Salem, IN. (November 3, 2017) – 14 year old Carson Hocevar came into the 2017 season with high expectations after a very good showing in a handful of JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance events during the 2016 season. Hocevar did not disappoint having a record season for a rookie driver in the series in claiming the 2017 Howie Lettow Rookie of the Year Award Presented by VanDoorn Racing Development.
The first record for Hocevar started at the series season opening event at Bristol Motor Speedway, were Hocevar was the Fury Race Cars Fast Qualifier, out qualifying 50 other top Pro Late Model drivers at that event. In all Hocevar was the Fury Race Cars Fast Qualifier a series leading five times during the 2017, a record for the most Fast Qualifier Awards by a series rookie. Besides Bristol, Hocevar was the Fury Race Cars Fast Qualifier at Auto City Speedway, Birch Run Speedway, Owosso Speedway and at Winchester Speedway on Championship Weekend.
The rookie driver won a series leading three events in 2017, a record number of wins for a rookie in one season, becoming the series youngest ever event winner at Kil-Kare Raceway in July, then followed that up with a win at Birch Run Speedway in August, then won the series first Championship Chase event at Winchester on Labor Day Weekend, locking himself into the Championship Chase final four event. Hocevar led 161 laps during the 2017 season, second only to two time 2017 series winner Cole Williams.
Hocevar was the VanDoorn Racing Development Rookie of the Race Award winner at a series leading six events in 2017. He won those awards at Salem Speedway, Kil-Kare, Berlin Raceway, Birch Run, Winchester on Labor Day Weekend and at Owosso.
Hocevar was the series Championship point’s leader for most of the season and led up until the series Championship event at Winchester on October 6th. Unfortunately during that event Hocevar suffered a flat tire resulting in a 10th place finish, which was fourth among the final four drivers in the Championship Chase, giving him a still impressive fourth place finish in the series final Championship standings.
“We had a goal this year going into my rookie season with the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour to win a couple races, along with the Rookie of the Year, and at the end of the day be in contention to win a championship,” remarked Hocevar. “When I look back at this past year we exceeded all of those goals that we set out to meet a year ago. We won races, we set records, we lead the points for the majority of the year and on championship day we did everything we had to do to win it all. Then the lights went out at Winchester and the flat tire happened and took us out of it. It’s just a tough thing to swallow with all the success we had, to not be able to hoist up that Championship trophy, but we will move on and look forward to next year. I just can’t thank my parents enough for all they do to help me, along with KBR Development, my sponsors and all the people that have helped along the way.”
“Carson greatly exceeded our expectations for the season,” remarked Mike Bursley with KBR Development. “He started off well with his qualifying at Bristol and was fast right off at almost every track we went to and most of those tracks he had never seen before this season. He did a great job winning three races, and was right there at the front for a couple more. We will be moving him up to race Super Late Models in 2018. We are excited to take him down to Five Flags Speedway next month and see how he does against the talented field for the Snowflake!”
Hocevar also had a great season racing at Berlin Raceway in their Super Late Model Division. Hocevar was their 2017 NASCAR Super Late Model Champion and picked up their Rookie of the Year Award and a UNOH Youth Achievement Winner.