BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada – Story by Race Chaser Online Mid-Atlantic Correspondent Marshall Gabell – Audio by Managing Editor Jacob Seelman for Speed77 Radio and Race Chaser Online — Matthew Murnaghan/Getty Images photo – Sometimes ambition is all that’s needed for success.
2013 K&N Pro Series Rookie of the Year contender and UNOH Battle at the Beach winner Cameron Hayley has had that drive throughout his career and it’s beginning to carry him towards his ultimate goals.
Originally growing up racing in Canada, Hayley started his American racing endeavors in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West with Bill McAnally Racing in 2012, tallying five top five finishes (including a second-place showing in his debut at Montana Raceway Park); finishes which led up to a seventh place finish in the points standings and K&N West Rookie of The Year honors.
He didn’t return to McAnally’s team the following season — instead taking over the controls at Gene Price Motorsports. That move was a choice that would pave his path towards future stardom.
While piloting GPM’s No. 24 during the 2013 season, the sophomore driver posted a remarkable six poles and his first-career win at All-American Speedway — accomplishments that would help him capture a runner-up finish in the championship standings.
Hayley then elected to transition cross-country to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East when he was offered a position in Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) No. 98 Chevrolet – an opportunity he couldn’t turn down.
Now 18, Hayley has two races remaining in the K&N East season and has had ample success — scoring runner-up finishes at New Smyrna Speedway, Langley Speedway and Virginia International Speedway.
And oh, by the way, the young superstar and NASCAR Next alumni just inked a three-race deal with TSM in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
What’s the point? The step-ladder shows that Hayley’s ambition is paying off.
“I got an awesome opportunity with Turner Scott Motorsports,” an excited Hayley exclaimed on last Thursday’s Stock Car Steel/SRI Motorsports Show. “I’m going to be driving the No. 32 Cabinets by Hayley Chevy Silverado (in the Truck Series). It’s just a dream come true.”
“You grow up as a little kid just dreaming about that day when you get to compete in the top three series of NASCAR. And now that it’s happening — it’s just amazing. And I’m just blessed to have this opportunity.”
In addition to making his national series debut – Hayley has the added bonus of become a debutant who has his home crowd cheering him till the checkered flag; a luxury that few drivers have enjoyed during their careers.
Hayley, a born Canadian, will make his debut on Sunday afternoon in the Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
“It’s huge to be making my debut in Canada,” Hayley explained. “Just the support and just having the first big shot in NASCAR in your home country is really cool. And being on the road course as well. I have a lot of experience on road courses. I just love road racing. And that race (at Mosport) in particular is out of all three (starts) is the best shot I have to win actually.”
Aside from his debut, Hayley is circling Loudon as a spot where he can have another successful showing — after all, he has a notebook from his K&N Series race at the ‘Magic Mile’ just a month ago.
“I took some good mental notes, put some on paper when we were there back in Loudon for the K&N race earlier this season,” Hayley expressed. “And that track in particular I tried to pay close attention to the characteristics, how to pass there and all that I’ll be taking into the Truck Series race (there). I believe Turner Scott is the right equipment and since I have experience at the track it’ll be good for me.”
While the Truck Series appears to be fresh on his mind, the Canadian still has to close out the final two races in the K&N Series at Greenville Pickens Speedway and Dover International Speedway, hoping to hang onto his current second place position in the points standings.
“It’s been a roller coaster season,” Hayley commented. “You always get those good seasons and you get those bad seasons and I don’t think I’ve had either this season. It’s just kinda been up-and-down. We’ve had a decent season with some good finishes and some bad finishes. But sitting second in points right now isn’t something to be ashamed about. And now we have two races left to go get the first win.”
Hayley’s also hoping to end his season by triumphing in one or both of the final two races and earn his first-career K&N Pro Series East win in the process.
“Greenville Pickens is going to be our next race and that’s a race we’ve had already this season,” Hayley said of his chances to win before season’s end. “So we’re definitely going to build on what we learned in the first race. I think we’ll have a great strategy and setup going into that race. I think that race will be a great shot (to grab the first win).”
“Dover’s a place I’ve never been before. Dylan Kwasniewski (former Turner Scott driver in the K&N East) had a great car last season and we are bringing back the same one. Mardy Lindley (crew chief for Hayley) has a great setup for the track and I think we are going to go there with some confidence. And I’ll just do what I do best.”
So far, he seems to be doing a pretty solid job of it.
Listen in to Cameron’s complete interview from last Thursday’s Stock Car Steel/SRI Motorsports Show, hosted by Jacob Seelman and Tom Baker: