DAYTONA BEACH, Fla - In his first full-season of running at Norway Speedway, Dalton Zehr dominated the late model division.
Zehr captured nine of 11 races, took the early lead in the 2013 ASA Member Track National Championship standings and never gave it up en route to winning the major award.
At his best, Zehr's season included a six-race win streak, recording 10 top three and nine top five finishes. He paced the 2013 ASA Member Track National Championship throughout the eight weeks of standings and finished with a 4.3540 average.
Tina Menhennick Photo
Zehr was born in Middleton, Idaho, grew up in Port Orange, Fla, and now splits his time between Port Orange and Menominee. The 22-year-old rising star earned his first track championship at Norway after running a part-time schedule the previous seven seasons.
"This is a great thrill for me and our race team," said Zehr. "We were unaware of our position within the national championship until the halfway point of the season. But once we realized we had a shot we stepped up our efforts and kept our noses to the ground and battled our way to the track title and the national championship.
"I really want to thank my team owner Joe Nechodom of Racetech Chassis for giving me the opportunity to run all season-long at Norway Speedway and also Gene Adcock who brought Joe and me together last off-season."
Zehr also cited Gene Coleman "for his years of mentoring."
"I don't think I would be a champion without Gene's guidance," Zehr said.
It is the first national championship for Norway Speedway, a slightly banked one-third mile asphalt oval located at the Dickinson County Fairgrounds in Norway. The track, originally built as a dirt track in 1942, was blacktopped in 1979.
Racing is held on Friday evenings from mid-May through Labor Day weekend when the champions are crowned during the fair.
"This is great recognition for Dalton and all of us at Norway Speedway," said Caleb Fulcher, Dickinson County Racing Association treasurer. "As a club run venue we are very proud of the great car counts and strong competition we offer race fans each week. It feels good to share this great news with all of our board members.
"It is a pleasure to be a part of the ASA racing family and our association with ASA has made a difference for us as a weekly racing facility."
The final 2013 ASA Member Track National Championship standings include the only four track champions who recorded an average of 2.90 or better:
Dalton Zehr, Norway Speedway, 4.3540
Ryan Stiltner, Lonesome Pine Raceway, 3.7791
Jeremy Lepak, State Park Speedway, 3.1436
Shelby Stroebel, Meridian Speedway, 2.9564
"It is always an exciting day when we get to call the ASA Member Track National Champion and this year's champion," said ASA President Dennis Huth. "Dalton Zehr is well deserved. I've gotten to know Dalton and his family and I know the efforts they have put into racing and supporting the ASA program so I want to congratulate not only Dalton but the entire Zehr family.
"I also want to salute Caleb Fulcher and the entire team at Norway Speedway who can now proudly wave an ASA Member Track National Championship banner for being the home of this year's champion."
While racing with his family in Florida where they moved when he was 11 years old, Zehr's skills, talent and demeanor caught the eye of Gene Coleman of Coleman Racing Products.
Through the years it developed to a point where Zehr began driving Coleman's personal race cars and they ran numerous events at what Coleman considers his home track, Norway Speedway.
During the 2012 off-season, Zehr was approached by Joe Nechodom of Racetech Chassis to pilot their house car and compete for the 2013 championship.
Although his 2014 plans have not been finalized, Zehr confirmed he will be back at Norway Speedway for select events and he will be running the entire TUNDRA Super Late Model Touring Series after finishing runner-up in the points the past two seasons.
(American Speed Association compiled this story)