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Whelen All-American Series History

February 1, 2011 - 1:19pm

For more than 30 years, racing at short tracks throughout the country has provided the foundation for NASCAR. That tradition continues in 2014 as the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series will crown champions at the track, state and national level.

The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is NASCAR’s national championship program for short-track racing. Connecticut-based Whelen Engineering, a leading manufacturer of automotive, aviation, industrial and emergency vehicle lighting, is the series sponsor. More than 10,000 drivers compete at NASCAR-sanctioned short tracks throughout the U.S. and Canada.

• The track champions are determined by local track points. A competitor does not have to be a track champion in order to win a state or national championship.

• State/province champions are those competitors who accumulate the most NASCAR points at any NASCAR-sanctioned track within a state or province. Points will not transfer between states or provinces, but a competitor may compete for more than one championship.

The crowning of U.S. state and Canadian province champions was resumed in 2007, continuing a NASCAR tradition of honoring the top drivers at the regional level that dates back to the earliest days of NASCAR. The list of NASCAR greats who have won state championships includes Richie Evans, Red Farmer, Ned Jarrett, Jerry Cook, Ralph Earnhardt, Cale Yarborough, David Pearson, Sterling Marlin, Harry Gant, Geoff Bodine and Jack Ingram.

• The national champion is the competitor who accumulates the highest total of NASCAR points. Drivers are able to compete at any NASCAR-sanctioned facility in North America.

RECORD BOOK (1982-2013)

In 2013, Lee Pulliam of Semora, N.C., won his second straight NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship. He joined five-time champion Larry Phillips and four-time champion Philip Morris as the third driver to win more than one NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship, and to win two in succession, in the series’ 32-year history.

The new simplified point structure – introduced in 2007 – features an “inverted” point’s format, with car counts affecting the amount of points a competitor receives. Points are awarded in ascending order with the last place car receiving two points, next-to-last receiving four and then up through the field in two point increments – up to a maximum 18 cars. In addition, the race winner receives three (3) bonus points a win, with an additional two more points available if the driver starts 10th or lower. 

Throughout the season the top 500 feature division drivers are ranked nationally according to their NASCAR points. At the end of the season, each top 500 driver will receive a certificate of recognition from NASCAR displaying their 2014 ranking.

In addition, drivers will be competing to put their name on the handcrafted trophy commissioned by NASCAR to honor the national champion. The perpetual trophy, which was introduced in 2007, is over 3 feet tall and 84 pounds, and displays the names of all the previous national champions on nickel silver sub-base plates.

The 2014 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion will receive a separate individual champions’ version of the award.

Beginning in 2009, NASCAR recognizes the rookie of the year in each state and province, and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national rookie of the year.

The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion, along with U.S. state and Canadian provincial champions, track champions and special award winners are honored at the season-ending NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C.

The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division II-V Championship program determines support division national championships. The four national champions will receive a trophy and a trip to the series national awards event. In addition, the top-three dirt and top-three asphalt drivers in each division will be invited to the series awards event.

The local racing program was founded in 1982. Since its inception, the series has been a successful starting point for the careers of many top drivers. NASCAR stars Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Kurt and Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Bobby Labonte, Jamie McMurray, Elliott Sadler and Brian Vickers all began their careers in this series.