With six feature victories throughout the season, Daniel Montanari certainly put together a strong campaign en route to being crowned the 2018 Sunset Speedway Signs of Innovation Mini Stock Champion.
“This is definitely one of the biggest things ever,” he commented afterwards. “Missing it by one point last year made me determined to come out this year and win it.”
Although it appeared to be smooth sailing from top to bottom this year for Montanari – given the speed in the No. 9, there was some adversity along the way, including having to borrow Bob Phinnemore’s car one night due to mechanical woes with his own.
‘It was definitely tough on those nights,” he admitted. “You just have to look past them and drive as best as you can. I know on one of those nights when I hit the wall there, the front suspension was all misaligned and messed up, but we still drove the wheels off of it. You have to do what you gotta do.”
The crown for Montanari just adds to a family history that has seen his father Rino Montanari be successful not only as a driver, but as a crew chief, along with Daniel’s brother Nic Montanari picking up a previous championship in the Mini Stock division. Speaking of the team’s success, Daniel said on Saturday night it was a big help having his brother to lean on due to his experience, and being able to help with adjustments.
As we enter the playoffs, the No. 9 is currently up for sale so it will be interesting to see what is next around the horizon for one of the racing’s young prospects.