VanDyke Grateful For Championship (Kingsport Speedway)
VanDyke Grateful For Championship Credits Total Team Effort In Winning First State Title Tim Southers, NASCAR January 12, 2015 - 12:39pm DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — It has been well documented how Kres VanDyke has worked hard and sacrificed to get where he is today in his racing career. Now he can add state champion to his resume. VanDyke enjoyed his best season to date in winning the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track championship at Tennessee’s Kingsport Speedway and the NASCAR Tennessee state championship. “What a remarkable year we had is the best way to sum up our season,” Van Dyke said. “We improved everywhere last season – myself as a driver and the entire crew stepped up their dedication and effort and it obviously paid off for us.” VanDyke finished the season with six wins, 18 top five and top 10 finishes in all 19 starts, good enough to hold off Chad Finchum for the titles. While his results would be impressive for any driver at any track, what makes this accomplishment stand out is the fact he did this driving a 12 year-old car sponsored by Service Fuel, Pizza Plus, Burger King, Catch 22 and DJs Pawn Shop. VanDyke and his crew take meticulous care of his race car, and he has to because he still drives – and wins – in a 2002 Townsend car that has a TORP chassis and a motor built by Robbie White. “Every driver is quick to thank their crew members but I am really proud of everyone on our team that pitches in to help us get to the race track and be competitive each week and challenge to win races, and that is all a driver ever wants,” VanDyke said. “I can’t thank Jeff (Hale), Todd (Estep), Austin (Williams), Chris (Barbour), Kevin (Canter), Hershell (Robinette), Bryer (Breeding) and Jon (Reed) enough for all of their help”. VanDyke and Finchum enjoyed racing one another at Kingsport and Virginia’s Lonesome Pine Raceway last season with Finchum winning the title at LPR and finishing second to VanDyke at Kingsport. “I feel Chad and I race each other hard but clean and we are very professional with one another,” VanDyke said. “I expect him to come back next season and race just as hard as he did last year and compete for the track title.” While visiting Charlotte and participating in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards ceremonies in December, VanDyke was able to see up close for the first time how drivers are recognized for their efforts by NASCAR and its partners, and it only got the Pounding Mill, Virginia, native wanting the season to get going right away. “Participating in all of the events in Charlotte really opened my eyes and made me want to get back at it and ready for 2015,” VanDyke said. “It was my first opportunity to be a part of it and we want to move up in the national standings and we want our banner flying in the Charlotte Convention Center next year.” VanDyke finished seventh in the national standings, and while he knows it will take some improvement to crack the top five, he is ready. “Being a part of the banquet and seeing how great NASCAR makes the event just lights a fire in me and my team to improve on our consistency next year and work hard to move up in the final standings next season,” VanDyke said. “We have an excellent opportunity.” VanDyke plans on returning to defend his state and track titles at Kingsport, but he has also decided to hit the road next season in an effort to improve and compete against some new faces. “While we will definitely be back at Kingsport, we have already looked at some other tracks and plan on trying our best to race at some of those next year,” VanDyke said. “We are looking at racing at Greenville Pickens, Hickory, Motor Mile, Myrtle Beach and South Boston when we can. We ran a total of 39 races last year and we are going to try and expand that another eight to 10 more if we can work it our schedule.”
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