Although it appeared the chips were put against him at times, Ryan Semple stuck with it throughout the entire 2017 campaign en route to a runner-up points finish.
“Looking back on 2017, I’m very proud of our team; all of us worked our butts off,” he told SHORT TRACK MUSINGS. “To be able to finish every race inside the top ten is a huge accomplishment for our small low budget team; to be able to run up front against some top tier teams and equipment is huge. Just like everytime you hit the track, you learn new things. Depending on sponsor money, if we were able to get the funding to run for another championship in 2018, we would be a threat for sure.”
Throughout the year, he was able to score 14 heat victories and 17 feature top-10’s, highlighted by a feature win on August 5 – but that just begins to tell the story. Many times during the season, adversity found Semple Motorsports with an incident mid-race, or something of that variety. Despite that, no signs of giving up were seen, and each situation saw him come back with a strong finish – including an impressive drive through the field after a mid-race spin to finish fourth.
“The team has great chemistry and continues to get better every week,” Semple added. “My guys and girls that help on the car have a don’t give up attitude, whether it’s a bad night or good. They all give their best effort and for that I’m super proud of them, and our second place finish is because of them. Our program is right where it needs to be; we made do with some old bent parts and old tires.”
Their success showed through at year-end too, as Semple ran up front throughout the Velocity 250 50-lap feature en route to a runner-up finish behind Jordan Howse, despite experiencing a fire during practice.
“All different teams and parts from different drivers everyone coming together to help us get the car back together,” he said. “I believe we could have won the velocity but like I said every race I continue to learn,”
With the success experienced, many fans have began to peg Semple as someone to talk about when it comes to the year ahead. However, as the season neared conclusion, rumors began to swirl about a possible partial schedule for the No. 64 in 2018. As of right now, Semple says plans are still up in the air.
“There are some different plans we are working on,” he said. “We may tour to different tracks, (but) depending on money and sponsors we may end up going after the championship. I believe we could take the points championship with some money behind us.”