DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Michael Hale was able to defend his Maverik Modified championship at Rocky Mountain Raceways, an ASA Member Track in West Valley City, Utah, this season.
His strong run also gave him a third place finish in the 2012 ASA Member Track National Championship.
Hale, who also lives in West Valley City, won the championship by 224 points over Roger Wilson and 239 points over Mark Ith, Jr.
“It was a challenge, there are a lot of great racers that we race with on a weekly basis and there is a lot of competition at Rocky Mountain Raceways,” Hale said. “It is always getting better and hopefully we can keep up with it.”
This season, Hale had two wins with nine top-five and 13 top-ten finishes in 14 starts. He started off his season with a win and two runner-ups.
“We had a good start to the season with a couple of wins that propelled us to the point lead,” Hale explained. “What we did for the rest of the season was point race and keep that lead going, which changes the way you race against others when you are the leader instead of the challenger.”
His consistent season put him in the running for the ASA Member Track National Championship. He finished third overall in the final standings with an average of 4.5876.
“Shelby Stroebel, who did win it at Meridian Speedway in Idaho, won every race that he attended. It was pretty hard to look at my results and say how can I pick up 14 more wins?” Hale said. “Congratulations to him, he deserves it. He has visited RMR in the past and now I can say I have raced against two ASA Member Track National Champions.”
The other National Champion is Bryan Wordelmen, who Hale races against at RMR and won the title in 2010. Hale still hopes to equal what Wordelman accomplished two years ago.
“Bryan Wordelman set the standard pretty high,” Hale said. “He is a good friend of mine and works for our family business. He had a great year and earned every part of it.”
The thought of winning the National Championship is still high on his wish list.
“I would like to do that and that is what I like about the ASA Member Track National Championship, it’s because you get to race against the best in the country and show the caliber of a racer that you are,” Hale explained. “I wish we were a little closer to getting the National Championship ourselves but it just didn’t total out for us this year.”
Hale also enjoys racing at the .375-mile asphalt oval that Spencer Young built 16 years ago. He credits Mike Eames, RMR General Manager, and his staff for making their facility a great place to race at week after week.
“They go out there constantly to get sponsors and fans in the stands,” Hale said. “This is great because it has raised the caliber of racing at RMR. Plus it has gotten a lot more exposure with ASA. They are committed to the sport especially during this tough economic time, they are able to help keep us racing.”
“Michael had a very steady season. He had a few events where he was the dominant car while being able to salvage a couple of other events when they missed on the set up,” Mike Eames, Rocky Mountain Raceways General Manager said. “Our Modified class is so tough, with a whole slew of racers that can win on each night. For Michael to defend his championship and go back-to-back speaks volumes of his abilities and those of his entire team.”
Hale said that he is going to go into the 2013 season and see how it starts out and go from there. This was the same game plan he had going into this season, which resulted in another track championship.
“It’s a testament to my team,” Hale said. “My dad and my family have put a lot of time into this and it just goes to show the sacrifice that everyone has made to make this happen.”
“Congratulations to Michael Hale on another Maverik Modified championship at Rocky Mountain Raceways,” Dennis Huth, ASA President said. “Also congratulations to Spencer Young, Mike Eames and everyone else at RMR for another fantastic season of racing. We are glad to have you as part of the ASA family.”