Mundelein, IL (November 30, 2016) – Team Manager, Brian Halahan was all smiles today when Newman Wachs Racing announced they signed 19-year old racer Dakota Dickerson to a two-year deal.
“This is a good day for the team,” said Halahan. “Having Dakota be part of our program is huge. When I started looking at drivers, I had to make sure we found someone who could be fast on track and yet represent the team, in a professional manner.”
Dakota Dickerson’s talent as a racecar driver and his impressive off-track demeanor were exactly what Newman Wachs Racing were looking for. “After seeing what he did for Mazda, commented Halahan, I knew I had to chase him. My discussions with Dakota started immediately after I announced the team, back in August. Once we tested him, I saw how he gelled with the team, and I knew, right there and then, that it would work.”
Brian Halahan talks about the Team’s plans for 2018. “The best part about all this is that we have come to an agreement with Dakota for a two-year deal. This season, Dakota will run in the USF2000 Championship, and in 2018, he’ll move up to Pro Mazda, where Newman Wachs Racing will also have a team. I am looking forward to the next couple of years with Dakota, and I know we will have a lot of success together.”
Dakota Dickerson has had an impressive career so far. In 2015, he acquired five wins and nine podiums in the Skip Barber Summer Series, and was a multiple race winner in SCCA Spec Mazda Miata. That same year, he won the Skip Barber Championship Shootout earning him a $200,000 scholarship from Mazda Motorsports for the 2016 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. He was also a Team USA Scholarship winner claiming a top-five finish at the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch in England. Dickerson raced go-karts from 2002 to 2012, ending the season fifth overall in the SKUSA ProKart Challenge/TaG Senior, while also racking up championship titles along the way.
Perhaps his talent and passion for racing come from his grandmother and his father who were both go-kart racers. The third generation racer will have lots to celebrate when he turns 20 in a few days.
“I am extremely excited to be a part of the Newman Wachs Racing team, stated Dickerson. Once Brian (Halahan) had announced the return of Newman Wachs Racing, we started discussing how we could set up a test day to see how we could work together. I had heard only great things about them, particularly how professional and dedicated to the sport everyone on the team is. After visiting their headquarters in Chicago, and later testing with them, along with meeting crucial members of the team such as Eddie Wachs and Anne Roy, all the feedback I had been getting was confirmed. I worked extremely well with Alan O’Leary, our engineer, along with the rest of the team. This all lead to the discussion of a multi-year program. A two-year commitment to the team is something that is extremely exciting and I believe sets up both NWR and myself for great success in the coming years. I look forward to representing the team and am working hard to come out strong for the opening race at St.Petersburg.
Team Principal, Eddie Wachs expressed his wish to uphold Paul Newman’s legacy in helping to develop young aspiring drivers, and that’s exactly what Newman Wachs Racing is aiming to do.
TSO Ladder Notes from Steve:
- Dickerson is the fifth driver confirmed for the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda season, joining: Moises de la Vara (DEForce Racing), Kory Enders (DEForce Racing), Rinus VK (Carlin/Benik) and Devin Wojcik (ArmsUp Motorsports)
- Dickerson, who turns 20 on December 2nd, had a slow start to his 2016 USF2000 campaign after making the transition from karting and Skip Barber, but proved he was a quick study. Dickerson scored the sixth highest point total in the second half of the USF2000 season, finishing within three points (in second-half points) of series sophomores Jordan Lloyd and Luke Gabin.
- For Steve, the thing that really stood out about Dickerson in 2016, was his quiet, but constant positive attitude, and willingness to soak up knowledge from each and every situation.
- Dickerson, the 2015 Skip Barber Championship Shootout champion, spent the majority of 2015 as a one-car entry with Afterburner Autosport. The need and ability to dial in an effective set-up with no room for error should translate well as Dickerson helps Newman Wachs Racing develop the all-new USF-17 this year and PM-18 in 2018.
- Newman Wachs Racing has brought on Alan O’Leary as the team’s engineer. O’Leary is a very shrewd hire, as he has spent a large portion of his career working with Dynamic dampers at Carl Haas Automotive, and the USF-17 features three-way adjustable dampers from Dynamic.
- You can follow Dickerson on the following social media platforms: Twitter – Instagram – Facebook