“CHOWDERHEAD” NO CLAM AT FLORENCE; WINS REDNECK THRILLER
Michael Scarborough’s Car Holds Off “Big Shot” in Closing Laps
His car may have been born out of the same shop that produces some of the fastest NASCAR machines around, but Mike Scarborough’s “Chowderhead” had yet to make it to Victory Lane in the series’ first three races. At Florence Motor Speedway (SC) Saturday afternoon, however, the “Chowderhead” was the dominant car and Scarborough was able to seal the deal to win the 30-lap Redneck Racing Series feature during the “South Carolina Clash” event at the picturesque Florence 4/10-mile speedplant.
“The car was perfect tonight,” said Scarborough, who works for Dale Earnhardt Inc. “It was a little loose coming off the corners towards the end, but other than that it was perfect. I was really babying it towards the end because there was a lot of oil on the track in turns three and four, but for all the work that we put in on this car it’s pretty cool to come out here and win the race and just have some fun.”
Scarborough didn’t have to come from very far to get to the top spot when the green flag dropped on Saturday. Jim Cook in his #00 “Big Shot” entry started from the pole and led the first seven laps, but Scarborough fought his way into the lead on lap eight. From there, it was Scarborough showing the way, but Cook was not going to let him get too far ahead. Cook put a show on for the
Mike Scarborough took "Chowderhead" to the win at the South Carolina Clash. (51 Photos)
packed grandstands in Florence, as his loose racecar made him smoke the tires through each corner. A big plume of smoke poured from his tires every turn during the race, but it didn’t slow him down a bit. He chased down Scarborough in the final laps, but the “Chowderhead” was just too strong.
“My car was tight all day long, so after practice I made a right rear spring change just before the race and boy did I have her loose,” said Cook. “I just put my dirt track experience to good use and I just dirt-tracked it around the racetrack. I know the place used to be a dirt track and I ran it just like it still was dirt. Who says you can’t run the Florence dirt track anymore?”
The win was a nice rebound for Scarborough and his Dale Earnhardt, Inc. comrades that put their efforts into “Chowderhead.” The #1 has been fast throughout the early races, but was never able to get to the head of the field. This time “Chowderhead” showed it was the fastest car all event long by winning the Pole and needing only eight laps to make it to the lead.
“All the guys at the DEI shop that helped build this car really should be proud to know that we won tonight,” said Scarborough. “I didn’t want to do anything stupid, but I also saw the ‘Big Shot’ car coming up quick with a big smokeshow every corner in my mirror and I just did all that I could to keep ahead of him. If I needed to put the hammer down again I would’ve, but I just took it easy and let it come home first.”
One of Scarborough’s fellow DEI employees, Dave Knight, hopped into the #38 “Rimer Rocket” in place of injured Redneck Racer Chris James and gave the car a finish that James is surely proud of. Knight followed Scarborough and Cook to the checkers in third place, but for Knight, it was a matter of fighting his way through the
smoke off Cook’s “Big Shot” that gave him a run for his money.
“All I was thinking was how I couldn’t see,” said . All I saw was smoke. So I just matted the gas and hoped to not run into him. I couldn’t believe he was doing that. He’d keep getting sideways so I kept putting my nose underneath him hoping he’d stay sideways through the corner. Luckily for both of us he managed to keep it sideways all the way through because if he straightened it up then I would’ve spun him out. It was wild.”
It was the best finish that #38 “Rimer Rocket” had seen thus far in the 2006 season, but everyone in the Redneck Racing Series pit area wanted to see the original driver of the #38 back at the track. Chris James, who was injured in a non-racing accident at The Dirt Track at Lowe’s Motor Speedway last month, is still recovering from the injuries that required the amputation of both of his legs in a Charlotte, NC hospital. Even though he wasn’t at the track, James kept close to what was happening in Florence.
Jim Cook's "Big Shot" slide sideways through each corner, giving off smoke from the rear tires.
“I was on the phone with C.J. all day today,” said James’ teammate and co-worker Rusty Drye, who finished eighth at Florence in the #84 “Vigilante.” “Every time I got out of the racecar I was on the phone with him. He was able to have his phone in the room with him all day and he was just tickled to death to hear that his car finished third today.
“He’s doing better than expected in his recovery. His surgeries have all gone well lately. He wishes he was here and we wish he was here too, but we’re doing the best we can and he’ll be back at the track and in the shop having fun with us before you know it.”
Jeremy Troiano returned to the seat of the “Area 51” and
Rusty Drye's "Vigilante" tries to keep the "Rimer Rocket" behind him during the race. Chris James was kept up on the progress of his "Rimer Rocket" car on the phone all day from Drye.
finished fourth at Florence. His Bob Dillner Inc. teammate Joe Pirri brought the #151 “Got Speed?” car home in fifth.
The Redneck Racing Series will return to action on June 17th as part of the “Orange Blossom Special” event in support of the PASS South Super Late Models’ 150-lap feature the same evening at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, NC.
If you are interested in donating to the Chris James Foundation, you can do so through James’ employer, Adesa Impact. Donations to aid James and his family can be made to the foundation at:
Chris James Foundation
c/o Adesa Impact
5100 Merle Rd.
Concord, NC 28025
For more information regarding the Chris James Foundation, contact Jeremy Troiano at DSG by calling (704) 455–2051. For more information on the Redneck Racing Series, contact Amy Hayes at DSG by calling (704) 455–2051.