When the dust settled after the Oktoberfest 100, Jacob Goede breathed a sigh of relief after the tough and busy weekend he had. At the end of the day and only by five points he would claim the 2009 American Speed Association Kwik Trip Midwest Tour presented by ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment's Lane Automotive Rookie of the Year title.
Goede's Fest weekend got off to a rough start as he had to replace his engine and took a provisional to start the 100-lap season finale. What made it worse was that his closest competition for the title, Nick Neville, started on the pole. "Yeah that was a battle, we had a really good car coming all the way from the back and with Nick starting on the pole I thought to myself oh man," Goede recalled. "I didn't know what we were going to have, I wish we could have qualified the car was a rocket. I think we had something that could have won the race, even with coming from the back."
In fact in the late stages of the race the two would race together for position until they touched and both spun and sent to the rear of the field. Goede would finish 19th and Neville would finish 20th with Goede finishing five points ahead of Neville in the standings and take the ROY championship.
At the 2009 Championship Banquet, Goede will receive a prize package from Lane Automotive along with a new Roltek Transmission valued at $5,000, "That is awesome, we will definitely put that to use," Goede exclaimed. "It's a really cool deal I need to thank everyone that helps with the program especially Lane Automotive and Roltek Transmission. It means something to win Rookie of the Year, it's an accomplishment and you get rewarded for it."
This season Goede started in 11 of 12 feature events where he had one ECHO/Oregon Cutting Systems "Quick Cut" Qualifier Award, one win at the Elmer Musgrave Memorial 100 at Illiana Motor Speedway, three top-five and four top-ten finishes.
"This is a tough, tough series and we found that out this year. There are 20 cars at every race that are good and when you have that kind of competition and you finish in the top-ten you did good. We had an OK year; we had really good times and really bad times. We persevered throughout the whole season," Goede said. "I have to thank my crew a ton, they really worked their butts off all year and especially the Oktoberfest Race Weekend running three divisions and then breaking a motor in practice, getting it changed, starting in the back and coming through it feels good."
Neville was the only driver from the 2009 Rookie class to start in every feature event. He had one top-five and four top-ten finishes. Blake Brown finished third in the Rookie standings with nine feature starts, one top-five and four top-ten finishes. Nick Panitzke finished fourth where he started in 11 feature events and had three top-ten finishes.
"We had an outstanding and competitive Rookie class this season and it was fun to watch these four drivers compete and grow all year long," Tim Olson, ASAMT President said. "Each driver proved they could race with some of the best Super Late Model drivers in the Midwest. Goede had his win at Illiana, Neville got a podium finish at Norway, Brown had a streak of top-ten finishes and Panitzke came on strong at the end of the season. He was excited at the end of the Dixieland 150 that he finished ahead of Kevin Harvick. Congratulations to all four drivers."
These drivers along will be honored at the 2009 ASAMT Championship Banquet on Saturday, January 23, 2010. More details will be announced at a later date.
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