It wouldn’t be unusual to hear a young driver, likely one from the West Coast, use the term “stoked” to describe a fun and exciting day at the track.
Hearing the term from 42-year-old Williston, Vermont racer Brian Hoar may seem a little unusual, but the eight-time American Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Model champion couldn’t hold back his excitement in the Gresham Motorsports Park pit area Friday night. Hoar finished fourth on the speed chart in Friday’s optional practice session for Saturday’s Southern Super Series World Crown 300 at Georgia’s Gresham Motorsports Park and could hardly hide his happiness with the day’s result.
It was an impressive performance in practice as Hoar and his Georgia, Vermont-based RPM Motorsports team begin their journey into battling in the top Super Late Model races in the country with the World Crown 300.
“We’re super stoked,” said Hoar after Friday’s practice. “It’s an honor just to be competitive. It’s an honor to race against these Super Late Model guys that I’ve read about forever.”
Hoar and his team are competing in this weekend’s World Crown 300, plus they have plans to run two of the other end-of-season majors of Super Late Model racing, the Winchester 400 in September and December’s Snowball Derby. He was 13th in Thursday’s optional practice, but found more speed Friday with the team’s newly-built Super Late Model, leaving Hoar in near disbelief.
“We’re better than we expected to be,” said Hoar. “We didn’t expect to be anywhere near the top five. Yesterday was more what we expected because our test sessions, quite frankly, have been rough before today and yesterday. There were a lot of people who helped us get where we are to even be remotely competitive down here.
“We’ve never been on bump stops before. I mean, what the hell are those? We’ve never applied them in our car. It’s a brand-new car. We just built the thing. It’s an RB Performance and (team owner Rick) Paya-designed chassis. That’s pretty wild to be so competitive with these guys.”
Through his years of experience in series such as ACT and the series now known as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, Hoar had earned experience on many tracks throughout New England and beyond. Until yesterday, he had never seen Gresham Motorsports Park, but he got the hang of the high-banked half-mile quickly.
“It’s an awesome race track. Man oh man oh man. It’s like a miniature Loudon with banking. It’s awesome, definitely a top-three racetrack for me.”
Now Hoar looks to stay “stoked” when the checkered flag falls the end of 300 laps in Saturday’s Southern Super Series World Crown 300.
“We’re using technology that we just haven’t used in our Late Models up there. We’re trying to get on the bump stops and do it right. Obviously we’re getting close and the car is pretty darn good. It’s a band-new car, we’ve never seen the track before.
“Obviously we couldn’t be happier. We’re unbelievably happy right now.”
– By Matt Kentfield, Speed51.com Executive Director. Twitter: @MattKentfield. Photo credit: Speed51.com