is an award presented from the Redbud69racing.com to the highest in points as a new racer in all of regular five classes that run at Delmar. The 8x10 plague has been sponsored by John Theofiles, of AutoWorld in Salisbury since 2004. 


For all your Delaware news visit redbud69racing.com, Your Delaware and Surrounding tracks race news plus NASCAR, and also home of the largest racing message board on the shore.  See you at the track!

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