Tabor College student and race-car driver Will Wolf is on track for success.
The second-semester sophomore from Lenexa was one of 18 contestants nationwide selected to participate in the 2014 PEAK Stock Car Dream Challenge 2 in Charlotte, N.C. last June.
The event was judged by Michael Waltrip, a two-time Daytona 500 champion and co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing; and Clint Bowyer, a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver and native of Emporia.
Contestants battled in various competitions and were gradually eliminated, with the winner receiving a chance to race in a professional K&N stock car event in a PEAK-sponsored car.
Over the course of the four-day event, contestants participated in a go-kart challenge, were evaluated on car control, did short track racing in a NASCAR K&N series car, and learned about dirt late model racing from Bowyer and his team.
Participants also saw road course action, had media coaching with Danica Patrick and even ate dinner at Richard Petty?s private condo overlooking the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Wolf said.
Wolf survived the first round of elimination the Monday of competition but was cut the next evening. Only three competitors made it to the final day.
A highlight of the competition for Wolf included building new friendships and making connections.
?Just being able to be there and be selected as one of 18 finalists out of the thousands that entered, and being able to meet all those guys,? he said. ?We went in as competitors, but now we are all pretty close friends.?
Wolf said he gained much from the experience, including advice from the likes of NASCAR driver Brian Vickers, as well as references to add to his resume.
?I got a lot of exposure,? he said. ?From that exposure, I?ve had some teams calling me?some ARCA racing series teams and some NASCAR K&N teams.?
Wolf is currently balancing racing with academics. He is working toward a sports management degree at Tabor College.
Moving forward, Wolf is seeking approval to run the Kansas Speedway race Oct. 3. As part of that process, he ran a short track test in North Carolina Sept. 4, and was scheduled to run the ARCA open speedway test in Kentucky Tuesday. Upon approval, and the addition of more marketing partners, Wolf will be set for the Oct. 3 race, he said.
For Wolf, it?s all part of a bigger dream he?s had since he was a child.
?We?re going to run the full season of ARCA next year, pending sponsorship?that?s always a big key, and then we?d go (from) ARCA to the NASCAR Trucks to NASCAR Nationwide, and then hopefully (Sprint) Cup within the next five years,? he said. ?My dream since I was 5 has been to be a Sprint Cup champion.?