Darlington, SC (March 15)- NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division driver Lyndon Amick looks pretty good for a man about to hit the big "five-oh." No, the South Carolina native is nowhere near his 50th birthday, but he is about to ...
Darlington, SC (March 15)- NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division driver Lyndon Amick looks pretty good for a man about to hit the big "five-oh."
No, the South Carolina native is nowhere near his 50th birthday, but he is about to celebrate 50, nonetheless. Amick, the 22-year old pilot of the No. 35 Powertel / Mitsubishi Wireless Chevy Monte Carlo plans to drive in his 50th NASCAR Busch Series event at this Saturday's SunCom 200 at Darlington Raceway.
Competing in his first full season on the Busch Series tour after three years of running limited schedules, Amick seems somewhat unimpressed when he is told of his achievement. He is quick to point out that the landmark indicates more of a steady ascent than a meteoric rise.
"It's a milestone, I guess," Amick says of the occasion. "I haven't really given it much thought, especially when you compare it to some of these guys like (Mike) McLaughlin and (Todd) Bodine, who've got four times that many starts. I'm definitely not planning anything special, but a party in Victory Lane when it's over would be nice."
The likelihood of such a celebration could be heightened by the presence in Amick's corner of a family whose name is synonymous with Darlington Raceway.Team Amick Crew Chief Ricky Pearson is the middle son of NASCAR legend David Pearson, a man who made 10 trips to Victory Lane at the track "Too Tough To Tame."
While he can't lay claim to as many wins as his dad, Ricky Pearson has also tasted success at Darlington, leading driver Robert Pressley to consecutive wins here in 1992 and 1993.
Joining Team Amick during the off-season, Pearson and Amick have quickly developed a close relationship both on and off the track. Amick says that he completely trusts the instincts of Pearson, who has been a crew chief in the sport of NASCAR since Amick was still riding a tricycle.
"I've never shared a closer bond with a crew chief than I have with Ricky. Maybe the fact that both of us are from South Carolina has something to do with it," Amick says of his relationship with Pearson. "When I tell him how the car feels to me, he listens, and when he tells me what he thinks we ought to do to make the car better, that's what we end up doing. It's the kind of situation every driver dreams of."
Of Amick, Pearson says, "He's a talented driver. I knew that from the first race I worked with him. I'm enjoying the opportunity of sharing what I've learned in my years in this sport with someone on his way up. He's a fast learner, and he can drive a car when it's loose or it's tight. That's the mark of a good driver."
In addition to the experience he will share with Amick, Pearson says he plans to ask his famous father to share a few tips with his young driver before qualifying on Friday afternoon.
"I'll definitely get him to sit down and talk with Lyndon," says Pearson. "Dad's learned a few tricks on how to get around this place, and you've got to use whatever advantages you've got at a track that's as unpredictable as this one."
Amick says he welcomes the chance to learn from one of legends of the sport, especially at "The Lady In Black," a track that holds a special place in his heart.
"Growing up in South Carolina, I've always dreamed of winning a race at this place," Amick reminisces. "This track has so much history and heritage, it would be really special to score my first Busch win here, especially with the Pearson family helping me get there."