Before the 2020 season concludes 23-year-old Jeff Champagne will take further steps to prove his worth as one of Brad Noffsinger’s hand-picked drivers for the 36th Annual Tulsa Shoot-Out. (Dec. 30 – Jan. 2, 2021)
Over the past two seasons, Westfield, Massachusetts driver Jeff Champagne has become recognized for his aggressive and spectacular driving. He has driven to victory or podiumed in nearly every vehicle he’s driven. From caged karts to micro sprints, sportscars, midgets, and TQ’s, Champagne’s responsibilities as a driver continue to build.
“Though this season gave us plenty of confusion it also provided the advantage of added time,” Champagne explained. “That added time allowed me to focus not just on my karting program, but also on my career.”
Beside his personal driving, Champagne runs a karting program that sees strong competition at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway and Pomfret Raceway, two Connecticut venues. His platform allows young drivers the opportunity to test, race, and measure themselves in a cost-effective environment. It is a recipe that Champagne understands well.
“I was able to spend more time working in the shop and talking on the phone,” he continued, “and we were able to improve our maintenance program which immediately tweaked our ability to win. Those results helped me to better understand the importance of time management.
“During that period Brad (Noffsinger) phoned me about Tulsa, asking if I had Shoot-Out interest. It took me less than two minutes to agree and I even said something like, ‘what a great birthday present.’
“I’ll start driving towards Tulsa right after Christmas with plans to arrive on my birthday, the 28th’, said Champagne. “Brad Noffsinger’s shop is one of the best at maintenance and preparation. I believe they’re at the frontline of micro-sprints, midgets, and sprint cars; right alongside Keith Kunz and Kasey Kahne Racing.
“Even though I’ve always felt more adept on dirt tracks I’ve never even seen the River Spirit Expo building or the dirt that makes-up the racing surface. That’s definitely an area where I’ll be looking to Brad and his team for guidance.”
After Tulsa’s Shoot-Out, Champagne has no time to rest before driving back to Pennsylvania to compete with the Chris Deritis owned TQ Midget in the Indoor Auto Racing Championships at the PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania (January 8th and 9th). Then it is back to the Tulsa Expo Center and the 35th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals (Jan 11th-16th 2021).
“For the Chili Bowl I will be driving for Sam Johnson Racing,” revealed Champagne. “Sam is a young driver too, so we will be working together on set-ups, and the over-all maintenance of his program. Since this will be my second time in Tulsa, and not long after my first, I’m hoping I will better understand the dirt and the changes it goes through.
“Each of these events are going to challenge me differently,” explains Champagne. “It’s going to be difficult for me to curb my enthusiasm. January alone is going to test and teach me more than any of my past full seasons.
“I’m really looking forward to the start of the 2021 racing season,” concluded Champagne.
Jeff Champagne will be driving:
Indoor Auto Racing Championships – Chris Deritis No.69 TQ
Tulsa Shoot-Out – Brad Noffsinger No.4 Micro
Chili Bowl – Sam Johnson Racing No.72C TQ
Sources: Rick Raducha/Jeff Champagne PR