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ARCA West's rookie prodigy

Season half over and Seibert still leading Sportsman series standings

Ryley Seibert has wasted no time making a name for himself behind the wheel of a stock car.

There's not one driver in the ARCA West OK Tire Sportsman Series who doesn't know about Seibert, a rookie in the province's top racing class. They're all working overtime trying to figure out how to catch up to him.

With the six-race season half over, the 18-year-old Seibert leads the ARCA West OK Tire Sportsman Series points standings with 152 points, 19 ahead of Garnet Grimard of Williams Lake and 23 in front of third-place Bob Williams of Prince George.

Seibert took full advantage of the ARCA rule which dictates rookie drivers have to line up last in the starting grid for the first three feature races. He earned 14 passing points in the Vernon race, four in the Williams Lake race and picked off nine drivers in the June 19 race at PGARA Speedway in Prince George on his way to a fourth-place finish.

"The rule is the rookies have to start at the back of the pack, but the plus side is every car I pass I get points and that kind of bit the veterans who didn't realize that a rookie could do that," said Seibert. "It plays into my advantage and with good finishes from here on in, with no DNF's, I should get the championship. We're running for consistency to win a points championship in our rookie year to show that we're not here to mess around."

He started off a seventh-place finish in Vernon, a race in which he lost ground near the end of the race when his engine died, and was eighth in the second main event on his home track at Thunder Mountain Raceway in Williams Lake.

"I like this series. It's aggressive, it's fast, and you get bang for your buck. You can do it in economical fashion and still be fast. You know if you save your tires to the end of the race you can make those passes and I always like to make the guts moves towards the end because you've at least made 80 per cent or 90 per cent of the race if you get in trouble.

"I like seeing young guys come up in the sport and I always cheer for Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin in the NASCAR series. They're young and they're showing you don't have to be a 40-year-old intimidator to win a race. There can be patience built into an 18-year-old."

For more on Seibert, see Friday's Citizen