Mar 5, 2020 05:06 AM EDT
Driver Profile: DYLAN CECCE CLAIMS 2019 OUTLAW SPEEDWAY STREET STOCK TRACK TITLE, BUT HIS FUTURE IN RACING IS UNCERTAIN
(Dundee, NY) The 2019 Outlaw Speedway Stan’s No Tubes Street Stock Track Champion, Dylan Cecce was well deserved of the title. In route to his first ever Street Stock Track Championship at the Yates County oval he amassed eight feature events and was able to stare down and dethrone the two time and defending title holder, Glen Whritenour. However, his future in the class and racing in general is questionable as the 25 year-old Addison, NY resident and Fedex delivery driver may be sitting out the 2020 season.
“At this point I am without a ride for the upcoming season, claimed Cecce in a recent interview. Dylan Potter of Lawrenceville, Pa has provided me with top notch Street Stock equipment since 2015 and we won numerous races and championships together, but he has sold most his stuff and there is a cloud of uncertainty as to what I may or may not do this season.”
Cecce has had nothing short of a brilliant career during his brief stint racing in the Upstate New York region at such race venues at the Woodhull Raceway and Outlaw Speedway.
Having started his career the same way that many others before him have in 4-wheeler competition at the age of seven, Cecce quickly switched to go-kart competition where he captured over one hundred wins and multiple championships during his karting career.
“My dad was instrumental in getting me into 4 wheelers then the go-karts. I never came from what you would consider a racing family, but I got a lot of support from my family when I was getting started.”
Both the Woodhull Raceway and Outlaw Speedway have beginner classes for young drivers that don’t meet the eligible age requirements to compete in the adult classes. The Woodhull Warriors and the Outlaw Speedway Bandits allow kids to compete in 4 Cylinder machines giving them the opportunity to race a full-size car. Once they hit a certain age limit, they can then move into any adult class they want.
“The Bandits and Warriors gave me a great opportunity to compete in an actual race car. We had so much success in go-karting that it was time to do something else. From 2007 through 2009 we won twenty-eight features at Outlaw, then known as Black Rock Speedway and two track titles. It was a very successful run!”
With the help and inspiration on Rich Sharpsteen II, Cecce then made the leap into the adult 4 Cylinder Division in 2010. After suffering thru a winless season in “10” things turned around for the team in 2011 as he visited victory lane five times and won a track championship all at Black Rock.
“Once I got confident racing with the older drivers in the 4 Cylinder Class things started to click and we won races and a title. The 4 Cylinders are a great class, but I had my eye on the super competitive Street Stock Division and with the help of fellow drivers, Jared Hill and Bob Buono they got me pointed in the right direction.”
Mind you the Street Stock Class is one of the most competitive divisions that competes in the northeast providing phenomenal race action. Depending on the rules structure from track to track there is a multitude of different race venues across the region that run Street Stocks on a weekly basis. In addition, there are also some very high paying long-distance events.
“We started in the Street Stock’s in 2012 and up until now that is pretty much where I have competed, stated Cecce. Towards the end of the 2019 season I had the opportunity to jump into a Crate Late Model and won a feature at Woodhull. That was cool, but most of my success has come in a Street Stock.”
Cecce can boast forty-nine feature wins and four track championships most of which have come driving for car owner, Dylan Potter.
“I had five wins total in 2012 and 2013, and at the end of the 2014 season Dylan Potter called me and wanted me to drive his equipment. It was a no brainer as he built a good car and it took a lot of the financial strain off my family operation. We clicked right from the start with six feature wins and a track title in 2015 at Woodhull. 2016 was not quite as successful but we still won four features, but then 2017 through this past season we really went on a tear winning thirty -five features and Track Championships at Woodhull in “17” and “18” and the title at Outlaw this past year.”
As part of that three-year reign of terror Cecce can boast of a huge win in the 2016 Dutch Hoag Memorial Empire 100 for Street Stocks at Outlaw Speedway.
“The 100 lap win at Outlaw is my biggest win to date. The car was perfect and we dominated all 100 laps. It was a big win and a big payday for the team, claimed Cecce.”
2019 saw Cecce and Potter race exclusively at Outlaw Speedway in Dundee, NY with results that had the heads turning of many of the top-notch Street Stock teams.
“This past year at Outlaw was huge. The competition there is so tough and I’m racing against the same guys that got me into the class. Dylan Potter builds a superb chassis and it worked to perfection at Outlaw. We won eight features and the track title against guys like Glen Whritenour, CJ Guerri, Hill, Buono, Karlnoski, Cleveland and Sutherland. That is a tough bunch which made winning the championship even more meaningful.”
After the regular season was completed at Outlaw Speedway, Potter sold the potent #7 machine and purchased a Crate Late Model for Cecce to compete with the team winning a feature at Woodhull in their lone outing.
However, with the ever rising cost to stay competitive coupled with the fact that Cecce wants to spend time getting his oldest son in tune with his own racing career, Cecce and Potter have parted company on good terms. Potter has liquidated most of his racing equipment, except for the Crate Late Model which is currently for sale. With that the future of driving for 2019 Outlaw Speedway Street Stock Track Champion, Dylan Cecce is in limbo.
At this point in time there is nothing in place for Cecce in 2020. The young father of two sons says he will shift his focus to his oldest son Carson who is now six. Other son, Kacen is just one year old and is still a few years away from seeing any racing if that is what he wants to do.
“Carson loves racing and it is time to put him into a go-kart so that is where my wife, Koryn and I will focus our attention this upcoming year. Koryn is no stranger to all this as she came from a racing family herself, in fact that is how we met was thru racing. Her dad is Steve Hartman Jr. and grandfather is Steve Hartman Sr. Both had great careers at Woodhull and Outlaw Speedway in Modifieds. Koryn’s brother Steve Hartman III is also very good in the Crate Sportsman’s.”
When asked if the right opportunity came along to either drive his own equipment with the right financial support or drive for another top team in any division Cecce responded by saying, “I’ve never really aspired to compete in any other class of racing. It’s not like the Modifieds or Crate Late Models are on my bucket list, but if the right deal in any class including a good ride in a Street Stock were to come along, I would certainly take a hard look at things.”
Cecce has been one of the more fortunate drivers having been surrounded with a who’s who list of mentors throughout his illustrious career and many key crew members that have been extremely loyal.
“From my Mom and Dad to Rich Sharpsteen II to Jared Hill and the Buono’s to the Hartman’s and Potter I’ve been blessed to have some great people support me. If something doesn’t materialize for my own future driving career, I have no problem working with my son Carson in getting him off on the right foot just like I had people help me when I got started.”