2018 NASCAR Whelen All American Series Washington State Champion in for Showdownadmin
Doni Wanat, the 2018 NASCAR Whelen All American Series Washington State Champion, has entered the 2019 Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway on February 1-2. Wanat earned the title, racing his Super Late Model at Evergreen Speedway(WA), finishing off his NASCAR Championship season by winning the Heritage Distillery 100. That win allowed Wanat to also secure the Budweiser Crown Championship for the track, a mini-series within the track’s regular championship schedule.
Wanat made his lone start in the Winter Showdown in 2016. He finished 35th in the event, after debris damaged his car’s suspension and motor. Despite the setback, Wanat came away from the event with several positives, and things he enjoyed about the event.
“There were several things that I enjoyed about coming to my first Winter Showdown”, Wanat told the Spears Srl Southwest Tour Series. “First was the great facility it is held at. It is very different from most of the short tracks that the Super Late Models get to race on. It is a new and a very smooth track, with high grip and so on. Secondly, I also really enjoyed how professional the race is run; from the tech, race procedures and all the way to the parking.”
Doni Wanat Racing was relatively new to oval track racing, when he attended his first Winter Showdown in 2016. He began racing a Late Model at Evergreen Speedway in 2011, and participated in his first full season, of Super Late Model Racing, in 2012. Over the last eight seasons, Wanat has finished inside the championship top-five, in all but one season. Twice he finished as the runner-up, until 2018, when he scored the NASCAR State Championship at Evergreen. He just missed out on the track title, however, to fellow Winter Showdown entrant, Tyler Tanner. (The NASCAR State Championship follows a slightly different scoring procedure.)
With Wanat’s additional experience in oval track Super Late Models, he feels he is in a much better position to run up front. It is an opportunity he has been looking forward to for some time.
“I have wanted to get back, and run the Showdown since our first go around”, Wanat remarked. “I was taken out, in the beginning of the race, by another competitors piece of lead, which took out my motor and front clip. We also feel we are in a much better place with our program, since our first trip to Kern County. We just won the NASCAR Whelen Washington State Championship and the Budweiser Crown Series Championship. When we first visited the Showdown, I was young in my four wheel racing career, but now I believe we are ready to test ourselves, against the best in the country again.”
Wanat has also gained experience on the bigger tracks for Super Late Models. He has now competed in seven Summer Showdown events, on the 5/8th mile track at Evergreen Speedway. In those starts, he has earned two top-ten finishes, with a best of sixth in 2013. He has also gained experience, at different venues, with the Northwest Super Late Model Series. The Woodenville, WA driver finished third and fifth in the championship, in his only two seasons as a regular. He counts two wins, in 21 starts, in that series.
With $30,000 to win, and $3,000 to start, thanks to the Speed51.com, Coors Light Bonus, a large and talented field of Super Late Model drivers will meet Wanat, on February 1-2 in Bakersfield. In order to compete, Wanat is thankful to a contingent supporters which includes; Pathfinder Chassis, McGunegill Engine Performance, Evergreen Speedway, J2 Racing Parts, Court Games, Central Welding Supply, Lang Auto, Deyoung Inc. and Joes Racing Products.
Car Photo Credit: Michele Martin and Horsepower Project by Michele Martin Photography. Driver Photo: Winter Showdown