CONCORD, N.C. — On a normal Monday, Dave Farrington Jr. could be found pulling a 12-hour shift at General Dynamic’s Bath Iron Works shipyard located on the Kennebec River in Bath, Maine. But this is no typical Monday. Instead, Farrington is taking a day off from his position as an area supervisor building United States Navy warships and can be found in his race shop located 65 miles away.
“It’s one of the biggest racing weekends of the year coming up at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway and we’re determined to be as prepared as we possibly can,” said Farrington, the only driver to be part of the Kulwicki Driver Development Program (KDDP) for both seasons that it has been in existence. “It’s our goal to win both our 40-lap NASCAR Pro Series feature and the 100-lapper for the American-Canadian Tour there on Saturday night. It’ll be a huge challenge, but we will be ready and are really looking forward to it.”
In order to accomplish his goal, Farrington is busy preparing two different race cars for Saturday’s action on the 1/3-mile asphalt oval located in Scarborough, Maine. With all of the prep work between now and Saturday done by just Dave and his father, it is quite amazing to consider the schedules the Farringtons face between now and then.
“Dad is here working at the shop today, but he’ll be back down on his regular job (as a construction superintendent) in New Jersey from tomorrow morning until Friday,” Farrington said. “I’ll be back on the job at the shipyard until my shift is over on Thursday night, then dad and I will put the finishing touches on our cars on Friday. We’ll have a few friends show up at the track on Saturday to help us out. It’s a ton of work and a hectic schedule we abide by, but when you’re able to take that checkered flag on Saturday night, it’s all worthwhile.”
Farrington has certainly shown that he knows how to take checkered flags at Beech Ridge this season. After winning the track points title without scoring a feature win during the 2014 season, the 23-year-old driver captured his first career victory on the track back on June 4. He followed that up with a second feature win two weeks ago.
“It has been a great season for us overall and we’re so proud to have taken the KDDP colors to Victory Lane twice already this year,” said Farrington. “With four points races remaining, we’re looking at it as having four more chances to add to the win total. We’re currently leading in the series points (with a 23-point advantage over second-place Curtis Gerry).
“Beech Ridge has a total inversion rule, meaning that the points leader starts at the rear of the field in each week’s feature,” Farrington explained. “That makes it so challenging for the drivers, especially considering that we run 40-lap features, but the fans are treated to some of the best racing in the nation every week. We started 15th and could only pull an eighth-place finish out of it there on Saturday night. But looking at the big picture, that’s the only race where we’ve finished outside the top five, so I really can’t complain.”
So, what are some of the specific challenges and demands for Farrington heading into Saturday’s twin-bill at Beech Ridge?
“There really is so much that you have to consider,” said Farrington. “The ACT car has a 347 cubic-inch crate motor and our Pro Series car will be pulling probably 100 additional horsepower. The Pro Series car weighs 50 pounds less and will be turning lap times about a full second faster out there. The two cars drive quite differently and hustling back and forth between cars and adapting to the individual nuances promises to be interesting. There are totally different braking points and I find the Pro Series cars to be a little more forgiving. You miss your marks and you can recover easier in those cars. You can get out of shape and it can be disastrous in the ACT cars.
“Then you have to consider the differences with the tires we race on,” offered Farrington. “We race on 10-inch Hoosiers in the Pro Series, while we’ll be racing on eight-inch American Racer tires over on the ACT side. Throw in the fact that there’s a two-tire rule for the Pro Series and a four-tire rule for the ACT cars and you can understand how demanding it will be there on Saturday night. Tire management will be so critical in both races.
“We’re confident that we’ll have two cars that are capable of winning there on Saturday night,” said Farrington. “I think our Pro Series car continues to be strong enough to win every time we take the green flag. Our ACT car is the same one we won the Coastal 200 at Wiscasset with last year and finished third there with it this year. We’ve never finished outside the top 10 in the Beech Ridge ACT races and I’m definitely looking forward to keeping that streak going this weekend.
“It would be a monumental accomplishment if we could pull off the double there on Saturday night,” said Farrington. “A win in the Pro Series feature would help solidify our effort in trying to win another Beech Ridge track championship. A victory in the ACT race would be so big. Not only would it demonstrate our competitive versatility, it would also earn us a guaranteed starting spot in the big invitational race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this fall (the Bond Invitational 50-lap feature at NHMS on September 24).
Pit gates open at 2 p.m. on Saturday, with general admission gates opening at 3 p.m. Practice begins at 3 p.m. The racing card features three ACT heat races and a consi, along with two Pro Series heat races. The program will also feature the Sport Series and the Wildcats in action prior to the 40-lap feature for the Pro Series and the nightcap 100-lap battle for the ACT series. Grandstand admission is $25, with children 12 & under admitted free of charge.
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. Speed51.com is active on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/speed51/ and you can follow them on Twitter at @speed51dotcom.
-Kulwicki Driver Development Program Press Release
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com