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STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT - SEPTEMBER 28:   Sam Rameau, driver of the #06 Central Mass Tree Chevrolet, during practice for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour NAPA Fall Final 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway on September 28, 2019 in Stafford Springs, Connecticut. Photo by Adam Glanzman/NASCAR
Sam Rameau earned the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. (Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)

Sam Rameau Earns Sunoco Rookie of the Year Honors

Mission accomplished for Sam Rameau.

The Westminster, Massachusetts, driver entered the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season looking to capture the Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors, and when the 16-race championship points schedule was over, Rameau was celebrating.

RACING-REFERENCE: Sam Rameau 2019 Season

He adds his name to a list of 20 drivers in the history of the series who have earned the award — including champion names like Todd Szegedy, Donny Lia and Justin Bonsignore.

“It’s pretty cool to have my name in the record books — this is a prestigious award,” Rameau said. “It was definitely some really good competition between Timmy Catalano, J.B. Fortin and myself.”

Rameau’s best finish of the year was eighth, twice — coming in the NAPA Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway in May, and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park’s Thompson 125 in June. He finished 14th in the championship standings, and beat Fortin by 48 points in the final tally, with Catalano a close third.

This year was a much of a learning curve for Rameau as anything else in his racing career. His experience previously was in Modifieds in New Hampshire, but it was limited.

“Places that I’ve never seen before, like Myrtle Beach, South Boston, Oswego… all of them I barely had any laps at,” Rameau said. “The only track I had some experience was Seekonk because  I raced a Legend Car there. But it was cool to sit in tech with some big names at Thompson because we won the Rookie of the Year.”

As of now, Rameau isn’t sure what his 2020 season is going to look like — but he’s hoping to return to try and accomplish his next goal — winning a Whelen Modified Tour race.

“This year was a definite success, we learned a lot,” Rameau said. “There were a lot of ups and down, and some DNF’s at the end of the year.. We had a break, a wreck… we came out of Thompson making gains. The finish doesn’t always prove how good the weekend really was.”

RIVERHEAD, NY - SEPTEMBER 06: Sam Rameau, driver of the #06 Chevy Central Mass Tree, during the 2019 Miller Lite 200 on Sept. 06, 2019 at Riverhead Raceway, Riverhead, NY. (Photo by Ruby Wallau/NASCAR)
Sam Rameau’s best finish of the season was eighth, twice, en route to the crown. (Ruby Wallau/NASCAR)