Willie Allen Named NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Rookie of the Year
Hollywood, FL - Nashville native Willie Allen can now add his name to the history books of NASCAR. Allen, driver of the #13 National Pork Board/Nashville Music City Chevy Silverado edged drivers Joey Clanton and Tim Sauter to become the 2007 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year. Allen was presented with the prestigious honor in front of NASCAR's finest on Monday night at the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series banquet in Hollywood, Florida. For Allen, the trophy represents a season of hard work, perseverance and achievement of a year long goal.
"I'm very proud to be named the Raybestos Rookie of the Year," said Allen. "My team and I set this goal at the beginning of the year. For us to pull together and accomplish that goal I think says a lot about us as a team. We had some misfortune this year, but when the chips were down, my team really came through for me. I also can't praise Joey Clanton and Tim Sauter enough. Those guys gave me a great battle this year and it was an honor to race against them each week."
Allen's season was highlighted by a spectacular 6th place run at Talladega Superspeedway. The finish matched Allen's career best finish in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and landed him at the top of the Rookie of the Year standings, a spot that he would retain for the remainder of the season. Allen is able to put a checkmark next to his goal for the 2007 season and is already looking ahead to improve next year.
"Talladega was definitely one of the highpoints for me and ThorSport Racing this year. We had some really good runs this year that unfortunately doesn't show on paper because of some mechanical issues we had. We finished 15th in the overall points standings and I feel like that is a respectable finish for my rookie year. Next year I would like to finish Top 10 in points. Of course, Top 5 would be even better. We need to stay competitive and hopefully challenge for some wins next season. Hopefully we can learn a lot over winter testing and put ourselves in that top position next year."
It's been a long hard road for Allen. From Go-Karts to Late Models and finally to the big leagues of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Through it all, Allen knows that he could have never done it alone.
"There have been so many people that have helped me throughout my career from the first Go Kart race to the season finale at Homestead this year. Thank you to Duke and Rhonda Thorson for giving me the opportunity to live out my dream. Thank you to my team for being there for me through thick and thin. Those guys really put in some long hours this year to support me. Thanks to Dayne Pierantoni, Sam Brown and Judy Dominick at Chevy for all of their encouragement during my rookie season. Also, thanks to my sponsors this year, The National Pork Board, Nashville Music City, Lowery Plumbing and Josh Turner. The sponsors' support allows all of us in this great series to do something that we enjoy and their support is very much appreciated. I've had a blast during my first year in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and I'm already looking forward to Daytona!"