#0 SHAWN TURPLE
It’s the sometimes overused, but usually accurate nine times out of ten statement: consistency wins championships. Case in point, the 2012 championship season of now two-time Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour Champion Shawn Turple of Enfield, Nova Scotia.
Much like his 2009 championship season, Turple didn’t go out and “set the world on fire” by winning the most races. In fact, Turple’s first top five in 2012 did not come until the fourth race of the season at the Lockhart Truck Center 100 at Scotia Speedworld and his first podium didn’t come until the Advance Rentals 150 at Oyster Bed Speedway, which was Race Eight on the 12 race series. The key? Finishing races and being around at the end of the night to nail down those coveted championship points.
To add to that last statement – Turple and the #0 Dexter Construction/Municpal Group Impala finished all but one possible feature lap this season. In total, 1701 feature laps were completed in 2012 and Turple finished 1700 of them. The sole lap he missed this season was one at Riverside International Speedway during the Ron MacGillivray Chevrolet 100, where he finished a lap off the pace of winner Mike Stevens.
When you statistically look back at the season for Turple, you’ll see that the red rocket based out of the Stephen Henderson shop never finished out of the top ten all season long, finishing a season low ninth at Petty International Raceway during the Lucas Oil 100. In fact, when you look at the first seven races, you see an average finish of seventh over those seven races. In a season where the point lead virtually changed hands every race though, a strong finish went a long way. In the final five races, Turple never finished outside the top four and put up an average finish of 2.6 in the stretch drive to the checkered flag, including a win in the Irving MAX1 - 150 at Petty International Raceway.
The run may had been all for not if it wasn’t for his pit crew during the Advance Rentals 150 at Oyster Bed Speedway. Remember that first podium finish the team got? It started with a mechanical problem on Lap One which saw Turple’s car slow quickly off the green flag. Lady luck has some strange ways of working in our sport sometimes, and at the same time Turple’s car was slowing, a caution had come out for an unrelated incident. The yellow flag period allowed Turple’s team to repair the car and get it back out on track and on the lead lap and eventually up to a second place finish. Who knows? If it wasn’t for that quick work, Turple’s 11 point lead at the end of the season may be smaller or nonexistent.
Another statistic looking back on Turple’s career is that he has won at least one main feature in the last five seasons, dating back to 2008. Winning in five straight seasons is the longest current streak by any Maritime Pro Stock Tour driver, with Shawn Tucker holding the record of winning in nine consecutive seasons from 2001 to 2009. The streak puts him fourth on the list to Tucker, Wayne Smith (seven seasons, 2005 to 2011) and Gordie Ryan (six, 2001 to 2006). With the pace Turple is on, we may be talking about a new record in that category in five years.
The championship is Turple’s second in the Pro Stock Tour era, which puts him one behind Smith, Tucker and John Flemming in the 2001 to present time frame. Add Rollie MacDonald’s name to that list, and you have the five names of the drivers who have etched their name onto the championship trophy. Pretty elite company if you ask me!
Shawn and his wife Cassie also welcomed their first child into the world following the completion of 2012 season. The family welcomed Thomas Joseph Turple into the world on Thursday, November 8th.
The question now is, can Turple repeat in 2013 and win his third title to tie the likes of Smith, Tucker and Flemming with the most titles in the last 13 years? If it is anything like this past season, we are in for an exciting one that will come down to the final laps at Scotia Speedworld in September. Congrats to Shawn, Stephen and the entire #0 team on their championship season in 2012
One Feature Win (Irving MAX 1 – 150 at Petty International Raceway in August)
Four Podium Finishes
Six Top Five Finishes
12 Top Ten Finishes
1,700 Laps Completed (of 1,701 - or 99.94% completed)
Second tour championship, first came in 2009.
Fifth consecutive season of winning at least one race on the Tour, dating back to 2008.
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