CHAMPIONS HONORS SEVEN TITLIST
Of 2014 Celebrated At Hall Of Fame
The culmination and coronation of a season-long –
and career-defining – road to NASCAR glory came
Saturday night for seven drivers.
Abraham Calderón summed it up the best on stage at
the NASCAR Touring Series Night of Champions.
championship was a dream a few years ago,” said the
26-year-old Monterrey, Mexico driver as he accepted
the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series title. “It was
really hard. But now that it’s real, it’s way better
than I could ever imagine.”
The evening concluded with all seven drivers on
stage together: Calderón, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series
champion Anthony Kumpen, NASCAR Canadian Tire Series
presented by Mobil 1 champion LP Dumoulin, NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby, NASCAR
Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion Andy Seuss,
NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion Greg Pursley,
and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion Ben Rhodes.
The individual high-point of the evening for each of
the drivers came on the stage at the Crown Ballroom
of the Charlotte Convention Center at the NASCAR
Hall of Fame, when NASCAR President Mike Helton
handed out the prestigious championship rings and
awarded the series championship trophies.
“Tonight, the past, the present and future all
converge,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice
president of regional touring and weekly racing.
“The past, celebrated through the storied history of
many of these series. The present, represented by a
mixture of seasoned veterans winning another NASCAR
championship and young guns winning their first. And
most importantly, the future, drivers recognized on
this stage in the past few years are already having
a huge impact in NASCAR’s three national series. And
given the talent tonight, that trend will definitely
Coby and Pursley each won their second touring
series titles, while the other five are all
For Pursley, the championship was the crowning
achievement on a long and storied career that also
included a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
national title and 20 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West
wins in 99 starts.
Rhodes joined current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
drivers Joey Logano, Ryan Truex and Kyle Larson in
winning the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship
and Sunoco Rookie of the Year in the same season.
Kumpen, who has an impressive sports car resume, won
the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series title in his first
season driving stock cars.
“For a European race driver, a NASCAR championship
seemed like an impossible goal,” said Anthony Kumpen.
Kumpen won his championship by one point over
two-time titlist Ander Vilarino, while Rhodes
clinched his with a race remaining in the season.
Seuss, Coby and Pursley all staked themselves to
early season leads and held off their challengers.
Dumoulin used a stretch of five consecutive podium
finishes in the summer months to lock up the top
spot, while Calderón emerged victorious in the
series’ five-race Desafio.
The seven champions combined for 14 wins, 67 top
fives and 86 top 10s in 95 races.
“Everybody knows that most championship stories have
a bump along the way,” said Coby, who became just
the fifth different driver in 30 years of the Whelen
Modified Tour to earn multiple championships. “We
just did our thing and took care of business at each
“My team was resilient and they absolutely refused
to flinch under pressure, and that is what defined
our season and that is what makes them champions.”
Said Seuss: “One fact I'll always point to about
this championship is we completed every lap but one.
That's a testament to the team we have working on
this car in the shop and at the track. This is a
team sport and I couldn't do it without all of you.”
The championship car owners and crew chiefs were
also recognized Saturday night.
The champions weren't the only ones to pick up
In addition to the championship awards, each series
rookie of the year was honored. The Sunoco Rookie of
the Year Award winners were Rhodes, James Bickford
in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, Tommy Solomito in
the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and Spencer Davis in
the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour. Top rookie
performers in the three international series were
Matthew Scannell in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series,
Mario Dominguez in Mexico's NASCAR Toyota Series and
Eddie Cheever III in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
The Most Popular Driver Awards for each series were
also presented during the ceremony. The seven
drivers honored with the award, which was voted on
by the fans through NASCAR.com, were Ben Rhodes in
the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, Brandon McReynolds
of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, JR Fitzpatrick in
the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, Rodrigo Marban of
the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series, Freddy Nordström
from the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, Melissa Fifield
from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and Andy Seuss
from the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
The top-10 drivers and car owners from each of
NASCAR's touring series also were recognized during
The awards ceremony was streamed live online at
NASCARHomeTracks.com – the official online home of
NASCAR’s touring series – in English, French and
Source: Jason Christley / NASCAR
December 13, 2014