After a couple seasons in the mini stock ranks, Nick Tooley stepped up to Sunset Speedway’s Super Stock ranks in 2013. While a series of bad luck certainly didn’t help Tooley throughout the year, the third-generation driver improved each weekend to finish in the top 10 in points and take home the Rookie of the Year award.
In midst of preparing for the 2014 race season, Tooley took some time to take on the Tracking the Short Tracks questionnaire.
Ashley McCubbin: How’d you get started in racing?
Nick Tooley: I really got into racing when my dad got back into a car after more than 20 years of being away from the track and the adrenaline rush that is experienced even being around the cars is amazing. I wanted to know what it was like being on the inside of a race car and when I had to opportunity, I took it. After my first race, I was hooked. The adrenaline rush is my drug and I am hooked.
McCubbin: First Racing memory whether as a driver or as a spectator
Tooley: My first memory was in 2006 while my dad was out for his first race of the season. Watching him out there, racing side by side with the other drivers, inches away from another car, made me feel like I was holding the world in my palms. Not just anyone can say that their dad races cars.
McCubbin: If you could be sponsored by any beverage, which would you want to be sponsored by? And why?
Tooley: Oh man…..Probably Gatorade or Powerade because there is no better way to cool down after a race than one of those two drinks. They are both refreshing and have the electrolytes in it that helps your body recover
McCubbin: What’s the story behind going with the #82?
Tooley: When I started racing, I wanted to kind of carry on what my dad created, almost like rebuilding it for the modern day. But each year that I registered, there was always someone who had already took number 28. I wanted the same number but when I couldn’t get it, so I thought why not just flip the numbers around? Since 2009, the year I started, I kept with 82.
McCubbin: If you have a nickname, what is it and why? If not, what do you think should be a good nickname?
Tooley: Well, since as long as I can remember, my dad called my “bud”. Since I was young, that is all I remember him calling me if he didn’t call me by my real name.
On track, I don’t have a nickname. If I had the choice to pick a nickname, but if I had to choose one, I don’t really know what I would pick. Haha
McCubbin: Perhaps we’ll find one that’ll just stick perfectly this year.
McCubbin: If you could race against any NASCAR driver, who and why?
Tooley: If I could race with any NASCAR driver, it would probably Kurt Busch because to me, he is the definition of persistence. It doesn’t matter what gets thrown at him, he will always find a way to overcome it and make himself better.
Any driver in NASCAR history would be Dale Earnhardt Sr. He is my ultimate idol.
McCubbin: Kurt is a cool dude and no doubt persistent. What’s life like for you outside of racing? Hobbies?
Tooley: Life for me outside of racing is probably a normal life. Working when I can and I am going to school to get my welding certificate. Then any time that I get I try and accomplish one thing at a time on the race car that has to get done.
I have a few hobbies. I love muscle cars. I will have a few when I’m older. I like radio controlled cars, love four wheeling and love to hang out with my friends
McCubbin: What would you say is your dream muscle car then?
Tooley: My dream muscle car would have to be a 1969 Mustang 429 Boss with the Fast Back rear window and louvers
McCubbin: Good taste – I can’t argue with that. I love the Mustangs from the 60s and 70s personally. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
Tooley: I would probably be a bird. Only for the fact that if there is anything happening on the ground, you can fly upwards and get away. Or you can go to the nice weather when the weather at home is not so nice.
McCubbin: I like the theory behind that. I could see myself flying to Florida right now to escape the cold here right now. Favourite pizza topping?
Tooley: Probably pineapple or feta cheese. Those two toppings are the best together and should not be separated.
McCubbin: I have never tried feta cheese on a pizza – I may have try that as I love pineapple.
Tooley: It’s amazing.
McCubbin: Dream vacation spot.
Tooley: My dream vacation spot would be Daytona, Florida. Not only because there is Daytona International Speedway, but there are a ton of other tracks around it and you can still enjoy the weather and scenery in Florida.
McCubbin: If you were stuck on an island, what’s one thing you must have?
Tooley: A lighter. That way I can start a fire and be warm at night and it will help keep creatures away. You can also use it to light a make shift touch and to cook with.
McCubbin: Smart answer. Favourite book?
Tooley: I’m not one for reading books but one of the only books that I have read and enjoyed was the outsiders. It was a book that related to the younger generation and outlined the struggles that we all face.
McCubbin: I’ve read it – it’s a good book to read. Favourite movie?
Tooley: So far I have six favorite movies: all of the Fast and Furious movies. They will never get old and will always be my number one movies
McCubbin: Now could you pick a favourite of the set? And which character do you like more – Dom or Brian?
Tooley: Probably Tokyo Drift only because it has my mustang in it haha and Dom. He lives life a quarter mile at a time. Ride or die.
McCubbin: Favourite piece of technology
Tooley: My galaxy s3 because I can do anything on it. It’s a personal computer on the go. I can talk to people and still keep up with social media and news.
McCubbin: Last question – people and sponsors you want to thank.
Tooley: First and foremost, my dad and my poppa Don. Without them, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to even be racing. The rest of my crew has also kept me in the game. My mom and grandma are always the one who keep me calm, my brother Mike for being my spotter, and Larry and Bryan for all of their help. My dad’s cousin Steve gets us all of our decals and makes our car look good each and every year.
Simcoe Mobile Wash and X-Copper have helped a lot with funding for the car and I am glad to have them on board for 2014. The Playdium Store for supplying us with our fan appreciation night goodies, M&M Meat Shops (Bradford and Innisfil), and a big thank you to Rick for helping us get the car set up and getting me comfortable with the car.
Be sure to follow Nick Tooley on twitter for updates all season long – @nicktooley.
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