Saturday, September 25, 2021

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2013 Sunset Speedway Super Stock Rookie of the Year: Nick Tooley

“This season was for sure a learning curve for me. Going into the season, I just hopped to finish each night add best as I can and let everything fall into place naturally.”

When the year started this year for Nick Tooley, it didn’t start how he would’ve hoped for as some wrecks early season saw him finishing deep in the running order. The word ‘give up’ wasn’t in the vocabulary though as the Tooley team put together a second car to have out for a week while their primary car got fixed, to keep themselves in the thick of things.

Things started to turn around, with the turning point being the trip to Sauble Speedway at the end of June.

“By the time sauble rolled around, I took a breath because we got 100 points for showing up,” he said. “The points were closer all year for rookie and I knew I had a half decent shot at that title.”

The second half of the season saw Tooley steadily improve each week, continuing to run stronger and score some solid top 10 finishes.

“I fought for every position I could get for the rest of the season and it paid off,” he said.

For his efforts this season, Tooley finished seventh in points and was awarded the 2013 Super Stock Rookie of the Year Award.

“Going into the season, knowing that my dad has never gotten the rookie of the year trophy, I wanted to do it for him,” Tooley said. “The rookie battle came down to the last two nights and I knew it would be close. I just had to keep my head on straight and finish each night.

“At the awards banquet, it was a surprise to me because not only was it my first ever banquet, but my first real award. The smile on my face for the rest of the night was from ear to ear.”

Looking back on his rookie season, Tooley says the biggest lesson he’s learned is that you have to have a clear mind going into each night and hope for the best.

Photo Credit: Debbie Jo Zardo
Photo Credit: Debbie Jo Zardo

“With this season being a learning curve for me, there are a million things that I had to learn in the first little bit of the season,” he added. “You always have to remember that things happen for a reason, and they happen fast. The ultiate lesson I learned is that you always have to believe in yourself and stay positive.”

With his rookie season behind him, Tooley says going into next year he has to be aggressive.

“I have to drive the car a little harder and I have to leave my comfort zone,” he said. “Next year, my hopes are high as I am going to finish in the top 5 for points but if I could do better, I will.”

Tooley has been involved in racing since a young age, with both his dad and grandpa racing themselves.

“I got started in racing by my dad,” Tooley said. “I have seen pictures of his cars from when he ran in the 80’s and I’ve seen the trophies.”

Trying to put the feeling of going racing himself into words – he says it’s indescribable.

“For me, the thought about racing, and going as fast as you can, side by side with other drivers, is the adrenaline rush. The rush you get is just phenomenal,” he added. “Also, as each week rolls by, it’s interesting to see how you stack up with the best of the best.”

For his season, he would like to thank his sponsors Simcoe Mobile Wash, X-Copper, The Playdium Store, ACL for the lubricants, M&M Meat Shops – Innisfil/Bradford, as well as his Poppa Don and his dad.

“Without them, and the support from my crew each abd every week, I would not have been able to get the rookie of the year,” he said. “My mom and my grandma were the ones who kept me calm no matter how mad I was. And my brother, the spotter, kept me out if weeks each week. Maybe this season he can commit full time and not miss a weekend!

“I love you all and thank you all so much for being by my side since I started racing in 2009.”

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