Driver Aims For UNOH Battle At The Beach
An Ohio NASCAR Late Model driver has returned to fulltime competition at two NASCAR Whelen All-American Series tracks.
A determined Bobby Justus, 54, of Columbus is making a serious challenge for the Ohio State championship by running run the full schedule at Columbus Motor Speedway and also competing at Kil-Kare Raceway in Xenia in 2012.
The last time he ran the circuit full-time was in 2009. His pace slowed due to recovery from illness and surgery in 2010.
“We’re going to run every race available at both tracks,” Justus said. “The competition is tough up here, but we’ve been close before. I finished second in Kil-Kare and state points a few years back. We want to do well enough to be able to go to Daytona next February to race in the UNOH Battle At The Beach.”
A trip to Daytona is on Justus’ ‘bucket list’ and he feels good about his chances to compete in the Sunshine State for the first time early next year.
The inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach is set for Daytona International Speedway Feb. 18-19, 2013. NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Models will be featured along with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tours. The events will be held on a paved .4-mile temporary oval track. The top 10 in 2012 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national point standings will be locked-in to the starting field in the Late Model feature. The balance of the starting field will be determined by qualifying.
“We want to be able to go to Daytona to race next February,” Justus said. “That’s our goal. Racing at Daytona would fulfill a lifetime dream. I’ve never even been to Florida. I’d like to see all the Speedweeks races. It’s something to look forward to.”
“My car owner Woody Fox bought a Port City car from a guy in the Carolinas,” Justus said. “That’ll be our Columbus car. Gary and Bud St. Amant have been helping us get it ready. We’ve got a Howe car for Kil-Kare and a third car as a back-up. We’ve been working on cars all winter.”
The hard work has paid off as Justus has picked up three wins so far this season and has finished in the top 10 in all 20 of his starts so far this season.
“We are having one of those years that you will remember throughout your career and I can’t thank my sponsors and my crew enough for all the help they have given me,” Justus added. This is a season you will remember as a driver.”
Justus began his season with a heavy heart. His dad, Robert E. Justus Sr., 78, passed away March 29.
“Dad was a go-kart racer years ago, and we’re taking his kart number for our Columbus car this year. We’ll be No. 51 Jr. at Columbus and No. 29 at Kil-Kare.
Car owner Fox is also the primary sponsor of the cars through his Woody Fox Bail Bondsman Company. Other sponsors include M&D Auto Sales, Classic Pizza, Jerry’s Engine Shop and Kim Cahill Built Rite Siding.
The driver’s son, Tim Justus, is the crew chief. Jerry Cuckler is with the team at the tracks. Additional assistance is provided by St. Amant Motorsports.
Kil-Kare Raceway is a .375-mile banked paved oval. Its website is www.kilkare.com. Columbus Motor Speedway is a .333-mile paved oval and its website is www.columbusspeedway.com. Both tracks have been in operation for more than 60 years and part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series since 1989.
In the Whelen All-American Series national standings, Lee Pulliam extended his lead this past week over now second-place Keith Rocco to 50 points, 730-680. C.E. Falk dropped one spot to third with 677 points. Ted Christopher moved up one spot to fourth with 649 points and Nate Monteith is two points behind in fifth.
Pulliam is the fourth different NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national point leader in the past five weeks. Pulliam, 24, of Semora, N.C., placed third in the 2011 national point race. His 2012 racing record to date is 14 wins, 18 top fives and 19 top-10s in 21 starts. Rocco’s record stands at 10 wins, 19 top fives and 23 top-10s in 30 starts.
A driver’s best 18 results through Sept. 16 are counted toward their states and national point totals, and the champions are decided on overall point total. Once a driver reaches 18 starts, their total would increase incrementally as they replace some poorer runs with better results.
Under the point structure for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, the race winner receives two points for every car in the event up to 20 cars. Second place receives two fewer points and so on through the field. Race winners receive an additional five points. For example, if 20 cars are in the field, the winner receives 45 points, second place 38 and third 36. If there are 15 cars, the winner receives 35 points, second 28 and third, 26.
Track, state and provincial champions and the top-three finishers in the national standings earn invitations to the 2012 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards event. The ceremonies are scheduled for Friday, Dec. 7 at the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center and NASCAR Hall of Fame.