Matt Bowling clinched his first NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship, unofficially, after Ty Majeski finished seventh in his first race at Elko Speedway in Minnesota.
Majeski, came into the final weekend of the points race 17 points behind Matt Bowling. Bowling finished third in the first of two 75-lappers at historic South Boston Speedway in the season finale at the 4/10ths mile track, the final race at the track prior to the track being re-paved for the first time since 1992.
Bowling, en route to his first national championship, won 14/15 total races in a 49 race campaign, taking the Ridgeway, Virginia based driver to South Boston, Kingsport, Caraway, Southern National, Dominion, Motor Mile and Anderson. Over the grueling 49 race schedule, Bowling amassed 42/43 top ten finishes.
In what was a nail-biting points race, Majeski had to win both of his two races at Elko to have a chance at winning but fell short of that goal. Coming into the weekend, northeast modified driver Keith Rocco also had a chance at the crown but finished fifth in his final race of the season.
“It feels pretty good, it’s a good feeling for sure,” Bowling said. “We have a great team, we stayed at it and got wins when we needed to and thats what its all about. We never gave up and kept working and getting wins.”
Majeski and Rocco, however, will not be empty handed, as Majeski will finish third in the Wisconsin state points race and 16th in the state of Minnesota. Majeski also will finish second in the race for the points title in Florida where he raced at New Smyrna, winning three times. Rocco, will be crowned the state champion for Connecticut after winning 13 of his 43 races.
The title is Bowling’s first, despite being a mainstay in the Late Model scene in the Southeast.
“We all knew we were capable of doing it, our crew chief H.C. [Sellers], he calls it right and I get it done.” Bowling remarked. “I have confidence in him that he can get the job done also, we all have confidence in each other and that’s what it takes, we all feed off of that. We all know we have our own parts and can get it done, if we get everything clicking together and it goes the right way it can work out like this.”
Not only does Bowling clinch the National title, he also clinches the Virginia state title as well as his third South Boston track title. Bowling will also finish tenth in the North Carolina state championship with five wins in 14 starts in North Carolina.