However, Veteran's 2004 Plans Are Still Up In The Air
On Saturday night, Shane Huffman was officially crowned the 2003 USAR Pro Cup Series National Champion at the series banquet, bringing to close his best racing year ever.  But with a $250,000 check in hand (and total prize winnings of over $412,000 in 2003), Huffman still can’t believe what he has just achieved.
much.  There are plenty of guys out there that would dream of having a season like this.

“Sometimes, you just don’t believe it is real.  Honestly, I still don’t.

But maybe he should.  It is now time for Huffman to finally take the credit, become a believer and accept the well deserved accolades for a job well done.  And those accolades are well deserved, with eight wins and only three finishes (in 19 races) outside the top-five.

Yet still, Huffman can’t believe what he achieved.

“The more time you have to think about it, the more you realize what we did accomplish as a team.  I’ve gone over the year so many times in my head and thought about the races that we won and the ones that we lost.
“Wining at Hickory was awesome!  It was almost beyond words.  It was a dream  come true for me. 

“That was a pretty special night there.  Everything went right that night.  We beat Clay (Rogers) out of the pits and that won us the race.  It’s the little things like that which really make it feel like it is your year.”

Yet still, Huffman can’t believe what he achieved.

The only thing it seemed to be that Shane failed to
Wins and burnouts were common for Huffman in 2003, but Hickory's win was the best.
accomplish this year was defending his team’s title in the annual Pit Crew competition, held every year at the season-finale in Lakeland (FL).  This year, Huffman’s crew finished a respectable third.

But Huffman also knows the team will give up the pit crew title for a well-earned season championship.

“This is all for the guys and just a little bit for me,” said Huffman of his title.  “It has been such a long, hard battle to get to this point that you have a hard time coming to reality and realizing that we have won it.  Everyone thinks it is a great driver that goes out there and wins these races, but it really is so much more.  Every single one of these guys on my team helped me win this title.  I just went out there and drove the cars that they put under me.  When the cars are that good, it actually make my job a lot easier than people think.”

However, now that Huffman finally holds a National Championship, it is time to move on to 2004.

Yet still, Huffman can’t believe what he achieved.

“This was the kind of year that will give you a lot of confidence that you can do the job.”

But where Shane will continue his job is still up in the air.  His championship team is without a sponsor and that has Shane looking elsewhere while his former team continues to look for something that will allow them to defend their title.

No matter where Shane end up though, he has now proven he is a winner and can get the job done.  And despite that, Huffman still can’t believe what he just achieved.

“It has certainly been a dream season.  Anytime you can get on a touring series and win eight races you are doing something right.  We only ran out of the top-five three times all year long.  That is one of the things I am most proud about.”

“But the races that didn’t go our way is what made us champions. That is when you really look at the whole team and know that this championship isn’t just yours, but everyone’s.”

Those were races like Peach State in the middle of the year, where Huffman was riding a two-race winning streak, and had to overcome several problems and being three laps down to still come home with a podium finish.
Its been over a month and a half since Huffman took the his final checkered flag, winning the Pro Cup season finale, collecting a $25,000 bonus and locking up the title.  Since then, Huffman has been named Honorable Mention on the All American Racing Team, made numerous appearances for both sponsor and series and received the accolades of most of the racing community for his achievements. 

Yet still, Huffman can’t believe what he achieved.

“It was a pretty good year you can say,” said Huffman.  “It was just one of those years that you dream about.  Sometimes, when things should have went wrong, they just didn’t and normally went our way.  It wasn’t the perfect year, but I can’t complain too
It was a dream season for Huffman (#84), but he his still unsure of his plans for 2004.
Shane Huffman still can't beleive that he is the 2003 Pro Cup Series champion.
“A lot of people may not realize what we have been through this year.  A couple of races we have had to get the backup car out at the last minute and we’ve still been able to come home with a third and a fourth when we had to do that. 

“Peach State was probably the best race we had all year.  We cut a tire down while leading and lost two laps in the pits under green changing it.  We made them both back up under green and finished third.  Those are the things that have made it an awesome year.”

Despite a championship, nearly a half-million dollars in prize money and eight wins, Huffman still says one of the biggest and best highlight of his season, and possibly his career, was winning his first Pro Cup race at Hickory Motor Speedway in front of the hometown fans that watched him grow up and win 52 races between 1994 and 1999 in late model comeptition.