Rising star Blaine Perkins has confirmed with Speed51.com powered by JEGS that he will make his first career start with the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series on June 6 at Irwindale Speedway (CA).
The 15-year old has scored top-five finishes in three of his last four starts at Irwindale in weekly competition – highlighted by a podium finish in his most recent outing on May 16.
“We’ve had our eyes on doing some tour races for a long time now,” says Perkins. “Right now, the tour is attracting the best competition on the West Coast. It’s most definitely the deep end of the pool.”
Perkins will make his series debut with the MMI Services team, with veteran Crew Chief Steve Portenga helping to call the shots from atop the pit box.
“This is a huge opportunity for us,” explains the first-generation competitor. “The MMI team is full of veteran personnel and their equipment is top notch. We’re going to have all the tools at our disposal to make an impression right off the bat, and try and make a name for ourselves on the big stage.”
Despite his relative inexperience, Perkins is quick to refute any notion that the elevated competition that the tour presents could act as an intimidator.
“It’s not intimidating at all. I use it more as a motivator,” says Perkins. “It seems like everywhere we go this season we’ve been matched against the best of the best. Between weekly races in Irwindale’s Late Model division or the Lucas Oil Modified Series – we’re racing against the very best teams on the West Coast.
“It doesn’t scare me – it just makes me want to perform to the best of my abilities,” continues Perkins. “I want to show these teams that I belong with them. June 6 is going to be another chance to show the best of the best that our team is capable of hanging with them.”
Though Perkins is only scheduled for a single tour appearance this season, the well-spoken high school student is aware that future opportunities could present themselves.
“I don’t want to waste this chance – because I know how important this could be,” says Perkins. “We’re not points racing, we’re just coming out to give people a reason to remember us.
“The goal is to learn the car as quick as we can, and try and work our way to the front. Irwindale is a place that I’m incredibly comfortable at. Hopefully we can use that familiarity to our advantage and give the MMI team a strong finish – and a reason to invite us back.”
-By Spencer Lewis, Speed51.com Canadian Editor – Twitter: @itsspencerlewis
-Photo credit: Blaine Perkins Facebook Page