SUNOCO ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD
Clinches NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour Honors
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour 2013 Sunoco Rookie of
the Year Award has been clinched by Cole Powell.
Powell, from Mount Brydges, Ontario, has captured
Sunoco Rookie of the Race honors in nine of 13
events this season behind the wheel of the No. 73
Copps BuildAll/Tricar Developments Chevrolet. The
21-year-old ranks 15th in the Whelen Modified Tour
season standings with a best finish of ninth at
Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway on Aug. 2.
Powell is the 15th driver to earn Sunoco Rookie of
the Year honors since the Whelen Modified Tour began
recognizing the top first-year competitors in 1999.
He is also the first Canadian to secure the award.
“We’re really excited about it,” Powell said. “It’s
the first time we’ve really ever gone out for a full
season of anything – Late Models or Modifieds – so
we had a goal set to get the Rookie of the Year. It
feels good to accomplish that goal.”
Powell had a handful of starts between the NASCAR
Whelen Modified and Whelen Southern Modified Tours
prior to this season. He acknowledged that the team
has experienced some adversity in their first full
season, but they continue to look forward.
“From everything else that I’ve run [in the past],
whether it be Pro Late Models or Super Late Models,
I think the Whelen Tours are the stiffest
competition I’ve ever been in,” Powell said. “We’ve
gone through a lot of bad luck this year, but being
the rookie I think you’re allowed to have a year
like that, I think everybody goes through that.
Going into next year we’ll just keep our head high
and hope that things turn around.”
Unlike the majority of full-time Whelen Modified
Tour teams that are based in the northeast, Powell’s
family team regularly has to travel eight or more
hours down from their Canadian home for the events.
They relied heavily on U.S.-based crew members to
get through the season.
“It was a huge honor for us to work this season with
some wonderful American crew members who volunteer
their time and effort every race for us,” Powell
said. “Their help has been invaluable.”
The Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings are
determined by a driver’s finish relative to other
rookies in the race. The top-finishing rookie in a
race earns 10 points, the second-highest receives
nine, and on down the line. Powell has earned 123
Sunoco Rookie of the Year points through 13 of 14
scheduled events, nearly triple the total of his
Powell also captured Sunoco Rookie of the Race
honors in both of his Whelen Southern Modified Tour
starts so far this year, including an overall
season-best third place finish at historic Bowman
Gray Stadium on Aug. 3 in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Powell will be formally recognized for this
accomplishment at the NASCAR Touring Series Awards
on Saturday, Dec. 14 in the Charlotte (N.C.)
Convention Center at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will close out the
2013 campaign on Sunday, Oct. 20 with the Sunoco
World Series 150 presented by Xtra Mart at Thompson
Source: Jason Cunningham / NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour