Baldwin Park, California -- If you would have told 16-year-old Taylor Miinch that by the last race of the season he would be in contention for both the Auto Club Late Model Championship at the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale and the National NASCAR Late Model Rookie of the Year award, chances are the young and humble rookie would have laughed it off. Tonight's final race of the season would come to a dramatic end with the youngster from Alpine, CA ultimately proving to everyone that he was definitely someone to watch out for in the future.
"Wow, what an unbelievable year."— Taylor Miinch
After a pair of practice sessions earlier in the day yielded a 3rd and a 2nd place finish on the timesheets, the Position One Motorsports crew, led by Crew Chief Steve Boldroff, got to work on the car to prepare it for qualifying. Comfortable with the car and with temperatures dropping to the low 70s, Taylor took to the track and circled the ½ mile course with ease and slid into the 4th spot with a time of 94.414 seconds, just a miniscule 0.019 seconds away from grabbing the 3rd place spot.
Miinch started the race #1 in 3rd as a result of the invert, which put him on the inside of row #2. As the green flag waved, Taylor and the rest of the 21-car field roared down the front straightaway. Taylor and the #51 of Nik Romano would begin fighting side by side for the 3rd spot. As the race settled Taylor would take the 4th spot. By lap # 10 the top-4 cars had pulled away from the rest of the field with Taylor continuing to hamper Romano. Lap #15 saw Miinch beginning to poke the #03 Position One Motorsports/Jan’s Towing entry in front of Romano’s car. With 10 laps left Miinch had managed to put several runs on Romano and looked to have the momentum to take away the 3rd place spot, but the lapped car of #35 of Rodney Peacher had managed to stay in the middle of the track causing Taylor to have to slow down and avoid hitting him. The evasive move deflated Taylor’s momentum and he was unable to mount another challenge against Romano. He eventually crossed the checkered flag in the 4th spot.
Race #2 was a different story altogether for Taylor. Starting in the 2nd spot, Taylor rocketed forward at the start of the race and immediately took the first place spot away from the #42 of Larry Cerquettini. Before the lap was completed though, a caution came out and Taylor would have to give back the lead. Undeterred, Taylor came back and took the restart and once again rocketed forward and took the lead on lap #2. Another caution came out but the ensuing restart saw Taylor once again decidedly take the lead and this time he never looked back. Shooting forward on the restart, Taylor managed to put a solid 3-car lead between him and Cerquettini who would end up fighting with #55 Brandon Davis for the 2nd spot. Miinch executed every lap flawlessly and managed to keep a consistent 7-car lead between him and 2nd place. With no threat presenting itself, Miinch cruised the rest of the race and would cross the finish line in first, solidifying what many considered a great and fitting end to a successful season. By winning the race, Taylor took home his second race win of the season but also won the prestigious National NASCAR Late Model Rookie of the Year Award.
Taylor Miinch – Driver #03 – “ Wow, what an unbelievable year. So many people to thank but most importantly I have to thank God for providing this to me, as well as my parents, family and friends who have been there since day one. The Position One Motorsports organization, starting with Luis Martinez, were relentless every weekend on the track and gave 110% every time. RJ was so helpful and I want to acknowledge him and his help. This NASCAR Rookie of the Year award and the 2nd in points was the culmination of a lot of hard work and sacrifice by everyone and I am thrilled by what we all accomplished as a team.”
ABOUT POSITION ONE MOTORSPORTS
Based in Baldwin Park, CA, Position One Motorsports enters its 4th year of stock car competition at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. In the past 3 years of competition the team has garnered a Championship in the S2 division in 2009, 1 win and multiple top-10s with drivers Mackena Bell, Sergio Pena, Randel King, and Luis Martinez Jr. For 2011 Rodney Johnson Jr and Taylor Miinch will pilot the team’s Super Late and Late Model division cars respectively. You can follow Position One Motorsports on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PositionOne and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/PositionOne .You can also visit the team’s website at www.position-one.com