COLLECTS SUNOCO ROOKIE AWARD
High School Student Tops Impressive Field To Win Honor
Swanson is unique among his high school peers.
While the other student-athletes at his school
participate in a multitude of sports, Swanson is the
only one who is a full-time race car driver. And
Swanson has excelled in his first season on the
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. So much so that he's
clinched the tour's Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors
with a race remaining.
The Acton, Massachusetts, teenager finished fourth
at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September and
eighth at the NAPA Fall Final at Connecticut's
Stafford Motor Speedway to pull away from Craig Lutz
and secure the honor for first-year competitors.
Heading in to the season final this Sunday at
Connecticut's Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park,
Swanson has won 12 Sunoco Rookie of the Race honors
in the first 16 events.
“We set goals for this season and one of them was to
win the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in the
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour,” Swanson said. “We
started the season just wanting to run well and
things fell into place where we now can celebrate
Swanson added that his team was also looking to use
this year as a learning one to build on for the
“The guys on the team worked hard all year and we
began the season building our notebook of notes for
each track we race at on the schedule,” Swanson
said. “We were concerned more with that to start the
season and didn’t really worry about finishes until
later in the season when we realized we could lock
up the ROY award.”
Swanson’s best finish this season so far is a
third-place at Thompson in June, but it was his most
recent finishes that made the difference for the
“The third-place finish we had a Thompson was great
and that one along with coming from 20th to fourth
at New Hampshire and coming home strong at Stafford
last weekend helped us a lot.
“I just want to thank Sunoco for this honor and
award each week and at the end of the season because
it gives new drivers coming in to the series
something to race for and as hard as it is to get
sponsors in racing these days, every bit of help we
get is appreciated,” Swanson said. “This is
something I’ll always remember and hope we can build
off of this honor like many others have done on the
tour and went on to win races and contend for
Heading into the final race, Swanson leads Lutz
154-134. Andrew Krause, Nick Salva and Walter
Sutcliffe, Jr. rounding out the top five.
Rookie points are earned on a 10-to-1 system with
the highest-finishing first-year driver in a race
scoring 10, the second nine, and so on down to one
point for the lowest finishers.
Swanson will receive the Sunoco Rookie of the Year
Award on Dec. 10 as part of the NASCAR Night of
Champions Touring Series Awards at the NASCAR Hall
of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Jason Christley / NASCAR
October 14, 2016