Hopes High for Sean Rayhall After Breakout 2012 UARA Season
Rayhall Wraps Up Solid Rookie Season on UARA Tour
CONCORD, NC (November 14, 2012) – Through the UARA-STARS Late Model Stock Car tour’s 2012 season, 17-year-old Sean Rayhall went from an upstart rookie competitor to a weekly threat for victories in the competitive short track series.
Rayhall finished fourth in the overall UARA standings and scored his first-ever Late Model victory mid-season at Caraway Speedway in North Carolina. In addition, the Georgia native was a weekly threat throughout the campaign with his Tom Pistone Racing Devlopment No. 14 team.
Now that the 2012 season is over, Rayhall is able to reflect on the gains he made as a driver as he looks forward to even more success in 2013.
“It was a good year, but I’d be lying if I said we didn’t expect to win more races, especially how strong we were running at the end of the year,” said Rayhall. “I’m happy knowing I did accomplish that we were the number-one car at the end of the season pretty much everywhere we went. We put all the pieces of the puzzle together. Going into next year, I definitely have something to prove in terms that we should be winning.
“As strong as we’ve been running, I don’t see why we shouldn’t win one out of every three races or so. Next year, hopefully some of the bad luck will go away and we’ll prove what we set out to prove every time out.”
Rayhall’s season finished in a manner similar to how many of his late-season races did. Just when Rayhall put his No. 14 in position for a podium finish in the season finale at Rockingham Speedway earlier this month, a flat tire prevented Rayhall from a strong result. That followed the similar pattern that Rayhall found himself in several times after winning at Caraway in July.
Flat tires, mechanical issues and untimely contact doomed what otherwise would have been wins or top-three finishes for Rayhall. Still, Rayhall and his crew found something around the season’s midway point that allowed them to be in a position to lead laps and contend, whether the bad luck eventually struck or not.
“I felt myself improve as a Late Model driver,” said Rayhall. “The cars are definitely different than anything I’ve driven before. They’re hard to get used to and to get the fundamentals of.
“Right around Caraway, when we broke through for that win, was when everything started to click. We finally got the setup right, we got me right and we were constantly the fastest car and putting ourselves in position to win. “Things just lined up and everything came together at once. Clay (Rogers, Rayhall’s consultant and driver coach) and I got the setup right. My driving got right and everything clicked at that point. We just turned the wick up a little bit and we found ourselves leading in just about every race.”
Rayhall will now shift his focus on an off-season that will still be full of race cars before the UARA action starts up again in the Spring.
“Just because the Late Model season is over doesn’t mean I’m going to stop racing. I may run a couple dirt races in Georgia and a couple Porsche races on the road course scene. I’ll try to stay behind the wheel as much as possible.
“We’re looking to start testing here in the off-season in the next month or two. I have a regimen of doing IRacing a certain amount of laps every day. Back in Georgia, I’ll be at the shifter kart track keeping all my muscles sharp. Plus, I’ll go down to the Snowball Derby to help Clay on his brother Brad’s car down there.”
For more information on Sean Rayhall, email Matt Kentfield at 51 Sports, email@example.com and visit Sean’s official website, www.seanrayhall.com.
Be sure to follow Sean on Twitter, @seanrayhall, and search “Sean Rayhall Motorsports” to become a Facebook fan.
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