HANSSEN WINS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR FOR 2009 September 27, 2009. Prime Champ Dodge driver Joey Hanssen didn't turn his first laps in a stock car until this spring, only a few weeks before the start of the 2009 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series racing ...
HANSSEN WINS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR FOR 2009
September 27, 2009. Prime Champ Dodge driver Joey Hanssen didn't turn his first laps in a stock car until this spring, only a few weeks before the start of the 2009 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series racing season. As the year went on we've witnessed the improving skills and maturity of the Prime Champ Dodge driver and with another solid finish at the season ending race at Kawartha Speedway on Sunday afternoon Joey Hanssen clinched the rookie of the year title for 2009.
After practice and qualifying was completed on Saturday, the skies opened up and the race was postponed until Sunday. Hanssen would start the Prime Champ Dodge in the twenty third position and with the drop of the green flag he began his quest to move forward. "I just tried to do all the right things in the first part of the race, be smooth and try to move up a few positions" said the driver. "Some of the leaders were trying to move me so I just let them past" he added.
As the race progressed Hanssen moved forward toward the top-ten and continued to keep the fenders on the car. When the leaders made scheduled pit stops Hanssen would keep the Prime Champ Dodge on the track and got back on the lead lap. The driver would make his scheduled stop during a later caution period and return to the fight with fresh tires. "The guys did an awesome job, perfect pit stops and the car was just sticking to the bottom so I was able to get by some guys" said the driver.
The Prime Champ Dodge driver would continue to gain positions with aggressive but calculated moves. Heading into the closing stages Hanssen knew he had a fast race car intended to pick up every position possible. Others were equally aggressive and Joey would have contact with the #12 car. "I feel bad about getting together with the #12 car. I was passing him to the inside and he came down on me and we ran out of room" explained the driver.
It would prove to be a costly collision as the caution flag would slow the field and Hanssen would drop several positions. Sadly before he had time to regain his lost ground, showers returned and NASCAR Officials were forced to finish the race on lap 204 with Hanssen scored eleventh. "It's too bad or for sure it would have been another top-ten finish for us" said the driver. "But with the great job the team did I'm happy with this result" he added.
Though he would have liked to finish higher, Joey Hanssen did clinch the 2009 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series rookie of the year title. "I'm really happy to win the rookie of the year this season" said Hanssen. "When I came to Canada in the spring test on Mopar Day it was the first time I'd ever driven a stock car. I have to thank the whole DJ Kennington race team for all their help and support this year. This would not have been possible without all the work this team did all season".
Joey Hanssen will be recognized with the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series rookie of the year award at the NASCAR Touring Series Awards Banquet on Saturday November 14th.