DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR confirmed on Wednesday that Minnesota’s Jacob Goede has secured the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National championship.
The 34-year-old driver has dominated the state of Minnesota for the last six years, earning six-straight NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Minnesota state titles as well as six weekly late model championships at Elko Speedway.
This is his first NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National championship.
“Through hard work and perseverance, Jacob Goede achieved his ultimate racing goal,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer. “Jacob has compiled an impressive résumé at his home track, Elko Speedway, and NASCAR is honored to have him as our 2019 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion.”
Goede had 10 wins, 30 top fives and 37 top 10s racing primarily at Elko. He also picked up late model wins at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway and Madison International Speedway in Wisconsin en route to the National title.
“It’s kind of been a goal, but I didn’t think we’d ever be in the position we’re in,” said Goede.
Goede, who works as a mechanical engineer during the week, was notified by O’Donnell while sitting in his cubicle earlier this week.
“To have someone of his caliber get on the phone with just a normal guy from Minnesota, it’s a huge deal,” said Goede. “I’ve won some pretty big races, but for a whole season, this is by far the biggest achievement I’ve ever accomplished.”
In order to win the championship, Goede needed to win last weekend and hope for a bad weekend from his rivals. He entered the final points weekend of the season tied for second with another Minnesota driver, Nick Panitzke, 10 points behind Virginia’s Mike Looney.
Goede did his job, winning a pair of late model features at Elko to lock up the track championship. Looney, on the other hand, struggled to finishes of 10th and 12th at Virginia’s Langley Speedway.
NASCAR uses a driver’s best 18 finishes from any sanctioned track within the state to determine the State champion and the best 18 finishes from any sanctioned track in North America to determine the National champion. Drivers receive two points for every NASCAR-licensed competitor they finish ahead of, up to 16 cars; and can receive two bonus points for winning from a starting position five through eight, and four points for winning from ninth or further back.
Goede scored an additional 14 points on the final weekend of the season, which gave him an eight-point cushion over Looney in the final standings.
Panitzke ended the season ranked third overall, followed by defending National champion Philip Morris and Keith Rocco.
Goede is the first driver from Minnesota to win NASCAR’s weekly racing crown. He’s the first driver not based on the East coast to win the championship since Wisconsin’s Steve Carlson won the title in 2007 and the fourth driver from a state besides North Carolina, South Carolina or Virginia to win the title since 2003.