Five Time Pro Stock Tour Champion Flemming Handing Wheel to DJ Casey in 2016
Flemming to run three 250s in 2016, crew chief for Casey on Parts for Trucks Maritime Pro Stock Tour
Photo by McCarthy Photographic
DJ Casey took the room of over 230 at the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour banquet by surprise on Saturday evening.
Casey, the series rookie of the year, finished off his speech at the Holiday Inn Harbourview in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia by announcing he is taking over the #97 car full time for Flemming Motorsports in 2016.
The #97 car has been driven to five Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour championships, an Atlantic Cat 250 victory and two IWK 250 wins by Halifax’s John Flemming. Flemming finished tenth in the 2015 edition of the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour after winning the series championship in 2013 and 2014.
Casey, who just a few short years ago would stand in lineups for autographs from many Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour drivers he raced with this year, said on Saturday it is “a dream come true” to be taking over the iconic car for a driver he looked up to growing up.
Flemming’s first priority for 2016 is simple. “My main focus is to help DJ Casey win a Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour championship,” Flemming said Monday. “DJ is a great driver, he reminds me a lot of me when I began in the sport and I wish I had this sort of help when I was coming up through the ranks. We have one of the best teams on this series, I’m excited to share my knowledge and be a part of his learning experience.”
Casey will pilot the Port City car that made its debut for Flemming Motorsports in 2015. “We had the guys at Port City go over the car last season and we made gains on the car throughout the year, working on shocks and setup. The car ran the best it had all season at the season finale (Dartmouth Dodge 200), but we developed issues with the motor.”
As for Flemming’s driving future, fans can circle three races on their calendar to see Flemming on track. “We’re going to take the Port City car to the Fredericton 250 (Speedway 660’s Irving Blending & Packaging 250) next year. We’ll also be at the IWK 250 at Riverside and the Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway. At this point, it is only three races. The priority is to help DJ win the championship and if we can add more races without jeopardizing that goal in any way then we may look at it.”
Casey has an impressive resume in his short racing career. The Prospect Road, Nova Scotia driver won the inaugural Canadian INEX Bandolero championship in 2006 and was a runner up in the Dartmouth Dodge Sportsman Series at Scotia Speedworld in 2014, one year after winning the Rookie of the Year in the class. Driving the #94 car on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour in 2015, a former championship car for Flemming, Casey finished a season high second in the IWK 250 at Riverside before going on to win the Exide Batteries Rookie of the Year Award.
Casey also made his NASCAR Canadian Tire Series debut in a Flemming Motorsports entry last August at Riverside International Speedway. Casey is expected to run with NASCAR Canada on a limited basis with Flemming Motorsports when his Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour schedule allows.
Flemming was presented a custom blue Max Papis Innovations steering wheel from Casey on Saturday night at the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour banquet. ‘The announcement for next year that DJ made caught a lot off guard, including some of my guys, but I was blown away by the steering wheel presentation,” said Flemming.
The announcement of Flemming scaling back on the driving side of his racing career comes after former Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour champions Wayne Smith and Shawn Tucker recently retired from full-time racing. Smith, a six time Maritime Touring champion and co-owner of Petty International Raceway, won the championship on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour in 2011 and made his retirement from full-time racing known after the season finale that year. Smith has run a limited schedule in Sportsman and Pro Stock competition while Tucker, a three-time Tour champion, has not run a race since the completion of the 2014 season.
Flemming leads many statistical categories for the series, including holding the record for most wins at Scotia Speedworld (nine) and Oyster Bed Speedway (five). He is the only driver in Parts for Trucks Tour history to score top ten finishes in all 13 races contested at Petty International Raceway, is one of only three drivers, joining Tucker and Kent Vincent, with more than 100 top tens in series history and is second to only Smith on the all time series win list at 23.
You can see Casey behind the wheel of the #97 Flemming Motorsports Dodge when the season kicks off in the Spring of 2016.