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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Although she switched divisions and raced against a whole new group of competitors, Erica Thiering achieved a consistent result in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series this year.
Thiering, 22, of Sherwood Park, Alberta won the NASCAR track and provincial championships for the fourth time in five years at Edmonton (Alberta) International Raceway.
She won the 2012 titles in the NASCAR Super Stock division at the quarter-mile paved oval, marking the third different division in which she’s won Edmonton championships.
“It was a learning experience,” Thiering said of the season. “I raced with a whole different group of guys in a type of car I never drove before. It was completely different from Late Models.”
Prior dual championships came in the Feature Stocks (2008-09), and Late Models in 2011. This year Super Stocks were designated as the track’s NASCAR Division I.
The track’s Super Stock cars are based on a racing chassis but with a stock front clip.
“Super Stocks are so different from Late Models,” Thiering said. “I had a lot of trouble adjusting to the way they handle.
“I definitely didn’t have thoughts about winning a championship this year. I did want to run for points, but I don’t go into any season thinking I’m going to come out of it with wins or a championship. My goal is always to learn and improve.
“Late Models handle smoothly and the car kind of sits down on the track,” Thiering said. “Super Stocks are pushy. You’re really fighting a pushing condition all the time. I had a lot to learn.”
Thiering’s 2012 racing record in 11 starts includes five wins and 11 top fives.
Thiering was one of 17 drivers from the United States, Canada and Mexico selected to participate in the 2012 NASCAR Drive for Diversity (D4D) Combine in October at Langley Speedway, a.396-mile paved oval in Hampton, Va. The drivers were evaluated for on-track performance, marketing and media aptitude, and physical fitness. Participants vie for a spot on the Drive for Diversity roster next year. NASCAR Drive for Diversity is the industry’s leading developmental program for multicultural and women drivers and pit crew members.
All drivers are still in the running for a spot on the 2013 Rev Racing team. The 2013 team will be selected from among the 2012 Rev Racing drivers and the Combine participants.
Her visit to Langley was the first time she drove a race car on any other track besides Edmonton.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Combine,” Thiering said. “It was a really good learning experience. It was tough, but I think we did OK.”
Thiering will be honored for her track and province championships at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards event. The ceremonies are scheduled for Friday, Dec. 7 at the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center’s Crown Ballroom at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
A driver’s best 18 results through Sept. 16 counted toward their states and national point totals, and the champions are decided on overall point total. Once a driver reaches 18 starts, their total would increase incrementally as they replace some poorer runs with better results.
Under the point structure for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, the 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.