Living out dream, rookie Elliott takes third victory lane cruise

ON MOTOR SPORTS

October 19, 1997|By Stan Dillon | Stan Dillon,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Glenn Elliott of Sykesville visited victory lane for the third time this season at Potomac Speedway in Budds Creek on Oct. 11. The 25-year-old is fulfilling a dream of driving a race car that became reality when he was introduced to the Northeast Classic Auto Racing Club.

"I always wanted to race since I was 16, but I never really had the time to build a car," said Elliott. "I always went to the races with my dad since I was a little boy. I remember watching the Figure-8 races at Dorsey Speedway. I wanted to get into something, but the expenses held me back."

Auto racing can be an expensive sport. Promoters are always looking for ways to cut costs and often start economy classes to attract new participants. Still, many shy away because of their lack of knowledge in building a car. But the Classic Cars come ready to race.

"My father saw the Classic Cars race at Hagerstown Speedway last year and got some information on them," said Elliott. "I had never known anything about the cars, but I decided to inquire about them. That's when I spoke with Diz Dean [Dean Renfro] of Millers about them. We had quite a conversation about them and he kept after me to take a test drive."

Late last year, Elliott took up Renfro's offer to drive and his life hasn't been the same since.

"Diz basically offered me a chance to drive a car. So last fall I went down to Saluda, Va., to Mid-Bay Raceway," said Elliott. "I took a liking to it right away and bought a car last winter. Diz told me about a car that was for sale that was pretty much ready to go, race-ready. All we did was make a few changes to the interior."

Last week, Elliott started seventh and took the lead midway through the race. With two other Carroll County drivers -- Bill Bollinger and Bill Brown -- on his bumper, a caution was waved on the final lap, setting up a one-lap shootout. But the pressure didn't bother the first year rookie, who came through like a veteran.

"This is the same scenario I had at Lincoln Speedway where I won earlier in the year," said Elliott. "At first I got upset. My first thought was I wondered what happened and if everyone was OK. But after two laps under the caution, I settled down."

The race was Elliott's 13th race of the year. He missed the previous night's event because of work.

"I didn't go into the race thinking I was going to win or anything like that," he said. "I wanted to be patient and I think that's what really did it for me. It was the most comfortable I ever felt with

the car. I think that had a lot to do with how well I did.

"I really enjoyed Potomac. It was a very challenging track with the turns being so tight that it keeps you on your toes."

Elliott has done well in his first year against a mix of veteran drivers and rookies.

"I didn't expect to do as well as I have when I started," said Elliott. "But I just thought I would give it my best. Everyone being in equal cars has helped some. Being at the right place at the right time with a little bit of luck, it all comes together."

The Classic Cars are complete full-size race cars that come with a choice of five vintage body styles. You can buy the car race-ready for $8,700. While it may sound expensive for many fans' budgets, it is a lot cheaper than late models or sprints that are popular in the area.

Elliott's father, Roy, who owns Roy's Body Shop in Sykesville, played a big part in getting him started.

Craig Moyer of Taylorsville does the motor work on the 305-cubic inch stock Chevrolet engine. Klair Stonesipher of Westminster, a former thundercar driver at Lincoln Speedway, has helped Elliott with chassis setup.

"We had a lot of fun with it," said Elliott. "Racing with this club is like a family. Everyone helps everyone."

For Elliott and several other Carroll Countians, the Classic Car is a way to go racing on the local dirt tracks in the area.

WEEKEND RESULTS:

In drag racing at 75-80 Dragway last weekend, Larry Hoff of Westminster won Class I on Oct. 11. Mike Stambaugh of Union Bridge was runner-up in Class II. On Sunday, Allan Palmer of Hampstead won Class I and Jim Peddicord of Westminster was runner-up. Steve Dustin was runner-up in Class II.

In Classic Car racing at Potomac Speedway, Bill Bollinger of Westminster took the win over Larry Feeser of Millers. Bill Brown of Westminster was third, Gary Goodwin of Westminster was fourth. On Oct. 11, Glenn Elliott of Sykesville won the feature over Brown. Jerry Pownall of Westminster was fifth. In the late model feature, Gary Stuhler of Westminster was second.

Jeff Shepard of Finksburg led every lap to win the Kenny Weld Memorial at Lincoln Speedway. The super sprint feature paid $5,000. Todd Renfro of Westminster was the mechanic on the winning car. Jesse Wentz of Manchester was sixth. Fred Cullum of Hampstead was seventh in the thundercar feature.

Pub Date: 10/19/97

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