NWAAS • June 19, 2013
McCaskill Within 10 Points Of Pulliam In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 18, 2013) â€” A third generation dirt Late Model driver is challenging himself with an ambitious NASCAR Whelen All-American Series schedule.
Dirt Late Model rookie Brian Kosiski, 19, of Papillion, Neb., is on a quest to get his first feature win in a division once dominated by his dad Steve and grandfather Bob.
Kosiski competes in two different types of cars at two different tracks. He competes in the open motor Super Late Model division at I-80 Speedway, a .4-mile oval in Greenwood, Neb., on Fridays and in the crate engine powered Late Model at Junction Motor Speedway, a .375-mile oval in McCool Junction, Neb., on Saturdays. Depending on the builders and track rules in the region, the difference between the two engines can average between 200-300 horsepower.
â€œThis is my first time in a Late Model and Iâ€™m still getting comfortable in it. Weâ€™ll get there,â€ Kosiski said after less than 10 starts. â€œThe biggest thing is getting more experience with the power of the open motor car. Iâ€™m racing against some guys who have been doing this for 25 years. Iâ€™m improving.â€
Kosiskiâ€™s record so far this year in nine starts is four top-fives and five top-10s. His best finish was second twice at Junction. Heâ€™s ninth I-80 points, third in Junction points, and third in NASCAR state points. He placed fifth Saturday night at Junction in a race won by Al Humphrey.
Meanwhile, defending NASCAR Whelen All-Americana Series national champion Lee Pulliamâ€™s season-long national point lead was cut to just 10 points from 35 a week ago. Pulliam, of Semora, N.C., and close pursuer Deac McCaskill of Raleigh, N.C., each won 150-lap NASCAR Late Model features Saturday night. Pulliam leads McCaskill in points 696-686.
Once a driver reaches 18 starts, their point total increases incrementally as they replace some poorer runs with better results. This was the case for Pulliam and McCaskill this weekend.
Pulliamâ€™s Saturday win came at South Boston (Va.) Speedway. With a 17-car field he received 39 points, which includes two points per car in the field and five bonus points for winning. That finish replaced a win worth 27 points on April 20 at South Boston, giving him a pick-up of 12 points. Pulliamâ€™s 21-race record now stands at 13 wins, 19 top-fives and 19 top-10s.
McCaskillâ€™s win came at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, N.C., in a 20-car field. The winner of features with 20 or more cars receive 40 points plus five bonus points, making McCaskillâ€™s win worth the maximum 45 points. Eliminating a poorer point finish of 17th worth eight points on March 9 at South Boston, and replacing it with 45 points for Saturdayâ€™s Southern National win allowed McCaskill to pick-up 37 points. McCaskillâ€™s 19-race record stands at eight wins, 15 top-fives and 18 top-10s.
Tommy Lemons of Troy, N.C., continued to hold onto third in national standings with a third-place finish at Southern National. He has 597 points, but is now 89 points behind McCaskill â€“ a loss of 11 points from last week. C.E. Falk III of Virginia Beach, Va., moved to fourth from fifth this week with third and second-place finishes in two 75-lap features at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va. He has 589 points, only eight behind Lemons. Keith Rocco of Wallingford, Conn., moved from sixth to fifth this week and has 548 points. The seriesâ€™ 2010 national champion had SK Modified finishes of sixth and fourth at Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Conn., and Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl respectively. Anthony Anders fell from fourth to sixth this week. He posted a win worth 29 points at Greenville Pickens Speedway in Greenville, S.C. Saturday.
Retired driver Steve Kosiski was a seven-time champion of NASCARâ€™s former All Star Series for dirt Late Models. He won a series-leading 51 races between 1985 and 2001. Bob Kosiski raced from 1950 through 1978 and won 16 track championships in Coupes and then Late Models. Eleven of the senior Kosiskiâ€™s championships came at the former Sunset Speedway in Omaha, where he and his sons won a total of 25 Late Model championships between 1966 and 2000 when the track closed. Bobâ€™s father Joe began the familyâ€™s participation in dirt track racing as a car owner, originally fielding modified Coupes.
Brian Kosiskiâ€™s performance in 2012 was his statement of readiness to move up to Late Models. A fourth-year B-Modified driver at I-80 and Junction, he posted five wins, 17 top-fives and 22 top-10s in 27 starts. He finished third in NASCAR Finalist Division IV dirt track standings. He placed fourth in I-80 points and second at Junction.
Car owner Steve Wright offered what might be considered a â€œluxuryâ€ ride to Kosiski at Junction this year.
â€œI just show up and race it,â€ Kosiski said. â€œIâ€™ve never done that before. Itâ€™s fun to work with new people.â€
Wrightâ€™s crew includes Ron Fegter, George Medbery and Mark Fegter. Sponsors include Osceola Implement, MaKen Irrigation and the local NAPA Auto Parts store. The team is using a Laser chassis after their primary MasterSbilt chassis was wrecked in the early season.
At I-80 he drives and maintains a Super Late Model owned by Jay and Marilyn Burdic, for whom his dad drove. Crew members include Jerry Wancewicz and Harley Moen. The car is sponsored by Malvern Bank, Al Belt Custom Homes and Imperial Tile. The team uses a MasterSbilt chassis. Both cars are bright yellow and carry a red No. 52 just like the cars his dad used to drive.
Kosiski can tap the experience of his dad as well as cousin Andrew, a nine-year veteran of dirt Late Model racing. Other third generation family members who have spent time behind the wheel include a brother Rob and cousins Kortney, Michaela and Tia.
Kosiski is thankful to begin his dirt Late Model career, but said he and his cousins didnâ€™t feel any pressure to drive race cars.
â€œWe race because we want to race,â€ Kosiski said. â€œWe donâ€™t have to live up to our familyâ€™s success in racing, but we want to. Iâ€™d like to start winning like dad did. Thatâ€™s the dream.â€
The Kosiski family has multiple business interests including I-80 Speedway and Kosiski Auto Parts in Omaha. A lot of family members work there, including Brian and Andrew. Brian is in his second year of business administration studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Now in its 32nd season, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is NASCARâ€™s national championship program for weekly short track auto racing. There are 55 sanctioned tracks throughout the United States and Canada that participate.
A NASCAR Division I driverâ€™s best 18 results through the Sept. 15 closing date count toward their state and national point totals and the champions are decided on overall point total. Once a driver reaches 18 starts, their point total increases incrementally as they replace some poorer runs with better results.
Under the point structure for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, a race winner receives two points for every car in the event up to 20 cars. Second place receives two fewer points and so on through the field. Race winners receive an additional five points. For example, if 20 cars are in the field, the winner receives 45 points, second place 38 and third 36. If there are 15 cars, the winner receives 35 points, second 28 and third, 26.
Track operators also designate support classes as NASCAR Divisions II-V and drivers in those divisions compete for points in the NASCAR Finalist program. The program brings added recognition to support division drivers. Points are kept separately for asphalt and dirt tracks.
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