Little boys love to play in the dirt, but eventually they grow up and move on, which is exactly what Dustin Delaney has done with his transition to asphalt racing. The move seems to be working in his second year on the track in the Camping World Series East.
Delaney finished in the top 10 in the last CWSE race at Tri County Speedway in Hudson, NC.
The Mayfield, NY native drives the No. 39 Chevrolet, sponsored by Delaney Infrastructure, his father's company.
This is Dustin's second year in the East series, after racing on dirt tracks for over half of his 19 years. His top 10 finish, was his first in this series.
The 6' 2" tall driver is a little intimidating until he greets you with his boyish smile. Delaney's interview style is much like his driving style; easy going on the outside, but determined intensity lies within. He has a plan, and it's already evident it's playing out early in this season.
In an interview, Delaney told me he feels that changes in the crew have given Delaney Motorsports an edge this year.
"We got a new spotter, made the old one our new tire guy and I have a year of asphalt under me now," he said.
All of these factors plus a new set up, motor package and another year's experience for Delaney and his team, have given him what he needs to be a top contender in the East series.
After watching Delaney handle the Tri County track, moving from his 15th place qualifying to his ninth place finish in the race, it was obvious that this young man was getting comfortable with the series, early in the season. I asked if the team would be changing anything for the Camping World East series race in Iowa.
Delaney explained that they would be switching to a car that is better suited for the longer track and steeper banking at Iowa. Other than this, he felt that the team has "clicked" and he has all the right people in the right places to continue his climb to the top.
Delaney Motorsports is a family affair. I had the pleasure of meeting Delaney's mother, Tina Delaney at the Greenville race. She was charming and energetic and obviously one of his No. 1 fans.
Delaney's father, Tim, busied himself with the technical aspects of the day, while his sister, Ashley, and brother Garret, were also there to support him.
There is no doubt that the family that heads to the races together wins together. Delaney's pursuit of this series championship is definitely a family affair.
The East series moves to Iowa Speedway on May 17, where Delaney and the No. 39 Delaney Motorsports Chevrolet plan to keep the momentum rolling in their quest for the Camping World East 2009 championship.
Photo: Dustin Delaney and Kelsea Jordan