Following a stint that began in 2014 with the Brainard Racing-owned Sportsman team, Shawn Nye decided in 2016 to form his own team in area Sportsman asphalt stock car competition. The results have spelled success. Nye captured the prestigious 2016 Wyoming County Fall Shootout Sportsman event and last season used a fast start as a springboard to earn the Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway Sportsman season points title.
The Sportsman class is the premier weekly stock car class at Lancaster.
Nye will return to Lancaster to defend his title when the track's 2018 Sportsman portion of the stock car season opens on May 19. Lancaster's first actual stock car event of its 60th season will find the Sportsman off when the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series visits the Gunnville Road facility on May 12.
As a result of the very cold and wet spring, Lancaster officials have had to reshuffle the original schedule, and both the stock car and drag racing seasons are starting late.
Nye, 28, of Lancaster, has gone over every nut and bolt on his Troyer-built Sportsman that once again will be utilized in competition this season, albeit with a different engine builder. Nye has switched from an engine constructed by his father to one built by Performance Engines by Billy The Kid.
"Last season I had two wins at Lancaster," Nye said. "I think I probably finished out of the top five just once or twice, which obviously is why we won. A couple of times we had some part failures.
"I first started racing Sportsman with Joe Brainard's team and after awhile things just kind of fell through with that. The first year I bought my first Sportsman in 2016 we went to Wyoming County and won the Fall Shootout. In 2016 I decided to buy my own car but didn't get it out to the end of that year. It's actually worked out well ever since. I get to call all the shots. I work on my own stuff. I prepare the car myself. Sometimes paying the bills isn't the best but it seems to be working out."
Nye also has been a proficient driver of TQ Midgets the last several seasons. Nye began racing TQ Midgets in 2009. He amassed many TQ wins, including the NYPA TQ Midget Association title in 2013. Prior to his TQ Midget days, Nye cut his racing teeth in the Go-Karts at Bliss Speedway beginning when he was 12. He captured many checkered flags but never really ran every week to contend for a points championship.
Soon it was time for Nye to move on to the Sportsman.
"After I won in the TQ Midgets in 2013 it was time to make the jump up and climb the ladder to the next challenging class and I think that is the Sportsman class," Nye said.
Nye has also authored a pair of Sportsman wins at Holland Speedway over the last few seasons. He plans to race several times this year at Holland. Occasional TQ outings may also be on the docket.
"Last season I ran a TQ for Sean McNamara and I probably ran it three times and we went and won one of those three, the first time I was out at Lake Erie Speedway," Nye said. "We'll see about this year."
Nye is sponsored by Premier Properties, Pine Point Apartments and Parkside Village Apartments..