Brett Taylor scored four top-10 finishes in his first full-time campaign in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series, and it ended with him capturing the Jostens Rookie of the Year honor.
While the Calgary, Alberta, native is no stranger to the series – having made a total of six starts in 2016 and 2017 prior to this year – this year was a memorable learning experience.
“The season was fantastic,” said Taylor. “I learned so much throughout the year and understandably, I learned more what you do wrong helps you learn what not to do next time.”
Taylor decided to team up with CBRT, led by Joey McColm, along with crew chief Ed Wrong. Deciding to use a team with Pinty’s Series experience, and previous success, was a good decision.
“One thing that helped me so much this season was having a car the team provided me for each race that was very reliable and it allowed me to learn and run a lot of laps,” said Taylor. “I was fortunate to be able to run so many laps throughout the season.”
As the lone competitor west of Ontario to compete full-time this season, Taylor logged more travel miles than any other full-time driver flying often from Alberta east to Ontario and Quebec for the majority of the races.
While Taylor knew it would be a huge commitment to race for Rookie of the Year, he looks back and quickly realizes it took more than time and travel to be competitive on the track.
“I underestimated the energy that’s involved in running a full-time season,” said Taylor. “The physical and mental commitment it takes is incredible. I’m very humbled about what it takes to race and run in the top five every race. I’ve learned a lot more than I realized.”
Taylor always enjoyed competing in the series in his previous starts, but competing full-time he got to see firsthand what the series is known for between its officials, competitors and partners, a feeling of family in the atmosphere at every event.
“It amazed me seeing how the NASCAR Pinty’s Series is like one big family and how they support one another,” added Taylor. “Don’t get me wrong, on the track, we raced each other hard and it was game on. But as driver that I raced hard on the track, they would also be the first one to let you borrow a spring or something you might need to make the race and maybe even beat them on the track.”
Speaking of the competition on the track, the sportsmanship and respect shown by fellow competitors impressed the newest Josten’s Rookie of the Year.
“I appreciate how I was welcomed to the series and how I was raced this season,” Taylor said. “I was racing against Mark Dilley in the season finale at Jukasa (Motor Speedway) and we raced side-by-side for 20 laps and never touched. We raced hard and witnessed if you show respect, drivers will reciprocate.”
Of his four top-10 finishes during the season, one that meant a lot to Taylor was coming home ninth at Edmonton International Raceway in July — a track just a couple of hours from his home.
“We had a good run in Saskatoon and probably could have run up in the top five in one of the races, but we had a rivet in our right front tire and had a tire going down for most of the race,” said Taylor. “Then we went to Edmonton and had another top-10 finish and it was special to do that with my wife, kids, my parents and a lot of supporters there.”
Taylor also wanted to thank NASCAR and Jostens for their support and sponsorship of the award.
“I can’t thank NASCAR enough for all they do for the series,” said Taylor. “Here is one example that stands out to me. We were at Trois-Rivieres, Quebec at GP3R and we were having brake trouble. Some NASCAR officials actually helped us so we could get the car ready to race and they didn’t have to do that but they helped us and it was something I really appreciated.
“I also want to thank Jostens for the Rookie of the Year Award and I appreciate everything Joey, Ed and the entire team did all season long to help me win this award.”