Friday January 10, 2014
Saturday, January 11 2014 the UARA will honor the top ten drivers of 2013.
Not only will the UARA be honoring the top ten they will be crowning the
2013 UARA Champion Dillon Bassett. Special honors will also be presented
to Rookie of the Year Garrett Jones. Bassett is the only Rookie of the
Year to follow up with a UARA Championship. Bassett is the youngest
champion on record for the UARA and Jones breaks the record as the
youngest Rookie of the Year. 2013 was definitely the year of the young
guns to show their talent. The UARA has been blessed with an amazing 2013
class of drivers.
The 2013 UARA-STARS season was one for the record books, for both good and
bad reasons. Aside from a record number of cancellations and
postponements, the record books also opened for performances by series
teams and drivers that haven’t been seen before.
Ronnie Bassett, Jr., matched his opening act from 2012 by capturing the
first two events on the calendar at Southern National Motorsports Park and
Hickory Motor Speedway. It appeared that his quest for an elusive title
was off to a perfect start once again, but events later in the year
derailed it once again.
Prior to this season, a foreign-born driver had never won a UARA-STARS
race, but Brodie Kostecki changed all of that when he took the checkered
flag at Rockingham. Not only was he the first foreign-born driver to win
in UARA competition, he was the first on the historic oval as well. He was
the fifth Australian to compete in the series.
While the UARA has gained a reputation for becoming the best training
ground before drivers move up to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, no one
expected the youth movement to gain traction like it did at Hickory’s
Banjo Matthews Memorial 150. In what has become a flagship race of the
tour, 14-year old Kaz Grala stunned the racing world by passing Kostecki
on the final restart and dashing to his first career win in any type of
full-size car, becoming the youngest ever UARA-STARS feature winner in
history. It was the second career start for the Massachusetts driver who
made the jump to late models after success in US Legends Cars and
The rest of the season was a battle amongst rivals. Garrett Campbell and
Ronnie Bassett, Jr., each picked up four wins, while eventual season
champion Dillon Bassett visited victory lane three consecutive times at
both Caraway races and the event at Kingsport. They were the only other
drivers to taste success in the 2013 tour.
But it wasn’t victories alone that captured the season championship for
Dillon Bassett. On multiple occasions, Bassett’s qualifying program
skipped a beat and placed him deep in starting fields throughout the
season, most notably at both Tri-County races. He parlayed starts of 22nd
and 23rd into podium finishes, maximizing the passing points bonus at each
race and making it difficult for his point pursuers to catch him despite
finishing in front of him.
In the season finale at Anderson, Garrett Campbell had no other choice
than to make a qualifying attempt that placed him at the rear of the
field, alongside of his championship rival Bassett. The duo had to race
through the field and avoid trouble on the way in order to claim a
championship. While the point lead swapped multiple times throughout the
course of the race due to passing points and other bonus points, in the
end, Campbell had to outduel Ronnie Bassett, Jr., for a win that would’ve
given him enough points to tie Dillon Bassett in the standings and his
first championship via the tiebreaker. Campbell didn’t have anything left
in the tank on a late race restart, and had to settle for second, not only
in the race but also in the standings.
If 2014’s UARA-STARS tour is anything close to the 2013 one, fans will be
certain to get their money’s worth no matter where the tour stops. With
record-setting winners, new faces in victory lane, and experienced
veterans mixing it up weekly, the most recent season will go down as one
to remember. And while some drivers from the tour will be advancing to the
NASCAR K&N Pro and Camping World Truck Series, others will be back to
defend their turf and battle for wins and championships. There is no doubt
the 2014 UARA-STARS tour promises to be the most exciting one yet.
This report was provided by an outside PR source and posted by Mike Neff.
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