“It only takes a dollar and a dream.”
That may be the slogan for the New York State Lotto, but it’s not far off from what is now a reality for Maine’s Mike Moody. In fact, it’s just $24 off.
Moody, 34, will be doing some Super Late Model racing at Maine’s Wiscasset Speedway thanks to a lucky raffle ticket that he bought at the Racin’ Preview show at the Portland Expo (ME) for $25.
Yes, you read that right. For just $25, Mike Moody of Thopsham, Maine now owns a Super Late Model.
“I got a call and I honestly thought it was a cruel joke or something,” Moody told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I wasn’t there when they drew my name. But I was in shock.”
The car was raffled off by Steve Perry from the Mainely Motorsports television program in Maine. Perry and a friend had the idea in 2014 to raffle off a PASS Modified.
“We thought we could buy it and sell it and make some money but we couldn’t,” said Perry. “A friend suggested we bring it to the Northeast Motorsports Expo in Augusta because they needed a car for the pit crew challenge. Then he suggested we raffle it off so we did and we actually made some money with it.”
After that Perry decided to do it again in 2015, but he decided to go bigger.
“I told everyone if I do this next year I’d give away a Super Late Model,” Perry said. “Everyone kind of laughed at me but I really thought I could do it. By the time it was all said and done we did well and made some money and gave me the inclination that I can do it again for 2016.
“I told everybody leading up to it that it was only going to take one ticket. I couldn’t believe that every racer in New England didn’t buy at least one ticket. Even if you don’t want to race the car you could sell it and use that money. But in saying that, I’m so happy that Mike Moody is going to take the car and actually race it.”
The race car is by far the biggest prize Moody has ever won in a raffle. In fact, he hasn’t exactly had the best success rate in the history of raffles.
“It’s not very good,” said Moody. “I couldn’t put a number on it but I’ve maybe won a t-shirt or something along those lines.”
Now he owns a Super Late Model. It’s a car he’s never driven before. His racing experience doesn’t extend beyond Street Stock racing.
“We have what they call a Late Model class,” Moody said. “It’s a similar chassis but on an 8-inch tire. I’ve driven those a couple of times.”
He also doesn’t have the crew that many Super Late Model teams have. It’s him and “a handful” of friends that help him with his racing efforts.
Moody knows the learning curve will be steep. He’s not expecting to go out there on April 18 and win on opening night.
“My big thing is to have fun,” he said. “I think that’s the most important part of racing. Just have fun and keep it in one piece.”
But if he does win, Moody knows he’ll have achieved something big. He’d have achieved something so unlikely that he almost didn’t even know how to put it into words when he was thinking about it.
“That would be unbelievable,” Moody said. “That would be a big accomplishment.”
It’s an accomplishment that Perry would love to see Moody pull off. He already plans to do the raffle again in 2016, but a win from Moody could show other people what is possible with just $25.
“I’d like nothing more than to be there the night that he puts it in victory lane,” said Perry. “There were guys that had 10 tickets in that bucket. Then the guy with one ticket won it.”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Northeast Editor -Twitter: @RobBlount
-Feature Photo Credit: North East Motorsports Expo photo