Veteran Uses Vince Lombardi Quote to Put a Period on Season
Kevin Cywinski may now live in Minnesota, but he hasn’t forgotten his Wisconsin roots. In fact, the now two-time American Speed Association champion summed up the past year during his speech Saturday night at the annual ASA National Awards Banquet by using a quote from a legendary Green Bay Packers coach.
in Nashville (TN) in mid-October, when Kevin Cywinski and his Country Joe Racing team locked up the 2003 ASA title, but it wasn’t until this past weekend, nearly 100-days later, that the accolades were showered upon the team.
“It was a real honor to have a night dedicated to the entire season,” Cywinski said with a smile. “This championship is different from my first one though; this one is for the whole team. All of the guys on this team worked very hard and gave their best all year long to get us to this point and it paid off.
Unlike in ’97, Cywinski was also able to celebrate his championship with his new family this time around. That included his wife Traci and daughters Cara and Marina.
“This championship was different. I'm a little more grown up now and I have a family I can celebrate with. It was nice because we were just able to be a family and celebrate in style this weekend. It was a lot of fun. Something I could get used to doing, that is for sure.”
Cywinski and the Country Joe Racing Team won't have much of an off-season to continue the celebration. The team is preparing cars for a trip
Champion Kevin Cywinski (left) and team owner Joe Miller (right).
to “Florida Speedweeks” at New Smyrna Speedway at the beginning of February. Both he and teammate Joey Miller will compete there and in ASA full-time again in 2004.
It's also pretty special to give Joe (Miller, team owner) a championship in his first year; he is well deserving of it. Joe has given us everything we needed all year long to get to this point. We really owe a lot of this to him. He allowed us to do the things we needed to win the title and here we are now.”
Cywinski's season stats were especially impressive. He was tied for the series lead in victories with four and that gave him a total of 14 in his illustrious ASA career. Cywinski and the Country Joe Racing team also tallied four poles (the most in the series), 11 top-five and 15 top-10 finishes in 17 races. In the end, the team, led by crew chief
“Vince Lombardi once said, ‘There is only one way to succeed in anything and that is to give it everything.' That's exactly what my team did for me this past season,” commented Cywinski, who was also the 1997 ASA Champion.
Cywinski may have been flooded with the spotlight during the ceremony at Caesars Hotel & Casino in Southern Indiana, but the entire Country Joe Racing team was also honored as ASA National Champs, including first-year team owner Joe Miller. Months of hard work in the shop and at the track culminated at the Fairgrounds Speedway
The entire Country Joe Racing team was honored by Cywinski and ASA on Saturday.
Mike Chaffee, captured the championship by 130 points over three-time series champion Butch Miller.
“It's pretty special to hear everyone get up there and congratulate you on a great season,” said Cywinski of his fellow competitors offering the Country Joe Racing team accolades during their speeches. “That means a lot coming from some of the guys that we've raced with for years and coming from some of the guys that we all grew up admiring in this sport. It’s something you don't hear a lot at the racetrack because we are all there to win and be as competitive as possible. The banquet gives us a chance to speak with everyone on a personal level and that was a lot of fun.”