Sparta resident wins big at Pocono Speedway
Paul Plemenos readies for national championship in Utah
SPARTA — Paul Plemenos might be fairly new to racing, but in the last six years he’s proven that he’s found his calling.
Plemenos, now 44, said he began racing in 2007 without having any prior formal racing experience. “I bought a fast car and I really didn’t know what to do with it on the street,” he said. So he took that fast car — a stock 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06—to the Boundrant School of High-Performance Driving in Phoenix, Ariz., and let instinct take over.
“Every instructor I’ve ever had said I’m a natural,” Plemenos said. His ever-expanding trophy case and list of victories, including a recent weekend sweep at Pocono Raceway, gives merit to the boast.
The pair of first-place finishes against over 40 competitors at the National Auto Sport Association (NASA)’s northeast regional event at Pocono’s 2.6-mile road course extended Plemenos’ lead in the Super Touring 1 class, giving him a commanding 60-point lead over his next closest competitor.
This standing qualifies him for the 8th Annual NASA National Championship, which will be held at Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City, Utah, from Sept. 4-8.
“What you hope from here is to finish out the season strongly,” Plemenos said. A strong finish in the championship race — a major milestone for a racer who was awarded Rookie of the Year honors just one year prior — could open up opportunities in a larger, more well-known organization.
“The next logical step for me,” Plemenos said, “would be to head to the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).” Here, he adds, he could test his skills against the best road-course racers in not only America, but the world, due to a scheduled merging of the ALMS and the Rolex Series in 2014.
When he isn’t racing, Plemenos is a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch at their Sparta office. The company, along with Racing Brake Performance Brakes, is a major sponsor of Plemenos and enables him to continue performing at a high level.
Plemenos and his wife Joanne live in Sparta with their twin 13-year-old boys Michael and Christopher.
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