FINALIST: Winters Finding Success In Div. II

August 27, 2010 at 1:24 PM

A popular California NASCAR champion driver remains a force to be reckoned with in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

Scott Winters, 42, of Tracy, Calif., has had a history of success in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. He rose to prominence in the series’ previous format when he won the 2002 Sunbelt Region championship. A longtime competitor in NASCAR Grand American style Modifieds, Winters has collected five track championships and three consecutive wins in the prestigious Fall Classic at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Winters has made a late-season charge into or near the top 10 of the asphalt NASCAR Finalist Division II standings in recent weeks competing at All-American Speedway in Roseville, Calif., and Stockton (Calif.) 99 Speedway. He has nine wins, 16 top fives and 16 top 10s and 11 fast times in 17 starts. He is ranked 12th in this week’s NASCAR Finalist Division II standings.

Winters drives for the potent Ferrari-Kramer Racing, a team formed by California cherry and walnut farmer Wayne Ferrari and engine builder Don Kramer. They tabbed veteran Winters as their driver this year. Winters currently leads the division standings at All-American Speedway and is fourth at Stockton.

The new NASCAR Finalist national recognition program focuses on the divisions outside of the Feature Division at each NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track. Points are kept separately for dirt and asphalt tracks. A NASCAR-licensed driver’s best 14 finishes are counted toward their final points total for the year.

Each track in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series designates its top division as its Feature Division, and assigns its remaining divisions a designation of II, III, IV or V. The Finalist Program was established this season to recognize the drivers in those latter divisions.

Danny Johnson continues to lead the asphalt NASCAR Division II standings this week. Other asphalt leaders include Division III, Tommy Barrett, Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway; Division IV, Tim Hollen, Raceway Park; and Division V, Doug Schmitz, Raceway Park.

Dirt leaders entering this weekend include Division II Jesse Sobbing, I-80 Speedway, Omaha, Neb.; Division III, Brad Derry, I-80 Speedway; Division IV, Jamie Spanel, I-80 Speedway; and Division V, Andy Wilkinson, Junction Motor Speedway, McCool Junction, Neb.

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The Ferrari-Kramer team is a blend of the teams fielded by Ferrari and Winters’ former car owner Ron Ostorero. Ostorero is Ferrari-Kramer’s crew chief and transmission specialist. Completing the team are Chris Allen and Tim Carr. The team uses an Ellis chassis. There is no known link between Wayne Ferrari and the Italian exotic sports car manufacturing family of the same name, although the race car Winters drives is “Ferrari red” in color.

Despite his formidable and talented team, Winters says he’s racing harder than ever these days.

“Our races are very competitive,” Winters says. ”With inversions of six to eight and 40-lap features, you’ve got your work cut out for you from the start.”

He says he’s lucky to have joined Ferrari-Kramer Racing.

“There’s no question this is a team drivers dream about joining,” Winters said. “It’s a great opportunity and I appreciate it. Any driver would be happy to have a team like this.”

Winters started his racing career in go karts, which he drove from age eight to 16. His first real race car was a Mini Stock. He set racing aside to attend college, which worked out pretty well.

He has a doctorate in philosophy in engineering from the University of California Davis. He works at the Lawrence Livermore (Calif.) National Laboratory, which is part of the U.S. Department of Energy. Winters works in its National Ignition Facility Program which is leading research in fusion energy using the world’s largest and most energetic laser – actually a combination of 192 lasers – that, according to Winters, could one day become a primary source of renewable non-fossil energy. The project includes stockpile stewardship of nuclear weapons. Stockpile stewardship is the United States’ program of reliability testing and maintenance of its nuclear weapons without the use of nuclear testing.

After college and having established his career, Winters reconnected with the racer within, first as a crew chief and then as a driver.

“For any true racer, racing gets into your blood and you keep that for a lifetime,” Winters said.

Team sponsors include Ferrari Farm, Transmissions by HAL, Panella Race Engines, All Pro Powder Coating, WenteQ Heads by Steve and Cherokee Muffler.

Winters and his wife, Joyce, have three children who are Ciara, 10; and twins Carly and Colby, who are eight.