A one-way trip from Dublin, New Hampshire to Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Indiana is 900 miles. That’s the distance that Toby Wells travelled for the Vores Cup, a four-cylinder Mini Stock race, which he won. Then Wells travelled the 18 hours back to New Hampshire to race at Lee USA Speedway on Sunday with the North East Mini Stock Tour, a race that he also won.
“It’s one of my career highlights for sure,” Wells told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “It’s not often we get to race twice in one weekend, let alone win twice in one weekend, plus all the qualifying races.”
Wells, 38, said the reason he made the trip to Indy was to help out NEMST promoter, Bob Guptil, who is working to unite his series with the Vores Compact Touring Series. Basically, it was almost like a diplomacy mission, and for Wells it went extremely well.
“The competitors were great and everybody was helpful,” Wells said. “We were probably the farthest team that travelled and everybody came up and offered to help. It’s a good bunch of guys and the series was run tight. And the competition was pretty good too.”
While the weekend went better than Wells had planned, this double-header weekend wasn’t even actually something that Wells planned.
“It all got complicated a month ago,” Wells explained. “The Vores Cup was planned a month ago and it got postponed. Then Lee got postponed and it all ended up on the same weekend. I don’t think I would have ever planned on doing it in the same weekend if it didn’t accidentally happen that way. But everything I do is to the fullest of my abilities. So we had to make the most of it.”
Wells explained that he left New Hampshire in his new 2015 Ford pickup truck with his trailer and race car on Thursday night and he drove for about five hours before pulling over to sleep. He resumed the rest of the trip to Lucas Oil Raceway on Friday, ran the race and won, and then left to head back to New Hampshire. But he didn’t leave the racetrack immediately.
“Before we left Indianapolis we stayed for an hour in the pits to change the transmission,” Wells said. “I had to change the transmission for a different gear ratio and clutch for Lee.”
He left Indianapolis as the clock pushed 11 p.m. central time. He drove all through the night and got back to Dublin near 5:30 p.m. ET, and he said he worked on the car for about three hours bolting his weights back onto the car before finally going to sleep.
The next morning, Wells and his family headed to Lee USA Speedway in his new Ford to run his second race in three days. As the hour-and-a-half trip to Lee neared its end, his new truck that has just over 3,000 miles on it developed a problem.
“We almost didn’t make it to the track because it was acting up,” Wells said. “Just before we got off the highway in Lee it was sputtering. We got to the track and said, ‘At least we’re here. We’ll deal with it when the race is over,’ but it didn’t make it very far at all.
“We barely made it into the track, raced the day away, then I had someone come pick the trailer up so I could limp the truck home and it didn’t make it.”
After winning his second race in three days in two different time zones, Wells’ truck broke down on the side of a New Hampshire highway. Wells said it’s “some emission thing” causing the issue, but it’s still at the shop. He and his family waited for over an hour before a friend could pick them up because they couldn’t all fit in the tow truck.
While the ending of the weekend was a bit stressful, it’s still a weekend that Wells will always remember.
“It’s one of those stories I’m going to tell for a lot of years,” Wells said with a laugh. “‘Hey remember that weekend we won everything and then couldn’t get home?'”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Northeast Editor -Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: NEMST Photos