2019 was another incredible year of racing at Colorado National Speedway in Dacono Colorado. There were several special events that highlighted the year such as the Elite Diesel Service Mother Trucker Semi Race featuring the North American Big Rigs on May 5th. A packed house witnessed young Cole Wienser from Calgary Alberta Canada sweep the night’s events in his big rig.
In one of the most dramatic moments of the year Hailie Deegan thrilled the CNS fans and a national TV audience when she maneuvered her way to a late race victory in the NAPA 150 when the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West came to town on June 6th.
On Father’s Day it was another packed house for the Super Sunday Monster Truck show on the 16th of June. And finally the King of the Wing Sprint Cars returned for a 2-day Independence Day race that saw Indiana’s Bobby Santos win both feature events.
Possibly the biggest story of the year was brand new surface on the track that debuted May 18th and ushered in a new era of racing at CNS. Track records fell in every single weekly division at the track. Eddie Vecchiarelli in the Super Late Models, Brian Yackey in the Pro Trucks, Derek Smith in the Late Models, Ed Vecchiarelli in the Grand American Modifieds, Kyle Clegg in the Legend Cars, Chris Cox in the Super Stocks, and Ryan Raley Jr in the Pure Stocks all shattered the previous track records on the new pavement.
As always it’s the weekly racing events that are the bread and butter of the CNS schedule and 2019 featured some amazing action. The drama always starts with the premier division at CNS of the Mountain States Fire Protection Super Late Models. 3rd generation driver Darren Robertson accomplished something that had never been done in the 54 years of action at CNS as he won his 3rd straight championship in the division. Robertson nabbed the title on the strength of his early season results winning two of the first three feature events and consistently finishing near the top of the field for the remainder of the season. Robertson’s main competition for the title was the father and son combination of Bruce and Brett Yackey who were in contention for the title all the way up to the final night of action. Bruce would go on to take the runner-up spot in the final standings missing out on a shot at adding to his incredible nine track championships in the division.
Dominic Ursetta ultimately would secure the 3rd spot in the final season standings on the strength of his impressive six feature event wins in 2019, the most of any driver. Ursetta didn’t run a full season but was clearly the car to beat when he was in action in 2019. Behind Brett Yackey in the third spot was another driver that only ran a partial season Chris Eggleston who snagged three feature events and took home fifth place in the final season standings. Jeff Walbaum secured the 2019 rookie of the year award by narrowly beating out Jonathan Knee on the final night of points racing.
The Super Late Models had a strong season consistently fielding a very competitive group of cars and finished off the season with the annual Challenge Cup XLV that was captured by Preston Peltier one of the best Super Late Model drivers in the nation.
The Snap-On Tools Pro Trucks 2019 season was headlined by a tight points battle between Kody Vanderwal and Brian Yackey. Yackey had taken the points lead from Vanderwal in week two and led almost all year long until the second to last race of the year when Vanderwal surged to the top of the standings. In the final race the two drivers battled it out to the very end with Vanderwal taking home his first ever championship in the division. Former champ Adam Deines would grab third in the final standings on the strength of two feature wins late in the season. Curtis Heldenbrand and Troy Witthar would both have strong 2019 campaigns taking the fourth and fifth spots in the championship points race.
Nick Cooper had a solid rookie campaign collecting a seventh place finish in the final point standings which was enough to award him the 2019 Pro Truck Rookie of the Year.
Without question the most exciting points race occurred in the Galitz Transportation Late Models. Derek Smith and Dan Alamaa entered the final main event in 2019 tied in the point standings and the two would line up side-by-side in the final race. Neither driver would disappoint as they raced hard yet clean to the final checkered flag. When the dust settled it was Derek Smith grabbing his first ever title in the Late Models. Alamaa settled for second but had no reason to hang his head winning one feature event and collecting an impressive four second place finishes in 2019. Eric Bowers, Wade Grove and David Hondel would also have excellent seasons registering the remaining spots in the top five in the final season standings.
The SUNOCO Race Fuels Grand American Modified season was dominated by Ed Vecchiarelli who won five feature events and cruised to his fourth title in the division. Charlie Wilson would run strong all year long and take the runner-up spot and a feature win on June 29th. The most exciting battle in 2019 in the GAMs was the race for rookie of the year that wasn’t determined until the final night when Marcus Kelly would edge out Landon Birney for the recognition. Kelly and Birney would take third and fourth in the final standings respectively. The final spot in the top five for the year went to crowd-favorite John Seely in the #66 machine.
Jonathan Lindberg won his first TBK Super Stock championship on the strength of his consistent top three finishes in 2019. Lindberg won only one feature race and that didn’t come until July 27th but it was more than enough to take the championship combined with six top three finishes during the year. Lindberg was pushed for the title by Chris Cox who also had a strong season winning four feature events. The other drivers in the top five at the end of the year were: Robert Davey, Sam Messerli and Tyler Mander who was also crowned the 2019 Rookie of the Year in the Super Stocks which was a great way to follow-up his 2018 Pure Stock championship.
Possibly the most dominating performance of the year came in the Lincoln Tech Pure Stock division from Ryan Raley Jr. who won four feature events and also had four second place finishes easily catapulting him to the 2019 title in the division. Raley will have to move up in 2020 to a higher division as is the rule in the Pure Stocks. The Pure Stocks had another marvelous season providing a great place for drivers to get their feet wet racing at CNS as an entry level division. Large field’s of cars and tons of action on the track have made this division one of the fan-favorites at Colorado National Speedway. Juston Karrol, Matt Hill, Jamie Ward and Jacob Poole were the other drivers that finished in the top five in points in 2019.
Jereme Wall added a fourth Elite Diesel Service Figure 8 championship in 2019 to go along with his titles from 2015, 2016 and 2017. This time around he battled none other than his own brother Jared Wall until the final race of the season. The tight points battle caught the attention of the CNS faithful who consistently name the Figure 8s as one of the most popular divisions at the track. Jereme won seven feature events in 2019 which was by far the most of any driver during the year. Behind the two Wall brothers in the final point standings were: Harry Livermore Jr., Justin McKeachie and Jeremy Jackson. Impressive rookie Dennis Stepanich III not only won the 2019 rookie of the year award but also took home a feature event on May 11th.
Without question the strongest division at Colorado National Speedway is the Elite V Twin Legend Cars that almost always field over thirty cars on a typical race night. With those types of car-counts the action on the track is mind-blowing and has become a fan-favorite at the speedway. In 2010, 2011, and 2012 Kyle Clegg won three Legend Car championships in a row. Kyle repeated the three-peat accomplishment once again 2019 after taking the title in the two previous seasons. While Clegg cruised to the title with four feature wins Darrell J Stewart emerged as a new threat to win on any given night taking an impressive three main event wins and a runner-up spot in the final season standings. Danny Medina, Darrell Stewart Sr., and Travis Roe all had outstanding 2019 campaigns and took home 3rd, 4th and 5th in the final standings. It should also be noted that Chris Eggleston got upside down on the first night of racing and didn’t return until August 17th winning the feature on his first night back. Eggleston would go on to win two more main events and manage a 12th place finish in the season standings.
In other divisions at the track Jereme Wall and Chad Sutherland won the Witthar Racing Trains championship driving the Crazy Train and finally knocking off his brother Jared from the top spot who had occupied it since 2014. Lanny Bolten won the first ever Howe Mortuary Hornet division championship while Chasen Groff was tops in the Bandolero Outlaws and Teigan Scott was champ in the Bandolero Bandits.
CNS continues to be the premier NASCAR Track west of the Mississippi with a large dedicated fan base that are passionate about their Saturday night short track racing. 2020 is already being planned and it will be sure to be bigger and better than ever.