October 7, 2017 - At the young age of seventeen, Buddy is crowned the RPM Mortgage Pro Late Model Series MAVTV televised Late Model CHAMPION, making it his third overall championship in three consecutive race seasons! AND, he wins the fifth annual SHORT TRACK SHOOTOUT, collecting $10K for his efforts at Madera Speedway!
It's with a heavy heart that Buddy dedicates this race to Bailey Schweitzer, all the victims and families that have had there lives forever changed from the unfortunate event in Las Vegas this past week, and to "PaPa" Joe Fine who lost his cancer battle.
It was no easy task, going into the night only 5 points ahead of second in the championship series. Buddy qualified third out of fifty competitors, you could throw a hankerchief over the top three qualifiers, he drew the pole for his starting position for the 150 lap event.
He led the field to the green flag, leading all 150 laps to earn the Championship and $10K from his office chair, methodically planning his race, hoping to save his hot rod for a big push at the end if needed. It was a well sculpted plan that is normally performed by more experienced drivers, however, with his light years ahead thinking, patience and perseverance at his age, he executed a well played out plan.
Being challenged several times throughout the race by very experienced drivers, breathing down his neck lap after lap, Buddy keeping focus and a cool head kept his #22 hot rod in front of the field. On lap 95 an altercation occurred between Buddy and the second place car, who drove hard into his left rear wheel. Buddy overcame the issue and crossed the start/finish line first on lap 96 for an early break.
His crew went to work repairing a bent wheel and much damage to his hot rod, then rolling out P1 for the remaining 54 laps. Again he was challenged with many restarts, but when go time came, pushing the loud pedal and making a big run for the $10K.
The last restart coming on lap 147 with three laps remaining, Buddy knew he had to make a flawless restart in order to hold off a hard charge from the second place driver. He did just that, clocking his fastest lap of the race on lap 150!
A HUGE celebration in Victory Lane with his crew, sponsors, family, fans, friends and many others, money was flying, all were cheering, this win will be recorded as his biggest in his late model career!
Kudos to Buddy's STELLAR team: Mike Keen, Dick Shepherd, Andy Worley, Gary Spangle, Tony Lamas, Bryan Brown, John Worley, Bo Bohannon, Joe Castro, Scott Sanchez, and all those before who have helped mold this seventeen year old to what he is today!
Thank you to Buddy's AMAZING sponsors: AXALTA, FINISHMASTERS, H&M Motorsports, Advanced Distribution, Bakersfield Muffler, Crystal Pools (thanks for the new rubber for the race!), H&S Body Works and Towing, Schaeffer's Racing Oil, Dragster Joe Custom DieCast, Campbell Motorsports, Ron's Rear Ends, VDL Fuel Systems.
And, to all the fans, friends, family who support Buddy each and every race, Buddy thanks YOU!
Next Race: TBA...Stay tuned!