Reen Is NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Rookie of the Year Season Finale at Thompson Almost Produced a Top 10 Finish to Ring in Top Rookie Title CONCORD, NC (October 20, 2008) -- Glen Reen closed out his first season on the NASCAR Whelen Modified...
Reen Is NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Rookie of the Year
Season Finale at Thompson Almost Produced a Top 10 Finish to Ring in Top Rookie Title
CONCORD, NC (October 20, 2008) -- Glen Reen closed out his first season on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Thompson International Speedway (CT) by realizing his biggest goal of the season. The young Massachusetts driver was named as the Tour's 2008 Rookie of the Year for his performance throughout the season.
Meanwhile, his performance on Sunday afternoon at Thompson almost allowed Reen to clinch the rookie title in high fashion. With less than 10 laps to go in the race, Reen was solidly in the top 10 when he became the innocent victim of a restart wreck on the frontstretch.
"Over the last eight or so races, I just can't catch a break," said Reen. "I almost caught a break today. I was thinking, 'Top 10, here we come!' I was even better than about two of the cars in front of us and was wondering if I should get aggressive or stay with it to finish the last race in ninth. We were up there for sure and on that last restart, the #2 car drove into the back of the #70 car and when I went low to miss them, I was right there on them."
Still, Reen was all smiles after the race was over. He may have lost this battle, but he won the war of the season.
"We did what we came out here to do today," said Reen. "We won the Rookie of the Year championship. I'm happy for that and it's official. We just kept digging all year.
"This is awesome. This is my first championship. Every time I'd come close to a championship before, bad stuff would happen and we'd get taken out of the chase. This time, we had a little bit of a cushion and we weren't the ones chasing. So that was good and when we had our bad luck, we just regrouped and came back to do it again."
Reen approached the 2008 season with the right mindset to win the Rookie of the Year award, and earn the respect of his fellow competitors at the same time.
"I didn't want to be that rookie who comes in thinking that he is everything and ends up going after the regulars and stepping on their toes. They get no respect for the rest of their life. So there was no sense in doing that. I wasn't going to win the first two races, so I played it conservative and finished the races. I was just kind of hanging out and it worked. Now, I've had other drivers tell me that they respect me and that they think I'm going somewhere, so that worked."
Now, Reen just has to wait until December to be handed the award during NASCAR's annual Whelen Modified Tour banquet. One thing about that though is that he'll have to make a speech -- which is something Reen already dreads.
"Oh my... I'm awful at speeches," laughed Reen. "I'll have to Google "rookie speeches" and get some ideas for that. Or maybe I can call my friend Sean Caisse and ask him for advice because he's made a Rookie of the Year speech before."