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Lilick Named PA Rookie of the Year
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            During his first season racing in the NASCAR Modified Division at the

Owner of the #49 358 Modified car, Dennis Becker, with 

driver Ryan Lilick (standing).  Lilick, a regular at Grandview

Speedway in Bechtelsville, has been named Pennsylvania 

Rookie of the Year.

Grandview Speedway, Ryan Lilick did his best to stay out of large crashes.  "I try to keep the car in one piece," he said. "If not, it's a real struggle to improve."

            Though he found himself in multi-vehicle wrecks and managed just one top 10 finish in 2018, Lilick performed well enough to be named NASCAR's Pennsylvania Rookie of the Year. He will be honored at the NASCAR's Home Track Award ceremony on Dec. 7 in Charlotte, N.C.

            "I was completely surprised that I got the award," said Lilick, 22, a Collegeville resident. "It's not something I was expecting. It's a cool accolade."

            Lilick, who achieved the most points of any first-year driver in the state during the recently completed season, finished 14th overall in his classification at Grandview. He called it one of the most competitive circuits on the east coast.

            Lilick, who moved up from the sportsman's division the season before, took a conservative approach on the dirt track behind the wheel of the car owned by Dennis and Debbie Becker, of Pottstown.

            "I was a lot more conservative than I would have liked to be," he said. "I would see an opening, but hesitate. By then, it was too late."

            Initially, Lilick said he was "a little in awe" of many of his competitors. The 2014 graduate of Pope John Paul II said he had watched many of them growing up, but was determined to earn their respect on the track.

            "When you put a helmet on, all that goes to the side," said Lilick, the second-youngest regular driver on the circuit.

            Midway through the season, Lilick struggled through a three-week period filled with wrecks that prevented him from finishing. He ended the season strong, qualifying for the 48th Annual Freedom 76 Race in September.

            "I was running good before crashing near the end," he said.





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