We’ve all heard the stories of racers putting tires on their race cars rather than putting food on their table. Well, the Church family will never go hungry, but they did borrow a bunch of money solely to go to the Pro All Stars Series South season opener Saturday at Dillon Motor Speedway in South Carolina. Fortunately for the defending PASS South champ Tyler Church, his team won the race in convincing fashion.
“I borrowed money against my home just to come race here,” Steve Church, Tyler’s dad, told Speed51.com powered by JEGS in victory lane. “I know it’s stupid, but we’ve had a lot going on lately and it was the only way we were going to be able to come and race.”
Tyler Church took the lead from Jody Measamer on lap 101 of the 150-lap South Carolina Clash and never looked back, despite having to fend off a couple of challengers during a late-race restart.
“I come out here and I don’t have any sponsors,” said the 26 year-old Church, who works for the Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. “I wasn’t going to be able to race again unless we won, so I guess we may be going to the next one (Anderson, SC on March 21).”
Our conversation with Steve Church didn’t guarantee the next event. He borrowed $25,000 against his personal home because, as he put it, “the car needed a lot of work to get it ready and I knew he wanted to race. There are a lot of things going on with the business and I had to do it, but I don’t know what we are going to do from here.”
The $25,000 went to more than just to pay the tire bill at Dillon. The car needed new sheet metal and a lot of other parts to freshen it up for the race. The win was worth $4,000, so the team is not out of the hole just yet.
In fact, we asked Tyler when he found out that his dad did that for him.
“Just now after we won,” he admitted. “I knew he was borrowing some, but I didn’t think it was for this. In the years leading up to this, I’d been able to pay for a lot of stuff. This year, with me moving away, and going on my own with a new job, all my bills go to paying for rent for the house and everything else. I didn’t have the money to put back. I wasn’t sure if I was even going to be able to come to this one. Earlier I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to run good tonight, but here we are. The guys that work on it said don’t come back without a trophy so that’s what I did.”
As Church stood in victory lane, after defying the odds to win his second career PASS South race, he was still calm, cool and collected.
“I’m pretty laid back. But this is it; Me and my daddy. This is so much fun,” he said with a smile.
And as far as the next race?
“I’m not sure what we are going to do. We’ll get this thing home and we’ll see. This will be a big help.”
By Bob Dillner – Executive Editor, speed51.com, Twitter: @bobdillner
(powered by 51's Third Turn)
| 1||7||Tyler Church||125|
| 2||2||Trevor Noles||125|
| 3||77||Zane Smith||125|
| 4||4||Joey Doiron||125|
| 5||98||Jody Measamer||125|
| 6||54||Matt Craig||125|
| 7||66||Ryan Hall||125|
| 8||57||Cole Timm||125|
| 9||16||Hal Goodson||125|
| 10||33||Roger Lee Newton||125|
| 11||55||Kevin Floars||123|
| 12||8||Tate Fogleman||116|
| 13||71||Jimmy Doyle||94|
| 14||71R||Nick Robinson||61|
| 15||14||Kyle McCallum||42|