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Home » Oval Track News Blog » Sommers Earns Chance To Test At Daytona

Sommers Earns Chance To Test At Daytona

Gabe Sommers Became The Second-Youngest Winner Of The ARCA Midwest Tour Rookie Of The Year Honor 

Gabe Sommers

Gabe Gabe Sommers Became The Second-Youngest Winner Of The ARCA Midwest Tour Rookie Of The Year Honor

Sommers Earns Chance To Test At Daytona

Gabe Sommers Became The Second-Youngest Winner Of The ARCA Midwest Tour Rookie Of The Year Honor 

Gabe Sommers

PLOVER, Wis. — Gabe Sommers became the second-youngest winner of the ARCA Midwest Tour Rookie of the Year honor following the 2019 season.

The Gabe Sommers Racing team recently learned even more comes with the award that only Nascar Monster Cup driver Matt Tifft earned at a younger age.

The highlight of the award package is the opportunity to participate in the ARCA Menards Series test sessions January 10-11 at Daytona International Speedway.

Gabe Sommers Became The Second-Youngest Winner Of The ARCA Midwest Tour Rookie Of The Year Honor

The weekend serves as a chance for dozens of ARCA teams to test before the series’ season-opening race. It also invites select qualified drivers from regional tours to test the famed speedway in cars prepared by 1995 series champion Andy Hillenburg’s Fast Track High Performance Racing team.

“It’s basically once in a lifetime,” Gabe Sommers said. “Almost nobody gets to race at all. To be able to race at Dayton would be crazy.”

The closest Sommers has ever come to running the 2.5-mile tri-oval course is on his iRacing computer simulator.

“I don’t think that is anything close to what it would be like in real life,” he said.

The Hillenburg race cars are similar weight and engine size to a Monster Cup car, which will provide a unique opportunity for Gabe and GSR.

Gabe Sommers Became The Second-Youngest Winner Of The ARCA Midwest Tour Rookie Of The Year Honor

“All the hard work that we did this year and to be able to win Rookie of the Year was a huge accomplishment for everybody,” GSR team manager Dan Sommers said. “And for Gabe, you know the confidence that he has in the super late — this will only give him more confidence to be able to jump into something like that and be able to compare the two vehicles.”

Award earns new equipment options

Gabe Sommers Racing will also receive a new Roltek transmission and a Tiry engine lease for earning Rookie of the Year.

The 16-year-old super late model series driver clinched the award Sun., Oct. 6 at LaCrosse Speedway’s Oktoberfest.

Gabe Sommers Gabe Sommers Became The Second-Youngest Winner Of The ARCA Midwest Tour Rookie Of The Year Honor

Sommers edged fellow rookie Carson Kvapil by 18 points and one spot in the overall standings. The No. 15 GSR machine finished fourth (749 points) and Kvapil fifth (731).

“It was a lot of fun to watch,” ARCA Midwest Tour owner Gregg McKarns said. “With Kvapil having won a race last year and Gabe having strong showings throughout the state and what he was able to accomplish at Speedweeks — I knew coming out of Florida in February we’d have a good battle on our hands.

Gabe Sommers Became The Second-Youngest Winner Of The ARCA Midwest Tour Rookie Of The Year Honor

“And then, Ryan Farrell, threw his hat in the ring for a while too and ran well before he had some mechanical gremlins. All three of those drivers have a bright future, and it was fun to watch it come down to the 35 and the 15.”

It’s not where you start, but where you finish

The season ended in celebration for Gabe Sommers Racing, but it took focus for the No. 15 to overcome a tough start.

Sommers suffered a wreck and 22nd-place finish at Madison International Speedway to begin the season. He placed 17th at Rockford on June 29.

Gabe Sommers Became The Second-Youngest Winner Of The ARCA Midwest Tour Rookie Of The Year Honor

The focus was never on the rookie points chase, in part, because the team believed it may have been out of the running thanks to the rough start.

Sommers’ received a boost the following week when he won his first ARCA Midwest Tour event, the Larry Detjens Memorial at State Park Speedway in Wausau on July 27.

“The races we finished we were up front,” Sommers said. “Week in and week out we were a top-three car. We just needed to get through the field and not get in wrecks or have mechanical failures. We worked through all that. If we kept the nose clean, we always ran out front.”

Gabe Sommers

Gabe Sommers Became The Second-Youngest Winner Of The ARCA Midwest Tour Rookie Of The Year Honor

DOB: April 4, 2003
Hometown: Plover, WI
Years Racing: 5
Parents: Scott & Sheri Sommers
Hobbies: Snowboarding, riding dirt bikes, water skiing, racing, hunting, fishing

Racer Bio:

Gabe Sommers began racing a Bandolero in the Midwest Bandolero Series, competing in a 14-race schedule at three different racetracks in central Wisconsin. Despite having never been in a racecar before, Gabe’s average finish in his first season was sixth, with four top fives and an 11th-place result in the final point standings.

Gabe Sommers Became The Second-Youngest Winner Of The ARCA Midwest Tour Rookie Of The Year Honor

In 2015 he also competed in the Bandolero Series, a 15-race schedule in which he averaged a third-place finish and had 13 top fives and was runner up five times with one clean sweep (fast time, first in heat and first in feature.). He finished second in points, missing the championship by just 34 points. He also finished second in the Wisconsin Championship Bandolero Outlaw class and still holds the Midwest Bandolero track record at Dells Raceway Park.

From 2016 to 2017, Gabe competed in the Midwest Truck Series, where he became the youngest driver to ever compete in the series at just 13 years old in 2016. He also racked up two feature wins and several fast time awards along with numerous top-10 finishes. He became the youngest driver to ever win a Truck Series race at 13 years old in 2016. He also earned the series’ Rookie of the Year title in 2017.

Gabe Sommers Became The Second-Youngest Winner Of The ARCA Midwest Tour Rookie Of The Year Honor

In 2018, Gabe competed in a Super Late Model, racing at various tracks around the Midwest. He won the TUNDRA Series’ Rookie of the Year title and scored several top five and top-10 finishes.

In 2019 Gabe continues to battle in the tough Super Late Model ranks. He competed in The World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing in February of 2019, where he finished second in points with a second-place and a third-place finish and numerous top-10 finishes over the course of the seven nights of racing at New Smyrna Speedway.