UNOH Introduces Youth Achievement Award
–by Jason Christley, NASCAR IMC
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR announced several new initiatives for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Thursday at the annual Track Operators Meeting.
The competition changes, which go into effect in 2014, are designed to spotlight the sport’s young stars and reward the achievements of drivers at every level of the series. They were announced at the meeting, which was held in conjunction with the touring and weekly series awards ceremonies in Charlotte, N.C.
Starting next season, a national champion will be crowned in all five divisions of the series. In recent seasons, the Finalist Program honored top competitors in Div. II-V.
The points structure in all divisions has been adjusted slightly:
• Drivers receive two points for every car they finish ahead of in an event, up to 18 cars.
• Three bonus points will be awarded to a race winner with a single-digit starting position, and five points will be awarded to a race winner with a double-digit starting position.
“These changes were based on feedback from our competitors, track operators and fans,” said Bob Duvall, senior director, business development for NASCAR. “We feel this will bring an added element to our track’s weekly shows, and we’re already looking forward to an exciting 2014 season.”
The University of Northwestern Ohio, a longtime NASCAR partner, announced a Youth Achievement Award that will be implemented at the track and national levels. The award is available to drivers in all divisions of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series between the ages of 14-18 with valid a NASCAR license.
The track winner will be determined by applying the NASCAR point system in the series rule book based on points earned at that track – counting up to the highest 14 finishes in a division.
The UNOH Youth Achievement Award will also recognize a national champion.
Other new elements announced at the meeting included a Liberty Tire Recycling rubberized mulch program that aligns with NASCAR’s ongoing Green Initiative and a program for tracks to secure paint and other related items from Sherwin Williams, the official paint of NASCAR.
Attendees also got their first look at the new official’s uniform for all NASCAR Whelen All-American Series tracks supplied by 5.11 Tactical, in a new partnership announced in November.
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season will run from Wed., Jan. 1 to Sunday, Sept. 21.
PHOTO: Young Devil’s Bowl racers like Stephen Donahue (left) and Richard Lowrey, III (right) have a new UNOH Youth Achievement Award to aim for in 2014. (MemorEvents photo)