Jeff Choquette raced in five Super Late Model events in 2010. He won four of them. The driver from South Beach, FL is making the 1500 mile trek to Newton, IA to race in the Sandvik Coromant 150 presented by Cline Tool as the ASA Midwest Tour returns to Iowa Speedway on Friday, August 5th. He will also follow it up when the American Speed Association® Kwik Trip Midwest Tour presented by ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment and GrandStay Hospitality returns to Hawkeye Downs on Friday, August 12th for the Keith Fleck Memorial/Miller 100.
This will be Jeff's first time racing with the ASA Midwest Tour, but he has kept a close eye on the competition. "I was looking at the times from previous races and cannot believe how close they all are. The competition is tough, but that's where a driver wants to run; where there's competition," Choquette said.
When asked what the biggest challenges were going to be, Choquette said that racing at a track that most of the drivers have raced at more than once is going to be one of the toughest adaptations. "Not too mention going up against drivers like Steve Carlson, Ross Kenseth, Tim Schendel and others," he added.
Choquette recently made a trip to Iowa to test at Hawkeye Downs and watch a regular Friday night show, just to get a better understanding of the track. What he was not expecting to do was get behind the wheel of a Legend's car for the night. But just like any driver, when asked, his response was, "As long as I'm breathing, I might as well race."
It was Jeff's first time behind the wheel of a Legend's car, but no one would have ever known. He won the fast dash, his heat race and was running second when the feature was rain shortened. "People always used to tell me they were some of the hardest things to drive. I can believe it now. If you can learn how to drive a Legends car, you can learn how to drive anything. I was really surprised at how close it was to the iRacing game. I had a blast!" said Choquette.
Jeff also had the opportunity to go to the NASCAR Nationwide Truck Series race at Iowa Speedway the same weekend. "Watching the trucks actually helped a lot. Seeing the line they run makes a big difference in understanding the track a little better," he said. "We could test for a month straight, but until I actually have to race against those guys at one of their tracks, I really have no idea how it is going to go," admitted Choquette. "Racing at Iowa Speedway can be a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and I know that they have incredible fans out there."
For the past year, Choquette has been running the Adrian Carriers and Liz Girl Logistics sponsored, Chevy Impala owned by Gary and Liz Adrian. Adrian Carriers is located in Milan, IL, a suburb of the Quad Cities, just two hours east of Newton, IA. "I cannot thank Gary and Liz enough for everything they do. They take care of everything we need, no questions asked. That's hard to find," said Choquette.
Choquette's crew chief also lives in Iowa. Nick Carlson, nephew of Steve Carlson, has been the crew chief on the Adrian Carriers sponsored machine since the Remax Challenge series days. As a crew chief, Carlson has won numerous races and two back-to-back championships with Justin Diercks. He also called the shots for Joey King's victory at I-70 Speedway.
"Nick has so much knowledge and puts so much time and effort into preparing the cars. He makes my job a lot easier by putting great cars underneath me. He knows exactly what I need and what changes to make. I could not ask for a better crew chief and team manager," admitted Choquette.
Like many, Jeff got his start racing go-karts. He ran dirt for a while until he and his dad decided to give asphalt a try. He won his fifth asphalt race ever and decided to enter the 2004 Governer's Cup. Jeff became the youngest ever winner of the Governer's Cup in his sixth asphalt race ever. "There were some big Southern names in that race and I did not even realize who I was up against back then. Sometimes I wish I could go back to the way I used to think," he said with a smile.
But, if you ever ask Jeff what the highlight of his career is, it was being accepted and being a part of the the Roush Gong Show. "Just being able to say I was a part of it, going to some of those tracks that are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, and the media experiences were the highlight of my career," said Choquette.
In addition to Gary and Liz Adrian, Jeff would like to thank his crew chief, Nick Carlson, for all of the long hours and dedication he puts into the preparation of the cars. "I also want to thank Nick's wife for putting up with all of his long hours and time away at the shop. It's just so hard to find families that are so dedicated to the sport," said the appreciative driver. "I also cannot forget Tim, Jeffro, Russ, Dana, and Chris," Choquette added.
Race day will get started bright and early as haulers enter the track at 6:00AM on Friday morning. For more information and the Fan Schedule, log on to asamidwesttour.com.
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To learn more about the American Speed Association® Kwik Trip Midwest Tour presented by ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment and GrandStay Hospitality, log on to asamidwesttour.com. For questions call the ASA Midwest Tour office at (630) 212-6022 or Tim Olson at (612) 327-5831 or e-mail Tim Olson at email@example.com Steve Einhaus at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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