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In the News
Still on track
Away from the crowd of fans, the echoing announcer and revving engines, the smell of tires and fuel, down a dirt road surrounded by trees and only a few neighbors lives a racing veteran, Wayne Niedecken Jr. Many racing fans know him as “Junior” not just because he shares his father’s name, but because he shares his father’s passion for racing.
Wayne Niedecken Sr. began racing in 1949. Between ’49 and 1964, when he moved to Pensacola, Niedecken Sr. raced and consistently won in Texas and Oklahoma, as well as races in Shreveport, Memphis, Ascot Park, CA and Knoxville, IA.
After moving to Pensacola, Niedecken Sr. also won the Fiesta 200 at Five Flags Speedway and other titles there. Notable among his wins were the first and third Snowball Derby.
Niedecken Jr.’s record stands for itself, including a combined 10 track championships at Five Flags, Mobile International, and Jackson International Speedway, spanning 35 years of racing. Niedecken Jr. was also the first consecutive two-time NASCAR Grand American National Champion in 1980 and 1981.
Niedecken Jr. has also received the “most popular driver” award numerous times, just as his father won “Best Sportsman” by his fellow drivers. “You have to be a clean driver. I try to keep a good reputation,” Niedecken said. “You can’t let people drive your car. Patience and concentration are the two keys. You can’t let people get in your head,” he said. All of this, he does while “shoestring racing.” He said, “We look at pennies hard. We try to race and at least break even. The purses pay to upgrade and maintain the car."
All around, racing is an expensive endeavor. Three sponsors Niedecken said back his career are Lou Sabh’s Milton Chevrolet, Lifeguard Ambulance Service, Kool Karts, and Kool Graphics. Other sponsors readers can find listed at www.niedeckenracing.com. “Money buys speed,” Niedecken said. He still has two spots on his Pro Late Model for sponsorship, the prime spot being the hood.
While Niedecken has no desire to retire, he said he’d like to focus on driver development to bring in new blood. One of the last drivers he mentored, he said, was Hal Martin, the Pro Late Model division winner at the Mobile International Speedway in ’07, who’s also raced at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.
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2014 Pro Late Model Standings
Gulf Coast Championship Points (Thru 9/23/14)
- Wayne Niedecken Jr. 1360
- Elliot Massey 1127
- Dustin Smith 1096
Five Flags Points Standings(Thru 9/22/14)
- Johanna Long 765
- Garrett Jones 763
- Wayne Niedecken Jr. 74
Mobile Speedway Points Standings(Thru 10/22/14)
- Josh Bragg 710
- Wayne Niedecken, Jr 706
- Elliott Massey 645
Wayne Niedecken Jr.
*2nd generation driver(Wayne Niedecken Sr.)
*Over 35 years' experience in fabrication & race car set-up
*35 years in competitive asphalt racing
*Two-time NASCAR Grand American National Champion
*2014 Gulf Coast Championship Points Leader
*Has competed in 29 Snowball Derby events
*3rd in All-Time Top 10 Snowball Derby finishes
*10 Track Championships between Five Flags Speedway and Mobile International Speedway
*Owner and Operator of Niedecken Motorsports, LLC
*Specializes in construction, maintenance, and repair of various classes of asphalt race car divisions