Kevin Lepage keeps his hopes alive

Kevin Lepage keeps his hopes alive

CONCORD, NC - Kevin Lepage feels like he hasn't gotten his due. After making 128 starts in the Winston Cup series for a variety of teams since the mid 1990s, Lepage has only garnered two top-five finishes and eight top tens. The Shelburne, Vermont...

CONCORD, NC - Kevin Lepage feels like he hasn't gotten his due. After making 128 starts in the Winston Cup series for a variety of teams since the mid 1990s, Lepage has only garnered two top-five finishes and eight top tens. The Shelburne, Vermont native blames lack of communication and time as part of his past performance issues.

Kevin Lepage.
Photo by Thomas Chemris.
"All I am looking for is a break to go out and get with a situation and be competitive," said Lepage. "I've won in everything I've been in except Winston Cup. I've sat on poles here in Winston Cup. I've been competitive.

"If you go back and look at my career in Winston Cup, we've had opportunities to win races. Either a blown motor, a cut tire, or a bad pit stop has cost me a win and all I'm looking for is a better opportunity to get back in this sport and show an owner or sponsor what I can do."

Lepage is now taking matters into his own hands. This Memorial Day weekend Lepage will run the self-owned No. 71 Ford with limited funding. Lepage hopes that he can draw the attention of a potential sponsor or car owner and revive his NASCAR career.

"I'm auditioning for the ride," said Lepage. "There may be people out here that aren't happy with their situation and there may be people out there looking at a second or third team.

"If you're out of sight, you're out of mind. I went to the racetrack two years ago when I didn't have a job and I went every week for like four weeks and every time I went to a race track people would say, 'Oh man you need to be in a race car. You're too good of a driver not to have a ride.' Well, you just get tired of hearing that stuff."

Traditional three wide racing at Talladega as Jeff Burton, Ricky Rudd and Kevin Lepage are battling it out in turn four.
Photo by Autostock.
Lepage, who has gained a much more successful resume in the Busch series, scoring two wins and four poles, still has his heart set on Winston Cup racing. So much so that he rented an engine from Robert Yates Racing and is spending money out of his own pocket to be at Lowe's Motor Speedway this weekend.

"I figured since I had two Cup cars," said Lepage. "And this place is so close to home that we would try our own effort this weekend. We came out yesterday and qualified 27th and that was a conservative lap.

"All we have is the one race car and I had one shot at it, so it's not like 'OK, get up on the steering wheel and go for the pole ,' It was more, 'Let's go for a top 36 spot' and that's what we did."

Despite qualifying higher up in the pecking order than many multi-car, million-dollar teams, Lepage was dead last in this morning's practice charting a speed of only 170.519 mph, some nine miles off the top speed of the Joe Gibbs No. 18 Chevy of Bobby Labonte.

Yet Lepage is determined not to get discouraged and find a way to return to the elite racing series that he loves.

"If you've got heart and you've got desire and you've got will power, you can get the job done," commented Lepage.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Bobby Labonte , Kevin Lepage , Robert Yates
Teams Yates Racing