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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A runner-up finish in 2011 was the motivating force for J.C. Wyman and his team this season.
Wyman drove Jack and Mary Ann McKee’s Ford Mustang to this year’s NASCAR dirt Late Model track championship and NASCAR state championship at Adams County Speedway in Corning, Iowa for the first time.
A year ago in their first full season together, Wyman and the McKees showed they held a potent combination, but fell just short in their title quest. After finishing just five points behind Paul Glendenning in 2011, Wyman et al entered 2012 ready to contend again.
“It took a lot of teamwork all through each week, a good race car and good motors,” Wyman said. “As a driver, my goal was to finish in the top two or three every week, even when we were starting deep in the field. When we started near the back and winning looked impossible, I just went for a top three finish.
“My other big goals were to avoid making errors, concentrate and avoid DNFs,” Wyman said.
“When we got into the second half of this season we could see those championships were out there if we could close the deal,” he said.
The sting of that five-point loss in 2011 kept the team focused on the goals.
On the season Wyman picked up three wins to go along with 11 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes in 16 starts. He won the track and state championships by 38 points over Jason O’Brien. Former track champions John Hampel, Glendenning, and Chris Spieker rounded out the top five in the point races. Spieker is an eight-time Adams County track champ, including a run of seven in a row from 2003 to 2009.
“I’ve watched Chris race since I was a little kid and he’s always been one of the best,” Wyman said. “I’ve seen him win numerous championships.”
Defending track champ Glendenning told Wyman he’ll enjoy the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champions’ event coming up in early December.
“Paul said it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event and we’re excited about going to Charlotte,” Wyman said.
After a decade of being an owner-driver in the dirt Modified division, Wyman teamed of with the McKees for seven dirt Late Model races in 2010. With promising results, 2011 was their first full season together.
“The McKees are longtime family friends and their sons drove for them,” Wyatt said. “When those guys cut back on racing, I got a trial run. That was my big break.”
Wyman’s father Jim is the engine builder through his J.D. Wyman Motorsports. The Ford-powered Mustang is based on a GRT chassis. Wyman’s brother Jared is crew chief. Team members include Casey Ferrins, Kyle Kirchhoff, and Brian Behnken. Sponsors include J.D. Wyman Service, Wyman CarQuest, Kirchhoff Welding & Fabrication and 21st Century Co-Op.
Wyman will be honored for his track and state championships at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards event. The ceremonies are scheduled for Friday, Dec. 7 at the Charlotte Convention Center’s Crown Ballroom at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
A driver’s best 18 results through Sept. 16 were 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.