Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

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February 21, 2013

Milford looking forward to Daytona 500

Paul Wolfe's NASCAR success has locals talking racing

(Continued)

“He made the best of it,” he continued. “If (team owner) Roger Penske likes you, you must be doing something right. And he likes Paul.”

At Wolfe’s old school, a recent article about him hangs on the gym bulletin board. His former coach and teacher, Frank Spurchise, said Wolfe’s success is an inspiration to his current players.

“As children, we all have dreams,” Spurchise said, “but to attain that dream is something special and takes an unbelievable work ethic and dedication. Paul’s accomplishments are living proof of that and are a tribute to his character and commitment to fulfilling a life-long goal.”

Wolfe stopped playing high school sports at the junior varsity level because he wanted to concentrate on his racing, according to Spurchise.

“Seeing that Paul has reached the highest level of NASCAR racing comes as no surprise,” Spurchise said. “Even when Paul was a kid driving go carts you could see the passion and love he had for the sport of racing.”

That love of racing came from Paul’s father, Charles Wolfe, according to Kiser.

“Charlie, he was day one of the racing,” Kiser said. “He used to work on my pit crew way back in the day. He and I used to go down to Morris, back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, when it was really popular at the fair. That’s how it all started. Paul got hooked in from birth.”

Kiser said Wolfe’s parents now live near their son in Charlotte, with Charles working as the driver of Paul’s bus. With much of his family gone, and a year-round work season for Penske Racing, Wolfe doesn’t get back home very often, but Kiser said he was upstate last month.

“He’ll come up and go snowmobiling with Michael for three or four days every winter,” Kiser said. “They went up to Old Forge last month. But he doesn’t have much time. Racing is a year-round sport if you want to be successful at it.”

With the 2013 NASCAR season starting on Sunday, Keselowski and Wolfe will try to show the racing world that their championship was not a fluke. Chances are the patrons at Jackie’s will be talking about Daytona on Monday.

“It has piqued people’s interests,” Sisson said.

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