NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — Mark Lambert topped 76 other drivers to win the 2013 championship in the Top Speed Fabrication CRA (Champion Racing Ass’n) Late Model Sportsman Series Powered by JEGS.
The 20-year-old driver clinched the title in the 11-race series with a second-place finish in the season finale at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway in October. He posted one victory at the same track in August and he never finished outside the top three positions all season long with the exception of one fourth-place finish.
Lambert needed to finish sixth or better in the season finale to earn his first career title, but he finished four spots better than that with his Chevrolet SS.
“This is such a tough series, and to be able to come out ahead of guys like K.C. Spillers, Jason Atkinson and everyone else who races with us all season long is such an honor,” Lambert said. “This hasn’t been a perfect season by a long shot. I don’t think we had a single event where we didn’t have an issue. Honestly, if it had not been for the support and dedication of our all-volunteer crew, this championship would not have happened.”
Early in the season veteran driver Greg Van Alst agreed to serve as Lambert’s spotter while recovering from some injuries.
“Greg not only was an excellent spotter for the balance of the season, but he brought along a few guys to help out,” Lambert said.
In addition to Van Alst, Brad Mann, Bob Mann, Carl Holten II, Nick Clevenger, Wade Siegler and Lambert’s parents, Alan and Charlene Lambert, made up the championship-winning crew.
“A shoe-string budget, an all-volunteer crew and a lot of heart went into this championship,” Lambert reflected. “I felt bad for Greg when he wasn’t going to be able to race the balance of the season, but it turned into a blessing for us. I also have to thank my mom and dad for everything they do to make this happen – all the hours, effort and funding. There is also the support of my family and the fans – the ones decked out in green. They are always in the stands cheering me on and it’s just great. Racing simply doesn’t happen without support. A special thanks also goes to AAA Insurance, NAPA in Westfield and Lebanon, Collision Cure, Automotion Race Cars, CarX and AED Motorsports. These guys have been with us for so long, and it’s just amazing to have this kind of support.”