Kevin Cywinski And Country Joe Racing Capture 2004 American Speed Association National Championship Cywinski Joins Three Other Legends As Three-Time ASA Champ LAKEVILLE, MN (November 1, 2004) -- Kevin Cywinski believed he could do it....
Kevin Cywinski And Country Joe Racing Capture 2004 American Speed Association National Championship
Cywinski Joins Three Other Legends As Three-Time ASA Champ
LAKEVILLE, MN (November 1, 2004) -- Kevin Cywinski believed he could do it. Cywinski's team owner, Joe Miller, believed he could do it. However, it took nearly 30 minutes to find out if he really did do it. And when the word came down, the celebration was on.
Cywinski and his Country Joe Racing team captured the 2004 American Speed Association (ASA) National Championship on Friday evening at Atlanta Motor Speedway (GA) on the heels of the team's ninth-place finish in the 150 kilometer event. Cywinski's title was his second-straight ASA National Championship and his third overall. He won his first back in 1997.
"We've been very fortunate and we've been teamed with great teams in ASA," said Cywinski. "Back-to-back is huge for myself and this entire team. It's something that we wanted to do and looked at as a goal last year."
Cywinski earned the title (unofficially) by just 10 points over Bryan Reffner, another former ASA Champion.
With his third ASA Championship, Cywinski joins Mark Martin, Mike Eddy and Butch Miller as the only drivers to win three or more ASA National Championships in their storied careers. Cywinski also became the first driver to win back-to-back championships since Eddy did it in 1991 and 1992.
"To be in the same breath as those guys is amazing. I grew up watching guys like Mark Martin and Mike Eddy. I remember when I used to ride around on the lawnmower cutting my grass at home and wondering what I had to do to get in ASA. Now, here we are. This is just pretty unbelievable."
In his storied career, Cywinski has earned 15 ASA National Tour victories and well over 100 top-10 finishes in just 142 starts. He was ASA's Rookie of the Year in 1996. All three of Cywinski's championships have come with the same crew chief, Mike Chaffee.
Cywinski began driving for Country Joe Racing when his former team, LaFavre Racing, was purchased by Minnesota businessman Joe Miller before the start of the 2003 season. Since then, Cywinski and Miller's relationship has blossomed and resulted in two-straight championships for the first-time team owner. World Leadership Group joined the #1 team as their sponsor late in the 2004 season and the combination has been extremely successful.
"This team expects to do this and wants to do this year in and year out," said Cywinski of his championship. "To do the things we've done in the amount of years that we've been there has been phenomenal. And you can't do it for a better owner than Joe Miller. Joe took this team over when it was really hurting. In the process, he has become one heck of an owner. He never questions anything I want to do. You can only dream about owners like Joe."
"It is unbelievable," said Miller of the 2004 National Championship. "It is out of this world to be a champion the first two years of owning a race team but you can credit that to the guys we have surrounding us.
"Kevin is one of the greatest guys to have around and to work with. He is calm, in control and knows what he wants out of his equipment. That, along with good team effort in keeping the cars in order and keeping everything up-to-date on it is about all you can ask for. All the guys do a super job at it. I'm so proud of all of them."
The championship run wasn't an easy one. The World Leadership Group/Country Joe Racing No. 1 team struggled through the late-season speedway races on the ASA schedule, losing part of their near 120-point lead each week.
"It wasn't easy," said Cywinski of the chase for the title. "We got caught a little behind there early in the race. All season long, our speedway program wasn't where it needed to be. But our guys worked on it hard and it showed."
At one point, Cywinski was all the way back in 30th position with his closest competitors in the points heading into the night, Reed Sorenson, battling for the top spot.
"I was more frustrated than anything," said Cywinski. "The #4 car (Stephen Leicht) got a lap down and we worked well together after that. We couldn't follow someone very well. We needed to lead. (Leicht) worked with us awesome. At the end, the #5 car (Jason Dietch) helped us out. He pushed us by four of the cars we needed to get by there at the end."
Cywinski ended the night in the ninth position, giving him enough of a cushion for the title.
Country Joe Racing, with Kevin Cywinski and rookie Joey Miller, is Minnesota's #1 professional racing organization. For more information on the team, please visit .