ATOKA, Tenn. – Jeffrey West Jr. evaluated his first year in the 360ci winged sprint car division as a success.
“It was definitely a crazy year for sure,” West said. “We only got half of a race season, but I look back on it positively. It was a great year for us. We made a name for ourselves and learned a lot and had some great runs.
“We made some goals to meet and I feel like we accomplished them.”
West Jr. won the ASCS Mid-South Region Rookie of the Year Award and he finished third in the championship standings despite missing a race.
“Being Rookie of the Year was always in the back of my head, but I didn’t expect to even get top five in the standings so I was really happy with finishing third,” he said. “We had some good runs this year.”
A trio of top 10s stood out among the results, including a career-best seventh-place run in June when West Jr. nearly won at Riverside Int’l Speedway in West Memphis, Ark.
He took the lead midway through the main event, but ran out of fuel on a late-race restart.
Three weeks later West Jr. posted a career-best Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour result of 11th at Riverside Int’l Speedway.
“The ASCS National Tour race at Riverside had 40-something cars and we won our heat race,” he explained. “We ran in the top five for most of the feature. To run up front with those guys was huge.”
The Short Track Nationals, which featured a heat race win, was also among the stout moments this season for West Jr.
“Short Track Nationals showed that we could compete, being a small team on our own,” he said. “That was really an eye opener that we can do it.
“This year was a huge stepping stone to getting started. I felt really, really good about it and I feel we’ll continue to get better. Having more races and going to different tracks and running with different series, all of that was big in our development.”
West Jr. noted that his plan for 2021 is similar to what he hoped to run this year, with 25 to 30 races on his schedule throughout the Mid-South region.
“At this stage we’re working on getting our program better,” he said. “We’re probably going to do the same thing and do the races we can around here.
“We’re also excited to have Mainline Safety and Supply, Inc., back with our team next year. We’re really looking forward to what next season entails and to take the next step forward.”