Corey Wheeler – Thankful for his Achievements in 2019

Crédit photo : Don Simpson

La version française est disponible ici : https://360nitro.tv/articles/2019/12/16/une-saison-mouvementee-pour-corey-wheeler

Cornwall 358 Champion Corey Wheeler – Thankful for his Achievements in 2019

It was a whirlwind of a season, explains Corey.  “The season went by so fast it really took some time for me to appertain to what we have accomplished as a team.”

For the last four weeks, Corey has been slowly disassembling his championship car, which will be moving on to a new owner in the New Year. “It’s sad to see the car go as this car gave me the life-long dream of winning the 358 Modified championship at my home track of Cornwall Motor Speedway,” explains Corey.

This story began back when Corey was a young boy. It was a regular occurrence to see Corey alongside his dad at the Cornwall Motor Speedway, taking in all the action and whatever experience they could.

At the age of 13, Corey approached Brian “Slim” McDonald to see if he could help out on the race team. Brian accepted the offer, and they have been great friends ever since.

From that moment, Corey has now progressed into his final goal of becoming the 358 Modified champion at the Cornwall Motor Speedway.

Corey explains. “I always dreamed of racing Modified but never dreamwe would be track champion. It’s a dream come true to even be racing in the Modified division. I consider myself very lucky and fortunate enough to be out there each week doing what I love. Winning the championship is the icing on the cake.”

Corey has progressed through the ranks and different classes over the years and this championship will be Corey’s fourth at the Cornwall Motor Speedway.

In 2006, Corey dominated the Mini Stock class giving him his first championship. The year s 2014 and 2015, Corey once again was the man to beat this time in the Sportsman Modified, bringing home two more championships. Corey would also claim the track championship at the Mohawk International Raceway.

This year’s championship, however, is bittersweet for Corey as a long-time friend and sponsor, Mel Valade, was not there to see Corey achieve his goal. Corey explains. “I want to dedicate this championship to Mel Valade who passed away the night I won my first 358 Mod race at Mohawk Speedway in 2016. Mel sponsored me when I was a young lad, playing hockey, then he sponsored my mini stock, Sportsman and the 358 Modified. He also helped build the team’s race shop. Without him, we might not have been racing at all.”

This past season, Corey’s team also stepped up their game working longer hours and strived to compete in the DIRTcar 358 Series along with their weekly commitments at Cornwall. The 358 Series started out well for the team, but the plan unraveled with some disappointing results, late in the series. No matter the outcome, the crew rallied each week to chase that next race and, hopefully, a better outcome.

Corey explains:. “It was a headlong season of racing and it isn’t much fun without a great team. Without their help, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I would like to thank Justin, Joel, Akshay, Tammy, Matt, Owen, and my dad for all their help. I would also like to thank all my sponsors: Fat Les/ Gerry O and his family for making this championship happen. A big thanks to my wife Shawna, and my Mom for all of your support. Finally, there have been many influences in my racing career that have helped shape my racing program and fulfilling this long-time dream, a big thanks to Joey Ladouceur, Slim, Gilles Godard, Ryan Stabler, and Mark Radbourne.”

With the 2020 season on the horizon and a new Bicknell race car coming to the shop, Corey and his crew will once again begin their chase for their next championship.

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Don Simpson
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