PERKINSTON, MS – Billy Riels Racing had yet another successful season in 2023 competing in the Crate Racin’ USA Weekly Racing Series Late Model Division with drivers Shannon Lee of Lumberton, MS and K.I. Davis of Poplarville, MS. While it didn’t produce a National Championship like it did for three of the last four seasons, it was the next best thing.

Lee kept his five-year streak alive of a top two finish in the CRUSA WRS Late Model National standings with a second-place finish in 2023. That goes with three National titles in 2019, 2021 and 2022, and another second-place effort in 2020. Lee turned in 690 points in 2023 competition with six wins, 20 top five finishes, and 23 top ten finishes in 24 races.

Davis finished third in the 2023 CRUSA WRS Late Model National standings, after finishing second to Lee in 2022 points chase. Davis came out of a 15-year retirement in 2022 to join Lee on the Billy Riels Racing Team. In the 2023 season, Davis accumulated 683 points with three wins, 21 top five finishes and 24 top ten finishes in 27 races.

Team Owner Billy Riels, who has won four Crate Racin’ USA Weekly Racing Series National Championships as a car owner (three with Lee and one with Noah Daspit of Kiln, MS in 2013), considers the results of the 2023 season a very successful year when he looks at the numbers and the strength of the competition,

“We faced the toughest competition each week in the Crate Racin’ USA WRS Late Model Division, mostly on Friday night at Hattiesburg (MS) Speedway,” Riels said. “The top six drivers in the National point standings competed on a regular basis at Hattiesburg Speedway. “There were 432 drivers that competed in the Division in 2023, and Shannon and K.I. were among only 13 drivers that had 3 or more wins.”

Lee and Davis stayed in the CRUSA WRS Championship hunt for the majority of the 2023 season. Lee and Davis were one-two respectively in the National point standings from Week 3 through Week 16 of the 27-week season. Riels said there may have been several reasons why his drivers didn’t repeat with a one-two finish at season’s end, but lack of effort wasn’t one of them.

“In my observation and opinion, nobody out there worked harder than Shannon Lee and K.I. Davis,” Riels said. “They both worked fulltime jobs during the week, then each night drove 45 minutes to over an hour to get to the shop and work on the race cars. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the work they put in for our team.”

Riels said he hasn’t decided what direction the team will go for the 2024 season, and that he will sit down with Lee and Davis and see what their best option will be. He said like everything else, managing the race team is economy driven, and the cost of racing has gone way up in the last two years.

“We appreciate what our Marketing Partners have done for us because none of what we’ve accomplished would have been possible without them,” Riels said. “Crate Racin’ USA in years past has worked to keep racing affordable, but that hasn’t been the case in the last couple of years. There are other options out there, but that would require us to travel, and we would need more sponsorship to do that. We’ll have to go to work after the Holidays and see what happens.”

Riels said to stay turned to the Billy Riels Racing Facebook page for upcoming announcements regarding the team’s 2024 plans. Billy Riels Racing also would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Billy Riels Racing Marketing Partners are Look Out Graphics of Petal, MS, Wall2Wall Performance Engines of Moselle, MS, Petal Family Dentistry of Petal, MS, SS Construction Forestry and Land Services of Florence, MS, Tillman’s Heating and Air of Gulfport, MS, Parker’s Service Center of Wiggins, MS, Allstate Insurance of Wiggins, MS, Wiggins NAPA of Wiggins, MS, Helm Communications of Etowah, TN, and Shorty’s Motorsports of Greenback, TN.