Five drivers from five different states – from New England to the Rocky Mountains — have one thing in common Thursday afternoon.
They are NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series National Champions.
David Greenslit of New Hampshire, claimed the Division II national title by just two points — one position on the race track. Utah’s Jon Quinton (Division III), Oklahoma’s Brady Walsh (Division IV) and Nebraska’s Chris Vannausdle (Division V) were also officially announced as national champions.
And 16-year-old Sam Butler of Indiana earned the UNOH Youth Achievement Award national title, as the top driver 16-and-under regardless of division. Butler also earned the Division I Josten’s Rookie of the Year Award on Tuesday, when Josh Berry was named the Division I national champion.
All national standings are determined by the driver’s best 14 finishes from any sanctioned track in North America to determine the National Champion for Division II through V. Drivers receive two points for every NASCAR-licensed competitor they finish ahead of, up to 16 cars; and can receive two bonus points for winning from a starting position five through eight, and four points for winning from ninth or further back.
Due to the disruptions of the seasons at tracks across the United States and Canada, the final day to count points toward the championship was Sunday, Oct. 18.
The Division II title came down to the final weekend. And one position.
Greenslit had already wrapped up the title at Claremont Motorsports Park in the track’s R.E. Hinkley Street Stocks division, and won the Battle of the Belt Championship for the driver with the most points between four tracks in New Hampshire – Claremont, Monadnock, Lee USA, and Hudson Speedways.
He was second in points, six back of Jerod Weston, the O’Reilly Auto Parts B Modifieds champion at Adams County Speedway, a dirt track in Iowa. Willie Gammil, who races at at the dirt Salina Highbanks Speedway in Oklahoma, was 20 points behind Weston, and Adam Gray was 30 points back. Gray had already wrapped up the asphalt Late Model championship at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway – his third career title and first since 2014.
On Saturday, the 34-year-old Greenslit won the Street Stock Division race at Claremont’s Fall Challenge.
Making things more interesting, Weston made the 20-hour drive to Claremont, a third-mile apshalt oval, and Gray also landed a ride for the event. Gray finished sixth in the race, while Weston was 10th.
When the dust cleared, Greenslit finished with 402 points on the strength of 12 wins, 20 top fives and 23 top 10s in 23 races.
Gray wound up two points back in second, with six wins, 11 top fives and 13 top 10s in 15 starts, while Weston ended up third with six wins, 12 top fives and 13 top 10s in 13 starts.
Quinton earned his first career win at Idaho’s Magic Valley Speedway on July 3. The 35-year-old from Smithfield, Utah, went on to win five more times and take home the Denny’s Mini Stock championship at the quarter-mile semi-banked asphalt oval track in Twin Falls, Idaho.
He had 20 top fives in all 20 starts to win the national Division III title with 388 points, 18 better than Derek Debbis at Stafford.
Rodney Argo edged Bobby Ozman by virtue of a tiebreaker (more wins, 6-1) to take the third spot. Both Argo and Ozman race at California’s Irwindale Speedway.
Brady Walsh rode an eight-race win streak to his second straight S&J Plumbing Pure Stocks championship at Salina, a .375-mile high-banked clay oval.
The 22-year-old from Choteau, Oklahoma, finished with eight wins and top fives in all 15 of his starts to earn the national title by 42 poins over Jordon Shive, who also races at Salina. It’s the third time in the last five years that the Division III champion has come from Salina, after Nathan Campbell won in 2016 and ’18.
Chris Vannausdle won the Brandon Towing and Recovery Compacts championship at Adams County and the Sport Compact Division title at Nebraska’s I-80 Speedway. Between the two dirt tracks, the 48-year-old from Villisca, Nebraska, had nine wins, 19 top fives and 19 top 10s in 21 starts to finish with 432 points.
Stafford’s Zachary Robinson (382) and Meg Fuller (372) finished second and third, respectively.
Chris’ son, Bryan Vannausdle, finished fourth in Division V.
The youngest champion of the group, Butler has already a career-defining win on his resume.
In September, Butler out-ran Berry and a host of Late Model Stock Car stars to win the 44th Annual Bobby Isaac Memorial at North Carolina’s Hickory Motor Speedway.
Butler finished with three wins, 13 top fives and 17 top 10s at Hickory. He also made one start at South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach Speedway. He finished ninth in the Division I national rankings, the top rookie.
Butler collected 408 points to beat runner-up Daniel Silvestri and third-place Debbis. Silvestri had 382 points racing at Virginia’s Langley Speedway and Dominion Raceway, while Debbis had 370 points.