As we said in a feature story earlier this week, Alan Tardiff had no business running up front in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He didn't have any affiliation with a Cup team and the closest that his racecar has ever been to a wind tunnel is when the garage door on his small shop is opened on a breezy day. Tardiff doesn't have much of a budget or full-time help either.
But he does have talent, determination and the will to succeed. It might come as a shock in this day and age of short track racing, but those things actually got him into the lead late in the NHMS event. Tardiff got wrecked with just over two laps to go in the race, but the shock of what could have been impressed our voters enough for him to consider him for this award due to his strong performance.
That performance earned Alan Tardiff this week's Speed51.com Pro Shocks "Shock of the Week" award.
Also receiving votes this week were:
Ross Kenseth (CRA) - When is this kid going to stop shocking us? We've all seen how quickly he can adapt to new situation - winning multiple ASA Midwest Tour races in his rookie season and earning the outside pole for the Snowball Derby last year in his first appearance there. but we still can't help but be surprised when Kenseth shows up and does something out of the ordinary - no matter how good he is. This past weekend, Kenseth entered the CRA Super Series race at O'Reilly Raceway Park. He then won the CRA race at ORP. It was a mild shock given that it is now Kenseth's second CRA victory of the season as a non-regular, but it is still a shock nevertheless.
Josh Hamner (CRA) - Finishing second to Kenseth was someone we didn't even expect to be racing in the CRA Super Series show at ORP. Josh Hamner came to the track to watch a race and help out Stanley Smith's team in the pits. Like any good racer, Hamner brought his helmet back and driver's suit. Smith decided to put Hamner in his car after a little bit of practice and Hamner rewarded him with a runner-up finish. That was quite a surprise indeed.
The Car Count at Gresham Motorsports Park (GA) - Gresham Motorsports Park (GA) is a beautiful racing facility with a lot to offer fans and teams. So why did only nine of those teams show up to start Saturday night's George Elliott Memorial 100? We just don't get it. There are a lot of racecars sitting on jackstands instead of hitting the track in the Deep South and although we know the economy is tough, we are still scratching our heads over this one.
That made the choice of what to vote for fairly straightforward for some of our voters:
"Easy.The Gresham car count," stated one of the ballots that came back to us.
"Only nine cars at Gresham...what a bummer and a shock!" stated another ballot.
Jeff Anton (K&N East) - With all of the Cup affiliated teams putting their aero, engine and set-up lessons to work at New Hampshire Motor Speedway's NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race, you wouldn't expect a long-time independent team to go out and match their best ever result by making it to the podium. But that is exactly what Jeff Anton did by finishing third. That drew the notice of our voters and earned him an honorable mention this time around.
Chris Anthony (ASA LM) - We've all heard the back and forth stories about the purse of the ASA Late Model North race last weekend at Berlin Raceway (MI), but lost in that chatter is the fact that a hometrack driver, Chris Anthony, won the race. Anytime a local stud beats up on the travelers of a touring series, we are a bit shocked - so Anthony gets an honorable mention in this week's chase for the Pro Shocks Shock of the Week award.
Alex Labbe (ACT) - He might have finished deep in the pack, but Canadian Alex Labbe still got this single vote after the ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for his finish in a very well-stocked field of racers:
"My vote goes to ACT Castrol rookie contender Alex Labbé. In his first ACT Invitational race he started from the 40th starting position and finished 20th."
For his “Shock” of a performance, Alan Tardiff will receive a product gift certificate from Pro Shocks, the short-track leader in racing shock technology and performance. Based in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Pro Shocks has helped drivers on both dirt and asphalt perform better for more than 25 years.
Pro Shocks is proud to have the largest and most knowledgeable technical staff in the racing shock industry. For more information about Pro Shocks, log onto www.proshocks.com or call 770-995-6300.