DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — If you told Dustin Rumley that his last two seasons in the late model division at Ace Speedway, an ASA Member Track in Altamahaw, N.C., were night and day, he would easily agree.
This season he captured his second championship in three years and taking down the defending ASA Member Track National Champion.
“Yeah, the two seasons were different,” Rumley said when he was looking back. “In 2011, I was not sure I even wanted to race anymore. In 2012, I knew I had a great shot at winning every week.”
The 23-year-old from McLeansville, N.C., won the Late Model championship at Ace Speedway in 2010 and almost won the ASA Member Track National Championship. In 2011, it was a year where he recorded no wins and struggled all year.
He came into 2012 eager to move forward and forget about 2011. He certainly did by recording five feature wins, 12 top-five and 15 top-10 finishes in 15 starts. He won the championship by beating Ace greats like Rodney Cook and defending ASA Member Track National Champion Barry Beggarly.
Rumley finished fourth in the ASA Member Track National Championship with an average of 4.5325.
“I really don’t know what changed,” Rumley said about the 2012 season. “I just had great luck and hit on great setups. We put a lot of hard work into it and it paid off.”
It also meant a lot to him to beat Beggarly for the track championship. “That is what everybody wants to do,” Rumley said. “I mean he’s the greatest of all time and it means a lot to beat him.”
Beggarly wasn’t only his toughest competition as Ace was packed each week with a stellar field of Late Model drivers. “It is tough as ever and I mean we had about all the past champions racing with us,” Rumley said. “But, I was still always up front and we had some other big guns in the show.”
Next season will be a memorable one as he is engaged to marry Ashley Coleman in May 2013. But he also plans to be racing as well.