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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Joe Aramendia has been the most successful NASCAR Whelen All-American Series race car driver in Texas since 2006.
Aramendia, 49, of San Antonio, won his fourth and fifth NASCAR track championships in 2012. He took pavement Modified division titles at Houston Motorsports Park and Thunderhill Raceway in Kyle. He won two previous track championships at Houston in Late Models and a 2006 NASCAR Late Model title in San Antonio. His previous state championships were in 2009-10.
Aramendia kept an ambitious 2012 racing schedule. It was the first time he competed at two NASCAR Whelen All-American Series tracks on a regular basis, and it was the first time he competed fulltime in the open-wheel Modified division.
Aramendia’s state championship racing record in 27 starts this year included 18 wins, 25 top fives and 26 top 10s. He ranked an impressive 41st in the final NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Top 500.
After spending the 2011 racing Late Models around the state, he got the chance to drive a Modified in the last race of the season at Houston and won. It was a confidence booster.
“After that, I thought ‘yeah, I can do this.’ I really enjoyed myself in a Modified. They suit my driving style,” Aramendia said.
He got together with his shock absorber builder John Heil of BMF Shocks and Chassis, and the two built the first BMF Modified chassis. Longtime sponsor/owner Frank Gabrysch of Premier Metals, crew chief Tommy “Cat Daddy” Owen, Homer Pittner, brother John Aramendia and nephew Brian Moczygemba put together a first class program. As part of a three-car effort at the Kyle track, Moczygemba won the Late Model championship and Aramendia’s wife Carolyn won the Grand Stock division title.
“This was one of our busiest seasons ever,” Aramendia said. “Our goal was to finish in the top 10 of the national points and without the rainouts at Houston, we might have made it,” Aramendia said.
Aramendia is committed to maintaining his demanding pace. He just completed a new 15,000-square-foot race shop that houses seven race cars, three go-karts and several street rods. He plans to chase more wins and points at Houston Motorsports Park in 2013.
Aramendia was honored for his track and state championships at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards event earlier this month at the Charlotte 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 were decided on overall point total. Once a driver reached 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.