Trevor Sanborn hopes his home-track advantage will pay off every week this season.
Sanborn recently made firm his plans to compete in Beech Ridge Motor Speedway's Pro Series division in 2010. It marks Sanborn's return to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly competition for the first time since 2006.
"It means a lot to me to go back to racing at Beech Ridge," Sanborn said. "It's where I grew up as a kid. To go back there and be around all the people and the fans, it's where I'm comfortable, you know?
"I'm certain we can go there and run for a championship against some really good cars."
Sanborn owns eight career Pro Series feature wins at the track. After leaving Beech Ridge's weekly ranks in 2006, he won the PASS North Series Rookie of the Year award in 2007 driving for car owner Jay Cushman. He's won a pair of PASS South Series events in his career, both in 2008, and made only a couple of starts in 2009.
One of those starts came in one of New England's marquee late-season events, the PASS 300 at Beech Ridge last September. For the second year in a row in that race, Sanborn had a dominant race car before encountering troubles while leading in the closing stages of the event.
Those close calls with victory lane have only energized Sanborn, who will field the No. 29 he owns himself, sporting a Chevrolet crate engine and a Ford body. He'll carry sponsorship help from Cushman Competition, Pleasant Hill Auto Sales and Knight's Flooring.
"A lot of going well at Beech Ridge is from being there a lot," Sanborn said. "(In 2008), the year I went to the 300 with Richard Moody Racing, I had a good crew and good race car and almost won. Last year, I sat home and did my homework all year and put my race car together -- and that was my intention all along.
"It's funny, because it's not like I'm looking for a free ride by any means. I'm looking for someone to help out on the sponsorship side. I'll give the same back I get from them -- even if it costs me a little bit."
Sanborn plans to augment his 2010 weekly schedule at Beech Ridge with a few PASS North Series races. The first one on the schedule is the PASS 150 on May 1 at Beech Ridge, followed by the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series opener at the track on May 29.
"There's a big learning curve when you go to the PASS tour," Sanborn said. "I learned a lot driver-wise, a lot setup-wise from (former crew chiefs) Jay Cushman and Brian Burgess. I can work on the car and I can drive it, and I think that's a big plus."
While Sanborn would like to return someday to a full-time ride in the PASS North Series, he's thrilled about the present opportunity to do something he's yet to do in his career -- win a Pro Series championship at The Ridge.
"The competition in PASS and going track-to-track, those are things that I really like -- but I'll never stop racing at Beech Ridge, just because i was brought up there," he said.
"When we show up at Beech Ridge, we'll be ready right out of the gate. I think we can most definitely contend with the teams that are there. We've done pretty well there in the past."