Story by: Langley Austin ~ [email protected]

Ridgeway, VA(October 4, 2011) — When you’re one of the top drivers around with multiple track championships, wins in nearly every big race throughout the region and a name that is even bigger than the division you race in it’s hard to fly under the radar into the seasons biggest race.

However, that’s exactly what Frank Deiny, Jr. is doing this year. After all, by his standards, where the veteran accepts nothing less than a victory, a season full of second place finishes, is just down right awful. Though many of the drivers in the region would trade with him, FDJ as he’s affectionately know isn’t happy with how his seasons has gone. He’s had only a couple of moments of controversy that’s thrown him into the limelight and his driver development program had one of the slowest years since it’s creation.

Deiny just simply hasn’t had the type of season that he had expected coming into 2011 as driver of the Kiker Motorsports entry full time for the first time in his career. Kiker Motorsports had a great 2010 season, where they were able to win the Late Model Stock Car division crown at Motor Mile Speedway with driver Brandon Dean after hooking up with Deiny’s, FDJ Motorsports for at track support and chassis halfway through the season. It was a move that put Dean in victory lane for the first time in his career, winning the race over Motor Mile ‘King’, Philip Morris and he went on to win again to end the season with the championship.

Following the end of the season at Motor Mile, Kiker Motorsports tapped Deiny to drive a second car for them, but soon became the only driver for the team as they headed into the seasons last race at Myrtle Beach Speedway. Deiny went out and won that race, playing the field like a master at chess and capturing his fourth win in the biggest annual race on the 1/2 mile track. That was enough to seal his spot for the 2011 season with the North Carolina based team and with Dean out of a ride, Deiny would have to carry the torch for the team.

Deiny entered this season poised to compete for the championship at South Boston Speedway, all the while grooming one of his young drivers, Sam Hunt to compete at the tough 4/10 mile track. Deiny soon tired of finishing second to his arch rival, Philip Morris and moved to Motor Mile Speedway to help groom another of his young drivers, Hunter Devers. Now at Motor Mile, Deiny found out that he would again play second fiddle, this time to up and coming yougster, Lee Pulliam. Deiny spent most of the season behind him, but on a night in late July, Deiny’s foot slipped off the pedal while Pulliam was tucked in behind him and with Pulliam’s damage, Deiny drove it home to victory lane.

It would be his only win of the season in 25 starts through the regular season in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Cars. He would finish ninth in the National standings among all the NASCAR sanctioned tracks in the country on the heels of 11 second place finishes, 18 top fives and 23 top ten finishes. By most racers standards it would have been a great season and something they could be proud of, but Deiny isn’t proud of the season he’s had.

Deiny is used to winning and he’s used to being one of the drivers that week in and week out other drivers are gunning for rather than being the driver who’s having to work their butt off to catch up to another driver or drivers who have been dominant. Deiny found out this season just what it’s like to be on the other side of the fence, to be the guy who’s constantly having to chase his fellow competitor and Deiny certainly doesn’t enjoy being in that spot.

That’s what has one of the biggest names in all of Late Model Stock Car racing, flying under the radar as we hit the biggest races of the 2011 season. Deiny’s still the same driver, he’s still one of the winningest drivers in the division, he still has five track championships to his credit and he’s still one of the guys that everyone has to watch, but this season as we enter the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300, no one’s really watching him.

The test session at Martinsville Speedway last Wednesday evening was a great example of how Deiny has slipped from peoples minds. While all the cars were making adjustments and picking up speed, the stopwatches were pointed at the fastest cars. Everyone grabbed a stopwatch as Morris or Pulliam hit the track and even when Matt McCall, BJ Mackey, CE Falk and Wayne Ramsey(who was testing for Justin Johnson) took to the track.

Meanwhile Deiny, who wasn’t exactly hidden, he had the familiar #5 of Kiker Motorsports adorning his ride, his name was above the door, but as he rolled onto the track, very few people were watching to see how fast he was. Deiny, while under the radar turned in some solid laps in testing, not the kind of speeds he was looking for, but solidly in the top ten of the 85 cars that tested on the half mile paperclip shaped track.

While Deiny would have certainly wanted to have had a better season with more wins and a chance to compete for a championship, he’s almost relishing his role as the underdog heading into the seasons biggest race. Deiny even played upon that role while at the test as the veteran driver, who is known for his spiked blonde hair, showed up with his hair down and he didn’t look like the FDJ that we all know as he tried to slip by his competitors without them knowing it was him.

Flying under the radar isn’t Deiny’s thing, but like everything with this usually controversial driver, he’s taking it in stride, having a little fun with it and that can’t be a good thing for his competitors. Deiny might just sneak right up on them come Sunday evening and take home his second Grandfather clock and the first for his team owners, Travis and Eddie Kiker.