Lincoln native Dave Darland is now a grandfather, but he is kicking Father Time’s butt to put it bluntly as he is showing no signs of slowing down as he approaches 50 years old as his list of accomplishments continues to grow.
In November, following a second straight down-to-the-wire battle with Bryan Clauson, the 47-year old Darland again was denied in his bid for a second USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series title (he previously won the title in 1999). However to wrap up the 2013 campaign, he joined Bud Kaeding as the only three-time winners of the Oval Nationals at the Perris Auto Speedway, an event that closes out the season each year for the series.
Following the season he was recognized by USAC as the recipient of the first Jason Leffler Memorial Award at the awards banquet. Garnering that award was special for Darland.
“That really felt pretty special winning the award in [Leffler’s] honor,” said Darland. “We both drove for Steve Lewis in the Midget Series and we became good friends over the years. He was a good buddy and I learned a lot from him.”
Last month again he was sought out, this time by the Montgomery Racing ARCA Series team, to take part in a test session at the Daytona International Speedway. The hope is to bring some sponsorship dollars to the team so it can field a car for Darland at selected events in 2014.
“Jeff [Montgomery] is hoping that the team can get a sponsorship deal so I could race in some of the short-track races. If it were to come in, he talked about me driving at places like Winchester, Salem, Toledo and Lucas Oil Raceway Park. We tested well at Daytona so we’ll see what happens. Right now I’m committed to going after the USAC title, so if the opportunity came for me to run the ARCA car, it would be something where I would just have to sit down, talk to Steve and Carla [Phillips, his sprint car owners] and decide whether or not it would conflict with what we are trying to accomplish in the sprint car.”