DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Dylan Lupton has clinched the 2013 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, NASCAR announced today.
The 19-year-old from Wilton, Calif., wrapped up the title with one race remaining on this year’s series schedule.
Driving the No. 9 Vadio/Lupton Excavating/Sunrise Ford Ford, Lupton put together a string of 11 straight top 10 finishes – highlighted by a win at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash. He is fifth in the overall championship standings heading into the season finale, the Casino Arizona 50 at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, Nov. 9.
Earning the Sunoco Rookie of the Race honor in six of the 14 races that have been run, Lupton took over the lead in the rookie standings following the third race of the season and never relinquished that position.
“This has been a great year,” Lupton said. “One of my biggest goals coming into the year was to win the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award and I’m really excited to be able to get that done. The Sunrise Ford crew has worked really hard all year and worked with me to make me a better driver.
“I’ve accomplished all the goals I wanted to this year and I’m looking forward to next year,” he said. “I’ve got one year under my belt and I think this rookie of the year title is going to boost my confidence to go run for the championship next year.”
Lupton is the fourth driver to earn the rookie title driving for car owner Bob Bruncati, who is known for providing an opportunity for young drivers to showcase their talent in the series. Austin Dyne garnered the rookie award driving the Sunrise Ford Racing entry last year, Luis Martinez Jr., gained the honor driving for Bruncati in 2010 and Jason Bowles took the title with the team in 2007.
Lupton, in his first season of a two-year agreement to drive for Bruncati, began his racing career with a successful stint in go-karts and then won a championship in the S2 division at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway. He entered this season with three previous starts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West – all in 2011.
Past drivers to win the Sunoco Rookie of the Year honor in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West include Derrike Cope, Chad Little, Bill Sedgwick, Rick Carelli, David Gilliland and Dylan Kwasniewski.