Peddicord, 16, ready for Reading after only a month of competition

MOTOR SPORTS

September 25, 1994|By STAN DILLON

Next weekend will be a special one for Cliff Peddicord. He will be making his first trip to the Northeast Divisional Sears Craftsman E.T. Series Finals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa.

What is so remarkable about Peddicord's trip is that he has not been racing very long. The 16-year-old started drag racing the first weekend after he got his driver's license at the end of August and made it to the second round in his first race.

The next week, in only his second week of competition, Peddicord won the high school race at 75-80 Dragway. By winning the race, he won the right to represent the dragway next weekend.

Peddicord also will be representing his high school, South Carroll. The sophomore is excited about racing in the event where he will compete against high school students representing 20 other tracks in eight states and Canada.

Peddicord is no stranger to drag racing. He has been going to 75-80 since his father, Jim, was persuaded to try racing by Larry Hoff of Westminster six years ago.

After racing for a month, Peddicord is the first to admit that racing wasn't as easy as he thought it would be. Standing on the sidelines helping his father is a lot different than being behind the wheel.

"I thought it would be a lot easier than it was," he said. "I thought I could easily win, but it is not that easy. I have most of my trouble at the finish line, trying to make it tight. It is just a lot more to it than I thought."

Peddicord's car is a 1967 Ford Fairlane powered by a 351-cubic-inch Ford Windsor. The Peddicords brought the Fairlane from Steve Hoff after it had been sitting for four years.

Before he could race it, Peddicord had to go over the car and replace the wires. The car had been driven by many notable Carroll countians, including Norman Spealman. Before Peddicord had his license, Carroll countians Rick Waxter and George Hoff drove the car to keep their points up.

On the night that Peddicord won the high school competition, he ran a string of consistent runs with the best run in the 13.20-second range.

"I was really nervous at first," said Peddicord. "But with each round I was less nervous as the adrenalin flowed faster and faster."

When he won the final round, Peddicord was a happy young man. Even more excited about it was his father, who tried not to show it when he greeted his son after the race with one sentence, "I guess I'll see you at Grove."

This year the tournament finals at Maple Grove will be extra special to the Peddicords. Cliff will be joining his father, who also will be representing Maple Grove, after finishing 13th in points in Class I. Cliff's mother, Abbie, will be there to cheer them on.

Next year Peddicord plans on racing in Class I and would like to race for the points. After he graduates from high school, he would like to pursue a career that will keep him close to cars.

Weekend results

Joe Mayne of Mount Airy traveled to Mason-Dixon Dragway in Hagerstown and came home first in the Super Class.

Rain wiped out racing at 75-80 Dragway.

At Trail-Way Speedway, Westminster's Steve Owings and Brad McClelland were fourth and fifth, respectively, in the micro-sprint feature. David Parrish placed eighth. In the thundercar feature, Gregg Messersmith of Hampstead was third and John McDonogh of Finksburg was eighth. Steve Barnes of Westminster won the four-cylinder feature followed by Mike Walls of Taneytown. Jeff Young of Westminster was eighth and Craig Mann of Westminster was ninth.

Cris Eash finished sixth in the 12th annual Alexander Family Dealerships Super Sprint Car National Open at Selinsgrove Speedway. Rick Alvarez of Westminster was third in the two-cylinder Yamaha Heaver at Chestertown Kart track. Charlie Schaffer of Hampstead was 14th in the first late-model race at Big Diamond Speedway in Minersville, Pa.

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