The snow in the north was just starting to melt. Green grass was just starting to reappear for the first time since the new year began. But winter just wouldn’t go away quietly. One last storm is about to hit the northeast, and it’s putting testing plans for some racers in the region on hold.
That’s why Joey Doiron is so excited to head down south ahead of the storm to race the PASS Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC) live on 51 TV on April 4.
“I think the biggest thing is that it is nice to get away from the snow to be honest with you,” Doiron told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “It’s a good break from the winter. About March, everyone up here is getting pretty restless and is ready to go racing. To get a little jump start is nice.”
Doiron admitted that the famous venue that is Hickory isn’t exactly a venue that he loves going to, but that doesn’t seem to be affecting the confidence level of the 23-year-old Maine driver.
“We went to Hickory two years ago and got torn up really early,” Doiron said. “Last year it got rained out and we had to come home. It’s definitely not my best track, nor my favorite. But Dicky (Woodman) and those guys usually run really well there so we’ll see what we’ve got. I think we should have a good chance at it. I feel like every time we go down there with him that we have a chance to win, so it should be no different.”
Woodman and Doiron ran some races together in 2014, four of them to be exact, with their best finish coming at South Boston Speedway (VA) when Doiron finished second.
“It was probably at South Boston when I first felt comfortable,” he said of his 2014 experience in Woodman’s car. “When you are the guy that makes sure every nut and bolt is tight before every time you race and you get behind someone else’s stuff knowing that you weren’t the last one to touch it, it is a little bit different. It was more just getting to know Dicky and his whole family. They’re great people and they’re like family to me. It’s no different now, but back then it was.”
At this point in time Doiron said the Easter Bunny is the third and final race that he and Woodman are scheduled to race together before Doiron comes back to the hopefully thawed out northeast to run the PASS North schedule. Doiron ran the South Carolina Clash at Dillon Motor Speedway and he’s running this weekend at Anderson Speedway (SC).
His racing with Woodman isn’t meant to help him out up north, but it is extra seat time and that is always beneficial for a driver.
“His cars and the tracks down there are so much different compared to what I have up here,” he said. “It’s good to get seat time, but not a whole lot can relate I guess.”
Once he comes back north there’s one race that’s on his mind: The Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway (ME). Doiron has led 92 laps total in the 250 the last two years. He finished second to Travis Benjamin in 2013 and led 69 laps last year before fading due to mechanical issues in the late stages. It’s the one race that every PASS competitor wants to win, but this race is eating at Doiron.
“I’ve walked out of that place the last two years not knowing what I could do different to win that race,” said Doiron. “Travis (Benjamin) has had a great car the last two years, but especially last year I felt like we had the best car until the battery died with 20 laps to go.”
Whether or not Doiron can finally get the win in the Oxford 250 remains to be seen. But his season has just started and he’s already feeling confident. That can’t be a good sign for Doiron’s competitors for the driver who finished fourth in PASS North standings with two wins one year ago to already be this confident.
“We’re going to go back with the same stuff we had last year,” Doiron said. “The left-side weight rule I felt like we were a little ahead of the game from racing down south more often than most of the guys up here. I think we should be in good shape.”
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com photo