USAR: Cameron Dodson joins May's Motorsports team

Sprinting into Hooters Pro Cup Cameron Dodson will join the May's Motorsports team in 2006. Open-wheel champ to jump into Northern Division with May's Motorsports Longs, SC-Driving a 600-horsepower racecar is something that many 17-year-old ...

Sprinting into Hooters Pro Cup

Cameron Dodson will join the May's Motorsports team in 2006.
Open-wheel champ to jump into Northern Division with May's Motorsports

Longs, SC-Driving a 600-horsepower racecar is something that many 17-year-old drivers can't handle. But, at least horsepower-wise, it's a step back for Cameron Dodson.

Dodson, of Greenfield, Ind., is used to piloting an 800-plus horsepower sprint car - and doing it well.

Last year, Dodson won the 2005 Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper Super Sprint Series (AVSS) championship and rookie of the year in the 410-winged sprint class. But this year, Dodson will trade in his open-wheeled racer for the comfy confines of the No. 14 Dupont Performance Coatings/ Joie of Seating Chevrolet fielded by May's Motorsports.

"We were looking at a couple of different series at the end of last year," said Dodson. "My dad went to watch the Myrtle Beach championship race, and he came back fired up. We went to [Motor Mile] for the next race, and I talked to about 20 teams that day. When we left, we had two teams in mind. But after meeting Kirk and Laura May, I just knew in my heart where we need to go."

Despite having driven huge-horsepower machines, Dodson understands the Pro Cup cars are a different beast.

"I've never really been in a stock car," said Dodson. "I've tested them a couple of times, but that's about it. The Pro Cup car is going to be a totally different animal."

To ease the transition, Dodson will be able to lean on his teammate, Mike Laughlin Jr., at May's Motorsports for insight.

"It is a strong confidence booster for me to be part of an experienced team and to have Mike (Laughlin, Jr.) as a teammate," said Dodson. "I know I will be able talk with him, get advice from him and learn the ropes."

While Laughlin's tutelage will likely help Dodson during his rookie campaign, the 17-year-old hot shoe won't completely forget his roots, knowing that several open-wheel tricks will transfer to the 3,300-lb Pro Cup cars.

"There will be several aspects of coming from open-wheeled cars that will help," said Dodson. "In sprint cars you have to be smooth, and throttle control is huge. You need control tire wear and be smooth to make passes. Plus, everything happens so fast in a sprint car, I think it might help me out this year."

And if that fails, Dodson will watch and learn.

"I'm going to be following the veterans a lot and trying to pick up things everyday," said Dodson. "I'd like to stay consistent and run in the top 10 each week. Our main goal is to win the rookie of the year title, and we're going to everything in our power to do that."

Dodson's first Pro Cup race will be in the Northern Division opener at South Boston Speedway on April 1.

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Series Stock car
Drivers Cameron Dodson