Closing the season with a memorable performance at Bristol Motor Speedway, Troy DeCaire will spend the winter celebrating his second consecutive Xtreme Sprint Series championship.
This year’s title is especially meaningful for the 25-year-old native of Tampa, Fla., as he overcame great obstacles along the way.
Just four days from the season opener in April, DeCaire was on the outside looking in. Unable to land a ride, he contemplated missing the Salem event until an 11th-hour deal was struck with South Bend, Ind., car owner Ron Koehler. DeCaire raced several events with the team before moving in August to the machine of Tipton, Indiana’s Jerry Powell. DeCaire then subbed for injured driver Mike Larrison with the TruFuel Davey Hamilton Motorsports team for the Bristol Motor Speedway series finale on Oct. 1.
DeCaire’s TruFuel sprint car suffered an engine failure early in the day at Bristol, sending the team scrambling. Using a borrowed Suellen Wilshe/Jason Blonde powerplant, De Caire made a dramatic run from the tail of the field to finish second, winning the BioBased.US MustSeeRacing Xtreme Sprint Series championship by a scant four points.
“To win two straight championships is obviously very special, but this year it was more
gratifying,” he admitted. “It seemed like every race something came up and we really had to work for it. Nothing was easy, that’s for sure. I really felt like I had accomplished something.
“After working this hard all year, and having so many struggles, I honestly think that if I hadn’t won the championship I would have felt like quitting. But I believe in the old adage that hard work pays off.”
Two years ago DeCaire relocated from Tampa to Indianapolis to pursue his dream of a career in open-wheel racing. He made his series debut in early 2010, quickly becoming one of the cornerstone personalities among a talented core of drivers who comprise the Xtreme Sprint Series roster.
“The competition was stout last year, but this year it just kept getting stronger,” he insists. “We had some new faces come in this year, and it looks like we’ll have some new faces coming next year. It’s a good collective group of guys, some have money and some don’t but everybody works hard to make their car perform. It’s a good mix of young guys and veterans, and it’s fun and challenging to race with them. The competition is very strong.”
Following the season finale DeCaire returned to Tampa for several weeks, spending
time with family and basking in the satisfaction of another championship. But it will be a busy off-season as he works to put deals together that will enable him to defend his title in 2012.
“I’m going to spend my winter trying to find a solid home for next year, with a team that is prepared to race for wins and the championship,” he says. “I’m looking forward to next season, because I think the series is going to be ever stronger, even better. I want to build on this past season, and grow with the series. I’m excited to be the champion.”