Clearly those who think, "You can't beat Mother Nature," have never met Elliot Despain. Elliot's 2012 season has been a battle against the elements and the odds, resulting with multiple podium finishes for the intrepid Modified racer. With 25 of his 38-race schedule complete already, Despain his #75e to three first place wins, as well as a baker's dozen of Top 5 finishes in the face of rain delays and rough track conditions.
Elliot Despain's never-say-die positive attitude and winning spirit has been what has pushed Elliot Despain to repeated podium finishes.
Elliot Despain has earned three first place wins and 13 Top 5 finishes this seasons.
The six-year K&N Filters racing veteran faced an uphill climb earlier this season after a fantastic April with eight nights of racing, four top five finishes, and two top ten finishes. A well-earned fifth place finish at Lake Cumberland Speedway in Burnside, KY on April 28th took quite a bit of work to achieve. "The track was very rubbered up. I think I was better than the two in front of me but could not get out of the rubber to pass," stated Elliott.
Mother Nature rained out the race at Ponderosa Speedway on May 4th, so the Despain crew continued on to Florence Speedway in Union, KY for Fan Appreciation Night the following day. The heavy rain Friday night and Saturday morning made for very rough track conditions. Starting fifth amid the 39 modifieds, Despain finished 3rd.
"We had a great car and I could get a lot of drive off the bottom. I only wish we would have had a few more laps and I think we would have been in the hunt for the win," stated Despain. Despain credits K&N Filters for his race car's performance, "They protect your engine from dust and dirt. They increase performance! And they're very dependable!"
This season has been a battle against the elements and odds for Modified racer Elliot Despain, but has resulted in multiple podium finishes.
Despain first reached out to K&N when attending the 2006 Performance Racing Industry Trade show in Indianapolis, IN. "I came in contact with the friendly K&N reps and formed a partnership," he recounts. "They have been awesome for my career!" A career that has been rife with championships, including winning the Clay City Raceway Bluegrass Nationals, two prestigious runner-up finishes at the Kentucky State Champ Kart Division and Purple Plate at the Sportsdrome Speedway in Jeffersonville, In. Despain also took the Bluegrass Speedway Modified Rookie of the Year and the American Modified Series Rookie of the Year, as well as wins at Friday Night Rumble Winner at Ponderosa Speedway, Junction City, KY and the opening night A-Main at the historic Brownstown Speedway, Brownstown, In.
Two days later on May 7th, Despain Motorsports again would travel to Ponderosa Speedway in Junction City, KY.Even after an unfortunate spin in qualifying, Despain would finish the heat in third, go on in the feature with a very respectable 7th. Seemingly annoyed at Despain's efforts, Mother Nature would rain out the next day's races.
It wouldn't be until May 18th that Despain returned to Ponderosa Speedway for two nights of racing for a chance at $1,000. Coming out in 7th overall in time trials, Despain battled for second and ended in 3rd. Moving up through the field with several yellow and double-file restarts, Despain moved up the field to finish fourth. "We had the best car tonight that we have had since the win at Brownstown," stated the very happy and tired driver.
The next night, night two of the May Mayhem and the 13th annual JuneBug Memorial weekend, saw Despain fought for the lead but came up short, finishing in second. In the feature, Despain would not be deterred and took the lead for a quarter lap win. "We had a very good car last night, but tonight it was even better. I could run anywhere on the track. I would like to thank my crew and sponsors," stated Despain from Victory Lane.
May 25th and 26th would earn Despain Motorsports two more wins at Ponderosa Speedway Friday night and his first DNF at Richmond Raceway in Richmond, KY Saturday. "After going to the pits and looking at the car and having only minor damage with the drag link tie rod and some body damage, we feel very lucky," stated Elliott after a front stretch pile up in lap 11.
Despain Motorsports made its first trip to Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Indiana for the Summer National Tour, July 8th. Starting eighth in his heat, Despain made his way up to fourth. Two days later on July 10th, the crew traveled to Florence Speedway in Union, Kentucky for the next round of the Summer National Tour; where he would suffer a failed fuel pump. Three days later, Mother Nature would mock his luck with another rained-out race at Ponderosa Speedway.
Undeterred, the one-time Kentucky Karting Association racer, and current Battle of the Bluegrass Series, American Modified Series, UMP DirtCar competitor returned again to Ponderosa Speedway, where Despain would win the heat and finish in fourth place. The next week at Ponderosa would provide another fourth place finish.
It's hard to argue that Despain was bred to compete, "Being named after NASCAR Great Bill Elliott, it was in my blood from day one! At the age of three, my parents bought me a four wheeler & took me to a local motorcross track. At the age of five, we bought my first go-kart. I raced at Dumplin Valley in Tennessee and with the Kentucky Karting Association."
Today, Despain is still winning and fighting the elements. At the 30th Annual North South 100 in Florence, Kentucky, practice was rained out Thursday night, and battled to finish 7th. Nonetheless, the fighting modified racer has plenty of races left in the series to complete. His never-say-die positive attitude and winning spirit has been what has pushed Elliot Despain to repeated podium finishes and will continue to do so throughout his career.
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