Dave Farrington, Jr. made the five-hour trip from his home state of Maine to Connecticut’s New London-Waterford Speedbowl (CT) Saturday for a chance to add another win to his 2016 resume. The Kulwicki Driver Development Program driver did just that, besting 28 other Granite State Pro Stock competitors and parking his Alan Kulwicki No. 7 tribute car in Victory Lane.
For much of the day it appeared that Farrington’s trip may be washed out by Mother Nature, but ultimately the race would be run. Due to the rain, the lineup was set by owner’s points and as only a one-time GSPSS starter this season Farrington started at the rear of the 29-car field.
With a combination of patience, aggression, and a little luck, Farrington moved his way all the way to the front and won the 75-lap race.
“We were a little upset about the decision made,” Farrington told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I know we can’t control Mother Nature obviously. We drew pole in the second heat, we were looking forward to that and found out we had to start 27th. We just bided our time and played it patient, there weren’t as many cautions as I might’ve expected, we avoided all those. Started finding momentum on the outside and started to work our way around cars on the top.”
By the time Farrington got to the second position, he was chasing DJ Shaw, who had dominated the race and looked poised to win the season championship. With less than 20 laps to go, Farrington began catching Shaw at a fast rate. Just when he had run Shaw down, a late yellow negated his attempted pass. But there was another surprise, Shaw gave up the lead to pit for a flat tire. Farrington inherited the lead and led all the way to the end with no trouble.
“We were driving the hell out of it, trying not to burn off the tires too bad, just in case there might be another yellow,” Farrington stated. “He started pulling away, had about a four or five-car length lead and then started coming closer to us, backing up, backing up. Drove to the inside, then had that yellow and I was like, ‘Oh shoot.’ Then he went in, pitted, just unbelievable, 27th to first.”
Farrington’s victory on Saturday was a great triumph for one of the true blue collar Late Model racers in New England.
“This is our 37th race this year. We’ve been busy since April, week after week, non-stop,” he explained. “This is what we do; we don’t go hunting, we don’t go fishing, we work on race cars as much as we can. My father works in New Jersey, I work at Bath Iron Works in Maine 55 hours a week building Navy destroyer ships. To find time to get these things ready is discreet to say the least. We try to do everything Friday through Sunday and if need be I drive an hour and a half home just to work on the car.”
The win was a timely victory for Farrington who is in the thick of the battle for the 2016 Kulwicki Cup in the Kulwicki Driver Development Program.
“Fifth win this season for our Kulwicki Driver Development program team, it’s huge for us,” he said. “We’re ‘that close’ to winning that cup. Of course Ty Majeski won it last year and he’s moved up into the ARCA world. We’re really hoping this will take us to the next step along with the community service activities we’re doing, staying busy on social media and interacting with the fans as much as we can.”
It also happened that Farrington had decided to switch things up for the weekend, switching his usual No. 23 for Kulwicki’s famous No. 7.
“I’ve run a lot of car numbers in my career, never been the number 7. I know there was a number 23 registered in Granite State, so I thought why not pull something out of the box and run the ole famous number 7. I know Alan would be proud watching over us here, we carry his name and his colors on our car week after week.”
Joe Squeglia and Angelo Belsito rounded the podium while Barry Gray’s fourth-place finish was enough to get him the 2016 Granite State championship after Shaw was only able to recover for 10th.
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com State Editor (CT, MA, Long Island) – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com/Rick Ibsen
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