Chuck Gafrarar wins Rookie of the Year

Mooresville NC - October 30, 2002   In February, at the season opener in Daytona, Chuck Gafrarar, set his goals to winning the 2002 NASCAR Goody's Dash Rookie of the Year title.  On Saturday, October 26th at the Atlanta Speedway, Atlanta GA,...

Mooresville NC - October 30, 2002   In February, at the season opener in Daytona, Chuck Gafrarar, set his goals to winning the 2002 NASCAR Goody's Dash Rookie of the Year title.  On Saturday, October 26th at the Atlanta Speedway, Atlanta GA, Gafrarar ended the Dash race season by wrapping up the Rookie title and meeting another goal! 

Gafrarar came on the scene late January testing in Daytona. The month of February was a whirlwind for Gafrarar who made major life changes in his career and life within a matter of days! Gafrarar purchased a new home , moved in and headed to more changes. On his return from Daytona, Gafrarar left his position with Penske Racing South as a fabricator for Rusty Wallace.  A position he held for over 6 1/2 years - Gafrarar headed out the door to run the Dash series fulltime. On Saturday, February 2, Chuck married Jacqueline Boger Gafrarar. Within three days after the wedding Chuck flew to Daytona to prepare for the first race of the season.  His bride flew to meet him for raceday and Sunday the bride and groom headed to their honeymoon! On his return he went fulltime into his already established business  of Chuck Gafrarar Raceworks INC. It was a month filled with fast paced changes and all for the good! Determination is more than a word to this Rookie of the Year!

^From the start of the Dash events Gafrarar ran with Moss Motorsports. Mid-way through the season switched teams to run with the Highlands Motorsports Team, owned by Wade Lopez and Tom Sweeney, Bristol, TN.  It was a positive move for Gafrarar and Highlands, with their first run grabbing a 4th place finish in Sparta KY and soon picked off five high finishing Rookie of the Race awards!  The season stats Gafrarar picked up three top fives, six top tens and 12 top 20's.  Gafrarar kept the point lead for the Rookie of the Year title since the second race of the season! Over the years, Gafrarar became known for his Winston Cup fabrication skills and as the GDS progressed the Driver status took over with NASCAR  associates seeing Gafrarar in a whole new light.   

Gafrarar, racing since he was nine years old will chalk up 24 years experience in the racing field this March.  He is working his way to goals he set as a child racing go-karts and moving upwards to the Pro Kart circuits, Legends cars, late models, Dash and All Pro cars.  Gafrarar represents many sponsors each race and stated "I really wanted to win the Rookie title not only for me but all my sponsors...they are the ones who made this possible. I have a great group of sponsors and crew who work with me to achieve this common goal. I just can't thank them enough." Gafrarar was quick to mention "the Dash series is awesome and totally family oriented. It reminds me of my years on the WKA & IKF Pro kart circuits. Everyone knew everyone and all tried to make the best of good or bad situations that come along in motorsports." Gafrarar stated "this series has an excellent group of NASCAR officals and Touring staff who help us all make the series the good one it is today."

Gafrarar's race to the title took a slight turn on Thursday, October 24th during the practice sessions.  Chuck broke loose the Toyota #52, which would have been the first time this season he ran the Toyota. He turned a 4th fastest lap time during the sessions and knew he could put the car anywhere on the track and work the track to his advantage.  The Crew said "bring it in, and  put on the race tires."  Gafrarar hit the track to scuff tires and bring it in when the motor blew!  Race fans saw a quick trip back in the pit as he jumped into the other team car and taking it out for about 10 laps to grab a 12th fastest time.  During qualifying he pulled out an 8th place run to start the 150 Lap event.  Racing the 1/4 mile oval was nothing new to Gafrarar, who years ago won five Legends car events at Lowes Motorspeedway and a Grand National win as well.  With a small track, he knew the night would hold many cautions with the Dash cars on a small track but he was determined to stay clear of incidents.  Gafrarar needed to qualify and take a lap to have enough points to claim the Rookie of the Year title.  His determination for all 150 laps took him through the pack, gaining positions and avoiding many cautions and incidents throughout  the night. With a green, white checkered Gafrarar was up to 3rd position with three quarters of the track to go when he was hit from behind. Gafrarar spun full circle but regained control and took the checkered in 7th spot and that Rookie title! 

Kudos and thanks to Gafrarar's great sponsors go to: Icehouse, Lopez & Associates LLC, Refrigeration Services INC, Highlands Motorsports INC, I.H. Caffey INC,  Allan Powell Race Engines, Pro-Image Computer Graphics, Weaver Race Cars, Lincoln Welders, Food Country, MeadWestvaco, INC, and Shields Electronics Supply INC.  Also thanks to my parents for their support,  Steven Lee - Travel Club International, Barb Saunders - GDS Photographer, JHE Productions INC, Randy "Chubby" Bodnar, Bobby Gill, Tim Wallace, and my wife Jacqueline for all the support with this hectic schedule.  Gafrarar said "I am a firm believer in TEAM work - Together Everyone Accomplishes More...this season we made it a proven point."     


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Drivers Rusty Wallace
Teams Team Penske