The UARA Top Ten Countdown - 2nd George Miedecke
UARA Rookie of the Year
For Immediate Release
(January 9, 2012) –
The 2011 Rookie of the Year, George Miedecke came from a successful racing background, much like Poole. The Australian competed in the Ute division in Australia, the equivalent of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series when
compared to the Australian V8 Supercars. In fact, Miedecke holds the track record at the Bathurst (Mount Panorama) circuit for those cars. In 2010, he ran his first year in late model stock cars and quickly tasted success, claiming a couple of victories including the prestigious Bobby Isaac Memorial at Hickory Motor Speedway.
After coming out of the box with a runner-up finish, Miedecke claimed his first of four Sunoco poles at Kingsport during the second event of the season. He led the first few laps and gave up the lead to Kyle Grissom. As the laps wound down, he stalked Grissom, closing back in on the leader in every corner. When the white flag was displayed, Miedecke made a move in
turn one, but contact between him and the No. 31 sent Grissom spinning and meant that Miedecke, by UARA rules, was relegated to the end of the lead lap.
“A hero of mine once said that if there’s a gap and you don’t go for it, you’re no longer a racing driver. So I figured I better be a racing driver,” Miedecke joked later in the year after the Kingsport race. “It was something I learned from and it helped to teach me about the limits of these cars and how they change over the course of 150 laps. I still sorta look at that one as the one that got away, however, because we were good that night, really good. It would have been awesome to have won in our
As a development driver for Marcos Ambrose Motorsport under the Fat Head Racing banner of Jamie Yelton, Miedecke impressed many of his competitors with his quick adaptation to UARA-style racing and the higher-horsepower
cars. In true rookie style, however, Miedecke learned not only about the cars, but also about himself and his crew during his maiden voyage through late model stock car racing’s toughest series.
“The hardest part for me this year was starting out with a bang like we did and then still not having any wins to show for it,” said the Australian pilot of the No. 9 Jeld-Wen Australia/Stanley Tools Ford. “There was a point this year where I realized that I was the problem and I was holding us back, and that was hard to admit. I had to go to (crew chief) Lee (McCall) and say ‘Look, I haven’t been giving you the feedback I needed to and I think I’m the reason we’ve gone in the wrong direction.’ That was hard. It set us back probably three or four races, at least. But once we got past that, things started going forward again.”
Just as he started the year, Miedecke ended the year strong, claiming three more Sunoco poles to win the season-long Sunoco Most Poles award, and ending the year with a solid fourth place run at Rockingham. Much to his chagrin, however, Miedecke still did not visit victory lane. Miedecke won 12 of 15 Rookie of the Race Awards during the season as well. He also was named Holley Performer of the Race three times, won the Circle Wheel Award five times, Sonic Award three times, Phantom Racing Award two times, WP Racing Shocks Award two times, Racing Electronics Second to None award, Swift Springs Award and the Joe Gibbs Driven Award. Quite a big accomplishment for the rookie of the year champion.
“Man, I really, really wanted to get a win for my guys. I wanted one for myself, too, but my guys worked way too hard this year for us not to get a win,” Miedecke said after the season finale at Rockingham. “I had a really bad-ass car (at Rockingham) but just couldn’t get by Kyle (Grissom) because there was no grip up top and behind him I kept losing the nose. I understand what Marcos and the Cup guys mean now when they talk about aero-push. But it was a great year, and there are so many things I’ve learned this year that will help me throughout the rest of my racing career.”
While there were rumors of Miedecke moving up to the K&N Pro Series or the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2012, he surprised everyone by moving home to Australia just a week after the conclusion of the 2011 season. A road course specialist, as he showed in his near-victory at New Jersey Motorsports Park in an ARCA car for Venturini Motorsports, Miedecke had opportunities in his homeland.
“I really missed home, especially after going back for a few weeks during the Bathurst 1000,” said Miedecke. “Marcos (Ambrose) and I are really close and he’s done a lot for my racing career thus far. With the success I’ve had in the States, it opened a lot of doors for me both there and back home. Hopefully, if all goes well, I should be driving in the FujitsuSeries in 2012, that’s basically the equivalent to the Nationwide Series in the US.
“I won’t rule out coming back to the States, because I think with the right opportunity, I could certainly do well in the higher levels of racing there,” Miedecke added. “UARA, like I’ve said before, has taught me so much that I can use, even in the highest levels of racing in Australia. To me, as someone who’s been around international motorsports for nearly my entire life, there really isn’t much better of a proving ground for young drivers like me than the UARA. I mean, look what it’s done for my career.”
As in years past, the graduates of the UARA-STARS have aspired to greatness in other series of racing. Miedecke’s Fujitsu efforts will be of interest to series fans as well because, although it involves twisty-style race courses, it is still considered one of the highest forms of motorsports in the world.
Press Release by Tony Stevens
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