North Canton, OH -- In 2002 Wayne Nonnamaker scored his second professional Championship in only his fourth professional season. A ten time professional winner, Wayne co-drove with his brother, Will, to all ten of those wins. With five poles and...
North Canton, OH -- In 2002 Wayne Nonnamaker scored his second professional Championship in only his fourth professional season. A ten time professional winner, Wayne co-drove with his brother, Will, to all ten of those wins. With five poles and five fastest race laps, Wayne led both of those categories for all of Grand Am Cup in 2002.
Question: When did you begin racing?
Wayne Nonnamaker: I went to my first race when I was three weeks old. I first rode in a race car in 1992 when my brother took me around for a lapping day at Indianapolis Raceway Park in a VW GTi. From the moment I took that ride, I knew I had to do whatever it took to get from that passenger seat over into the driver's seat.
Question: What is your favorite thing about racing?
Wayne Nonnamaker: I would have to say the teamwork. That is why I love endurance racing. The Phoenix Promotions team that is responsible for both the Planet Earth campaign and the HRPWorld.com campaign is such a talented group of people. From Bill Pate, who founded the Phoenix team in 1983 and is still with the team, to Bill Hesson, our most recent full time addition to the team, it takes everyone keeping focused for us to be able to succeed.
Question: So how does it feel to have two professional Championships at the age of 24?
Wayne Nonnamaker: Having won my first Championship in 1999 in my rookie year, I didn't quite have an appreciation of how much it means to win one of these. Having two professional championships at only 24? It means a lot, but so much of the success has been due to the team's talents and a strong set of partners. I grew up watching Irv Hoerr and his brother, Scott, win together, and for Irv to now be a corporate partner in this team through his HRPWorld.com company, it means a lot.
Question: So sharing the Championship with Will meant a lot?
Wayne Nonnamaker: Absolutely. Grand Am made a points rule change that made that easier for this season, and I have to thank them for that. Since I have joined the professional ranks full-time in 1999, Will has been my co-driver. He taught me a lot about being patient, waiting for opportunities, and how to drive with my head. Without the team, he and I wouldn't have been so successful, but without him, I wouldn't have had the success I have had. Fast drivers are a dime a dozen; smart drivers are somewhat more rare; Fast and smart drivers don't come around that often, and Will is one of them.
Question: Now after four seasons with Will, you join with your father, Joe, in the Planet Earth Motorsports Grand Sports II Porsche. Are you excited about that and what goals do you have for next season?
Wayne Nonnamaker: Driving with my Dad will be enjoyable. He already has wins in the Grand Sports class, so he will be teaching me a thing or two as we start the season. Am I excited to drive a Porsche? Nah... never. Are you kidding? Driving a Porsche is what I would dream about as a kid. It is the ultimate sportscar. It should be a challenging year, but the team has proven they can win in the GS classes with their overall win at Phoenix in the Corvette. We hope to score a win or two during the season and keep ourselves within sight of the points leaders going into the final stretch of races.
Question: What hobbies do you have outside of racing?
Wayne Nonnamaker: Outside of racing and being the content director for TheRaceSite.com, there isn't much time left. I guess once in a while I like to dabble in having a social life, but that has to take a back seat to racing for at least eight months a year. Racing pretty much is my life, but I wouldn't have it any other way.