DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Late Model driver Glenn Gault Jr. won his second career NASCAR championship at Lake Erie Speedway in 2011. It took eight seasons and a lot of work to follow-up on his 2003 title at the .375-mile paved oval located in North East, Pa.
“We’ve been in position to win more championships over the years so finally winning a second one made us appreciate it more,” Gault said. “With the level of competition we have, you can’t have a DNF or have a little something go wrong. We had four or five wins in 2010 and finished fifth in points.”
Gault, 35, of Hubbard, Ohio, posted one win at Lake Erie in 2011, but the consistency of 14 top-fives and 15 top-10s hin 15 starts helped him win the title by 37 points over Greg Hoover.
With the season opener right around the corner on May 26, Gault is hoping the wait isn't as long for title No. 3.
Lake Erie Speedway operates on Saturday nights and feature racing begins at 7:05 p.m. In addition to Plyler Overhead Door Late Models, other NASCAR divisions include Modifieds, Street Stocks and Jensens Target Collision Compacts. The track’s website is www.lakeeriespeedway.com.
Gault has additional reasons to be enthusiastic about the approach of the 2012 season. Eight 100-lap NASCAR Late Model specials are scheduled between Lake Erie Speedway and Motordrome Speedway, a half-mile paved oval in Smithton, Pa. While maintaining their full-time home track efforts, drivers and teams seem energized by the news of the extra distance races. Motordrome’s first 100 is on May 18 while Lake Erie’s is on May 26.
“These 100 lappers should increase our car counts and help us in the state point race,” Gault said.
Gault is a third generation driver. His grandfather Arlie Gault was a dirt track racer, as was his father, Glenn Sr. Glenn Sr. was a highly successful dirt Late Model driver made the transition to pavement racing. Gault Sr. won a 1988 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series regional championship racing at CNB Bank Raceway Park in Clearfield, Pa., and the now-dormant Jennerstown (Pa.) Speedway. Jennerstown was paved in 1987 and Motordrome was paved and joined NASCAR in 1990.
“Dad is more involved than ever with my racing,” Gault said. Gault Sr. serves as his son’s crew chief.
“I grew up going to dirt tracks and then blacktop tracks where my dad raced,” Gault Jr. said. “I knew I wanted to race and I knew I wanted to race on blacktop.”
In 1999 Gault Jr. took out a bank loan to buy a Legacy race car to drive at Jennerstown and Motordrome. He moved on to pavement Late Model racing at Clearfield in 2001 and was rookie of the year before shifting his focus to Lake Erie Speedway when the track opened in 2002. Since then, Gault’s Saturday night NASCAR Home Track has been Lake Erie Speedway. He has also competed at tracks throughout the Midwest and Southeast.
In addition to Gault Sr., team members include Fast Eddie Smusz, Eddie Smusz Jr., Sonny Schaville, and Ken Tanner. Sponsors include Snow King Mobile Home Roofs, Lennox, and the family business Gault Heating Inc.
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is NASCAR’s national championship program for weekly short track auto racing. The series encompasses more than 50 speedways across the United States and Canada.