For most of Ryan Moore's racing career, the big theme was preparing for the next step. From karts at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME) to Late Models at Oxford Plains Speedway (ME) to the ACT Late Model Tour to the NASCAR Busch North Series to (what was then) the NASCAR Busch Series, Moore was already getting for his next move in racing.
Along that course, Moore posted some pretty strong stats. He won in ACT and in the Busch North Series, he finished on the podium for his first Oxford 250 and he was respectable in his brief run of Busch Series racing - driving for the Dale Earnhardt, Inc/Chance 2 teams.
But one thing that might have been missing from those races was a lot of fun.
These days though, things are much different for Moore. Fun is the reason to be racing. The employee of the Richard Petty Motorsports NASCAR team didn't put out a press release announcing his latest race or make a big to-do about it. He just showed up at Hickory Motor Speedway for the early season Easter Bunny 150 Busch North race there with a pick-up truck, enclosed trailer, a small crew of friends and his father Kelly, NASCAR Busch North/Camping World East Series' winningest driver ever.
And they had had fun - even with a 13th-place finish.
“We had a lot of fun, that's why we are here,” said Moore. “I'm not trying to be a big superstar anymore, we just want to race and have fun and not deal with the pressure and that's what we did. My Dad and RC Moore [the family trucking business) have just been awesome to help me do this, it means a lot to me.
“It's fun to come to the track and race and not feel the pressure of trying to impress all of the big wigs. Blake Bainbridge was on board with us. He is starting a new business with some set up stuff. He is definitely the guy to go to and we had a great car in practice. It's a brand new piece, we just missed a few things.”
Well, it wasn't exactly a “brand new piece”. What Moore brought to Hickory was essentially a new creation, but it wasn't one that was store bought, but rather restored with hours and hours of work - some of which came at the expense of family time.
“It's an old car that I had and we pretty much just cut everything out of it and started over, so it is pretty much brand new,” said Moore. “We're just happy to bring it home in one piece and work on it. I've had a lot of late nights and I have a new baby at home so my wife has been very patient with me. Now, I can work on it and make it better and not have to kill myself just trying to get it here.”
After a turbulent off-season where many workers in the NASCAR community were laid off, Moore kept his full-time position at RPM, which is rooted in the former Evernham Motorsports team.
“Yes I am still up there. They have been real good to me and it is just a great place to work. It will work out good, I'm just happy to be back behind the wheel and to have a good time.”
Moore sat out the PASS South races after Hickory in April and refuses to set a schedule for his latest racing adventures. But he has entered this coming weekend's PASS South event at Coastal Plains Speedway.
“We're not going to make any plans,” said Moore. “We are just trying to have a good time.”
And that is what racing is all about for Moore these days.