CONCORD, N.C. – Dave Farrington Jr. ran his first NASCAR Whelen All American Series race at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway back in May of 2010. Some 35 Pro Series features later, Farrington was finally able to take his bright orange family-owned No. 23 Ford Fusion to Victory Lane last Saturday night at the 1/3-mile track in Scarborough, Maine.
“It was an emotional win for sure,” said Farrington, the only driver to be part of the Kulwicki Driver Development Program (KDDP) for both seasons that it has been in existence. “We’ve been so close for so many times during the last five years and that certainly made our breakthrough victory so special. Plus having all our great sponsors and the KDDP riding along with us added to the significance of what happened Saturday night.
“After the big win, somebody asked me how many races we’d finished as runner-up at Beech Ridge. I could only say ‘far too many.’ We won the track championship back in 2014 without winning a race, but we finished second in four races there that year.
“We actually struggled there in practice on Saturday,” said Farrington, who works as an area supervisor at the General Dynamics Bath Iron Works shipyard during the week. “My dad and I made changes to our car and we finished fifth in the heat race. We made additional changes to get the car freed up for the feature.
“We started 12th and knew we had a fast car that handled so well on longer runs. It was a 40-lap feature and we took the lead on Lap 25 and stretched it out to win by 1.3 seconds. It was really foggy there at the end of the race, but it was clear sailing for me running up front like we were able to do.
“Everyone else was running up on the top side, but we were able to roll the center and use the low lane to our advantage,” said Farrington. “Most of the other guys were tight during the race, but we hit on close to a perfect setup for that night. Yes, we learned quite a bit there on Saturday night. But racing at Beech Ridge is an ever-changing situation as far as setups go. You always have to be willing to adapt and many times you almost have to be a weatherman in predicting the best way to go.”
With his victory last Saturday night, Farrington took the Pro Series division points lead by two points over defending track champion Reid Lampher (147-145).
“We did take the points lead, but it’s way too early in the season to put much into that,” said Farrington. “We still have another 10 nights of racing for track points, plus a big 125-lapper that pays just NASCAR national points.
“We’ve knocked the door down and gotten that first win of the 2016 season and we think there’s more to come,” concluded Farrington, who is also competing in several PASS North and ACT races this year. “We finished second in the PASS North race at Star Speedway and third in the Coastal 200 at Wiscasset. Ninth is our worst finish in the supers this season. The consistency is there and now we’re looking to add the wins. We think the best part of our 2016 season is yet to come.”
Farrington’s first career win at Beech Ridge was not only popular among New England race fans, it was also extremely pleasing to the KDDP staff and the organization’s advisory board.
“We are so thrilled for Dave,” said KDDP executive director Tom Roberts. “There’s a huge reason that our advisory board voted him to be back as one of our seven drivers this season.
“Dave epitomizes what our program is all about,” Roberts said. “He graduated from college with an engineering degree and he is juggling his work career with his racing career. That’s exactly what Alan Kulwicki did back in his early days. Dave’s typical schedule sees him working 10-hour days at the shipyard and then heading out to the race tracks late in the week. His dad is working as a construction superintendent in New Jersey during the week and joins forces with his son every weekend.
“Dave finished second in the 150-lap PASS North race at Star Speedway last month and it was just the father and son there working on the car that day – they were the driver and the pit crew,” said Roberts. “There’s such a great level of determination and commitment to succeed I see in Dave and it’s comparable to what we saw in Alan. The KDDP is so proud of Dave and we look forward to seeing him carry our colors to Victory Lane many more times this season.”
Farrington and the other Pro Series competitors will be back in action this Saturday night at Beech Ridge. It will be NASCAR Autograph Nite at the track. Grandstand gates open at 5:00 p.m. and action gets under way at 7:00 p.m. The Pro Stocks, Sport Series and Wildcats will all see action. Tickets are just $12 for adults and kids 12 & under are admitted free.
The KDDP urges you to keep up with all of the organization’s news and activities by regularly visiting Speed51.com, the official media partner.
-Kulwicki Driver Development Program Press Release. Photo credit: Dave Farrington, Jr. Twitter