GLENN ALLEN FINALLY FINDING HIS NICHE  by Jeremy Troiano
Former ASA Winner Gets ASA, ARCA Opportunities
In 2000, Glenn Allen Jr., who is commonly referred as "Little Glenn," returned to the American Speed Association after spending five plus years of running in the NASCAR Busch Series.  He found success in NASCAR, but didn't find his niche.  He was crowned the Rookie of the Year in 1996, but the big-time rides never called.

So Allen returned to where he was found and he got an opportunity to replace a rookie in the second Bud Gebben-owned Automotive Promotions cars.  Glenn used the 10-race opportunity to his advantage.  In fact, he finished the top-10 in nine of his 10 starts.  Still, the rides never called and Glenn didn't find his niche.
and ever wanted to do.  Now, I am back at home in Cincinnati with my family.  Really, that is all you have in life when you break it down; your family.

"People always thought I was a complainer.  I'm not.  I am thankful for the opportunities that I have now.  I went down (south) and ran five years of Busch Grand National and I won Rookie of the Year.  I was a young kid from Cincinnati that wasn't from a wealthy family.  My Mom has worked at Avon for 30 years; my Dad has worked at Ford for 30 years; nothing was ever laid out on a plate for me.  When people come back and ask 'Are you bitter for not making it,' I say 'no I'm lucky.  I am truly lucky.' 

"That was not my calling down there.  I moved home and had a son.  I wanted to go ASA racing and have a home life.  I could make a quality living and have a family life and that's important.  I just never could get hired.  When that happened, that is when the bitterness set in.  A year and a half later now, it is gone.  I am almost starting over."

Glenn Allen Jr. was frustrated with the way his career was going.
That opportunity to start over came courtesy of Ed Hock, who offered up a quality ASA car for Glenn's use.

"Ed and Linda have given me the opportunity to race a car for the first five races.  We will see if we can come up with some money to continue going.  It is hard, because I am the only full time guy in the shop.  We are the David versus Goliath.

"Ed had a car he raced a couple of times last year, so he called me up and asked me if I wanted to race it.  He said 'I'll bring it down to your shop and get it put together.  Whatever it takes to get it done.  I believe you can get the job done better than 90% of these guys that are holding the wheel.'
"That felt good because I was on the pit box all year last year.  That is a frustrating thing because you're doing something you don't want to do, which is not necessarily a bad thing because I enjoyed that other end of it.  But I enjoy driving the race car.  That is all I have ever done.  Driving and working on them go hand in hand.  I started driving a racecar at 13 at a local racetrack; that has been my only occupation.  That is all I know."

And "Little Glenn" has made the most of the opportunity the Hocks have given him.  After three races, the Cincinnati (OH) resident sits seventh in the ASA standings, and if it wasn't for a late race accident in Lakeland, he would probably be in the top five.  This past weekend he was fifth in Concord, NC.

It is like old times for Glenn, who is back working with many of the guys that helped him achieve success years ago, which got him the recognition to head to the Busch Series in the first place.

"I've got a good group of guys that raced with me back in the early '90s when we won races, so I feel like we have a good opportunity, we just need monetary help like so many people.  We can showcase our talents and be competitive early.  We just need some type of dollars to help us go week to week.
"My uncle, who raced with me for 10 years and got me going and got me winning, races and to be able to move on; he's with me and he hasn't raced since I left to go south.  It is really different for him.  The cars are totally different.  When we raced, the cars were the V-6s and had bias-ply tires.  We are going through a learning curve together."

"My uncle, who raced with me for 10 years and got me going and got me winning, races and to be able to move on; he's with me and he hasn't raced since I left to go south.  It is really different for him.  The cars are totally different.  When we raced, the cars were the V-6s and had bias-ply tires.  We are going through a learning curve together."

And there can be little better than being able to continue working with the man that got Glenn where he is and the reason why we all call him "Little Glenn" in the first place; of course we're speaking of his father, Glenn Allen Sr.

"He comes to the shop every day.  When I first started racing, I lived his live.  He raced for 30 years.  That is what got me into racing.  We have a great relationship."
Ed Hock (above) has given Glenn his best opportunity in years and "Little Glenn" has made the most of it.
And even though Glenn was on top of the pit box in 2002 instead of pulling up to it for service, he says it will help make him a more complete driver.

"It teaches you that when you get upset in the racecar, now I know the guys are doing the best they can in the pits. It may not always be as fast as you want it or done completely right, but the guys are working as hard and as fast as they can to make everything happen.  When it doesn't happen, I understand why now.  You see a lot more and it helps you understand.  It taught me to stand outside the circle and see everything. Most race car drivers are inside the circle and don't take time to look outside the circle.
Allen was fast in Lakeland and has followed that up with strong runs in Houston and Concord.
Allen admits, "I couldn't' pick up a ride and I couldn't understand why."

The 2001 season saw Allen virtually disappear from the ASA landscape (he competed in just a couple races) before reappearing in 2002.  But this time, instead of in the driver's seat, he was behind the wall and on top the pit box for Russ Tuttle.  That's right, driver Glenn turned into a crew chief.  While Allen admits it was a learning experience, he still didn't find his niche.

But then Glenn began to think his niche may have been right in front of him for nearly a year.

"After the year of frustration and the birth of my young son (Parker), who is now 14 months old, I look at things a lot different," said Allen.  "Before, I was bitter.  Now I am just excited about the opportunity I have.  I think that time and my son took the bitterness away and made me live for a lot more things besides racing.  That sounds bad to most racers, but that is all I ever knew
"We never had a chance to test or anything before the season.  But we rolled out of the truck in Lakeland and were fourth fastest in our first laps in the car.  That makes you feel good.  Most of these teams now seem to spend so much money and have so many full-time crew members.  We are doing it here with one."

Two of the people that are working with Glenn are family members, which makes racing even sweeter.

"I've picked up an ARCA deal where I am going to run a minimum of five and a maximum of 10 from a guy in Cincinnati named Gary Keller.  He bought two race cars from the Wood Brothers that Elliot Sadler drove last year. 

"We are going to start at Kentucky Speedway, which is only 20 minutes from the house.  So it is going to be really exciting for me to race in front of the hometown fans, because I haven't raced there in the Cincinnati area since I was about 14 years old."

The "Little Glenn" of old has changed.  He is a different man, not only because he is a father, but because he has finally found his niche.  "Little Glenn" is finally turning into the veteran racer that his father always taught him to be.  And it's not that Glenn wasn't that man before, but sometimes it just takes some special circumstances, like his son, to teach you the very important things in life.