2012 hasn't been the best season of Chris Ferguson's career. The 2011 Ultimate Late Model champion has seen his fair share of races slip away for reasons far beyond his control. But Ferguson has a chance to erase all of the bad memories when his team travels to the world famous Eldora Speedway, June 8-9, for the Dream 100.
Our car was fast enough to win and we put ourselves in a position to capitalize on that, so it was a pretty big moment.
The biggest dirt late model race in the country, the Dream, which has gained notoriety with the Prelude to the Dream charity race featuring the top racecar drivers in the United States, pays $100,000 to win, and Ferguson and his team are out to avenge another big money race that got away this season.
"We were leading the inaugural Carolina Crown race, which paid twenty-thousand dollars to win," Ferguson told K&N. "The race had national drivers like Jonathon Davenport and Jared Landers, who both drive for (NASCAR Sprint Cup driver) Clint Bowyer, and Steve Shaver, Chris Madden and Tim McCreadie. I believe that was the biggest moment for us so far. We led twenty laps before we burnt a piston in the motor.
"Our car was fast enough to win and we put ourselves in a position to capitalize on that, so it was a pretty big moment."
Ferguson seemed destined to capture his first World of Outlaws Late Model feature as well, but lady luck bit again. "The most disappointing moment of the year had to be sitting on the pole and winning the heat race at the World of Outlaws event, and getting in a wreck on the first lap after having a dominant car all day. The wreck wasn't our fault but it was frustrating to miss out on capturing our first World of Outlaws Late Model Series win."
We led twenty laps before we burnt a piston in the motor.
Despite the early season misfortunes, Ferguson has kept his head high and remains positive heading into the Dream. He says it helps knowing the team proved they belonged last season, when Ferguson claimed the Ultimate Late Model Series championship.
"I feel like it does give us a sense of pride, so we do show up with more confidence, only because we won that championship last year, and we are the defending champions. It doesn't really change the way we race, mainly because we race with the same attitude no matter where we are racing and that's to race hard, race to win, and race with respect."
After the Dream, Ferguson and his team will get back to focusing on running in multiple series, including the Ultimate Series, Beast Series, Southern All Stars, World of Outlaws and the Lucas Oil Late Model Series. He said staying on top of the ever-changing technology is a big reason his team continues to improve and be competitive.
"The biggest challenge in staying competitive year in and year out is staying on top of the technology with shocks, setup, motors and everything else involved with the car. Motorsports is evolving day-to-day and the latest and greatest new products come out all the time, so it's our job to find out what works on our cars with my racing style and our package.
"Another thing is racing against the best more often, especially with guys that run the World of Outlaws and Lucas Oil tours. We enjoy racing against them, and it usually shows them we compete at a higher level on the regional level."
Speaking of the latest and greatest new products, Ferguson praised K&N Filters for their products effectiveness.
"We utilize K&N washable Air Filters, K&N Oil Filters, along with the K&N Fuel Filter, K&N Air Filter Oil and K&N Air Filter Cleaner and Degreaser. The biggest thing with our dirt late model engines is keeping the carburetor and intake manifold clean from dirt and other debris. Having a washable and reusable air filter helps our team out because we race roughly sixty to seventy times a year, and we can continue to reuse the same air filter. K&N filters resolve the problem of dirt and other various debris getting into the motor, which allows for better performance and less problems for our engine builder."
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