USAR: Todd Peck interview

An Appreciative Todd Peck by Skip Wall Todd Peck is living a teenagers dream, living it up with freedom and on the race tracks. It isn't quite the year that he wants however he is living a wonderful dream. Peck has been on the Hooters ProCup...

An Appreciative Todd Peck
by Skip Wall

Todd Peck is living a teenagers dream, living it up with freedom and on the race tracks. It isn't quite the year that he wants however he is living a wonderful dream.

Peck has been on the Hooters ProCup Series Tour for three seasons now. He is following the footsteps of his uncle, Tom Peck who was a Busch Series racer.

Peck is convinced he can make a go in this series even though he has a young crew that needs leadership. He has been helped by the likes of drivers Mart Nesbitt and Mike Laughlin this season. He had veteran Wayne Kent as crew chief earlier this season and has been helped by "everybody's crew chief " Bill Boger.

Peck lost his crew chief when Kent decided to get into law enforcement as a deputy sheriff at the age of 41. He now uses his father Mike as the crew chief.

"We are now in the championship and its every man for himself" said the younger Peck. "We still get advice from Nesbitt and that's greatly appreciated."

Mike Peck is trying to get thru the championship and then evaluate the team over the off season in search of a new direction for the team.

Both of Pecks parents are doctors (one delivers babies and the other a family physician) and will look to provide the team with the best available crew chief who can bring leadership and experience to this third year team.

"I enjoy watching my son out there racing and his mom scores for us, so its really a family thing" said Mike Peck.

"Its harder for my wife however I trust Todd out there. We try to get him good equipment and he knows what its like out there."

Peck has an edge over most other teams in the championship. The teams tire bill is paid for throughout the rest of the championship since Peck fell out of some races earlier. "He has more tires on the truck than I have for the competitors" jokes BF Goodrich rep Danny Sheehan.

Peck has been hanging in there despite a so so season. He started the season out with help from Laughlin who sold him his championship car of last year, a car that has never been crashed.

Pecks best finish this season was 11th at Lake Erie. But a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. Each weekend though Peck seems more and more confident and comfortable. He will talk with Nesbitt over the phone or at the track. One race Nesbitt was practicing at Hickory so Peck was able to get advice from car owner Steve Husketh.

Again Peck is appreciative to whatever the team can get.

Peck gets sponsorship from Mark Thomas and the Thomas Pit Road, part of the dealerships that Thomas owns. Thomas comes to some of the races and has even loaned the team the use of his private jet. Other help is from Homezone Pinball Machines and Peckies Body Shop.

Here you have an 18 year old Peck that gets to racing every other weekend thruout the eastern seaboard. He gets a lot of freedom from his parents and again he appreciates all.

Peck laughs when talking about this season. "Its been all uphill this season. Each week we keep getting better and better. I know a solid finish is just right around the corner. Our record is better than it speaks."

But considering the youth on this team without much experienced leadership, a lot of other teams may have not made it this far.

"We made it into the championship and that a feat in itself, for us"he says. "We can only get better as the season goes on."

What about next year?

"Im trying to get thru this season" say Mike. "Next season will be different. We will definitely make some changes. We have two cars and now need to concentrate on crew members."

Its been an ironic season for this Glenville Pa. based team.

The team was running in the top ten at Kil-Kare when an overheating engine sidelined them. At the finale northern race, Peck got into the top five when he dropped an axle just after a pit stop. He made the race at Jennerstown and finished a good 14th. If it wasn't for going a lap down and then a caution, Peck could have well cracked the top ten, the teams goal for any championship race.

The team looks at Myrtle Beach race as a make or break race since there are 55 teams eligible for the race. Other than that this team feels it can make the field at any other track. They have never seen Myrtle Beach.

The ironic thing of this team? You have two loving parents that gives this 18 year old lots of freedom. You have a youthful team without much leadership the last couple of races. But a team that dosnt quit and keeps coming back week after week.

At Jennerstown, Mike Peck is on call and has to tend to business on the phone. Sue Peck has brought Todds grandparents to the race and tends to the elderly couple.

In the meantime, Todd makes all the crucial calls that will enable the team to finish 14th. Again Todd is appreciative of all help he has gain from dad, Nesbitt, Laughlin and Boger.

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Mark Thomas , Todd Peck