Feese Gets His Chance With The Outlaws 19 Year-old to drive Verdelli Farms ...
Feese Gets His Chance With The Outlaws
19 Year-old to drive Verdelli Farms #28 For Next Three Weeks
SAYBROOK, IL - Blake Feese has been waiting for a call to the World of Outlaws for as long as he can remember. On Monday, the 19 year-old got the phone call he'd always wanted to hear. Someone wanted him to drive their car with the Pennzoil World of Outlaws. Brian Paulus made the call as he continues to recover from cartilage damage in his left hand suffered at Bristol Motor Speedway on June 9. Feese will pilot the Verdelli Farms #28 Maxim this weekend at Williams Grove Speedway, next weekend at Eldora Speedway for the Historical Big One and possibly the Amoco Ultimate Knoxville Nationals.
"It's like a dream come true," said Feese, who make his Williams Grove debut in the P and P Motorsports #28 Thursday. "I've never driven equipment this good and it's really a great opportunity. I can't thank Dawne Pender and Brian Paulus enough for giving me this chance. It's definitely going to be tough starting at the Grove and following that up at two of the biggest races of the year. We're just hoping to do the best we can and make a good showing for Verdelli Farms and Arnold Transportation."
Feese, who is in his third season in a 410 sprint car, made a name for himself at the East Bay Raceway in the annual Winternationals by running a solid second for the most of the second preliminary race. His success in Florida led car-owner Kenny Mulligan to bring his #3 to the Channellock Challenge where Feese put on another impressive performance. In the preliminary program, he won his heat race and finished third in the Channellock Dash. He recorded his first career top-ten finish in the 30-lap race as he came home ninth. The following night he qualified for the "A" Feature, and his time on the super-fast Bristol track helped make this opportunity become a reality.
"Bristol was a big confidence builder for me," said Feese. "Now if we can go out and qualifying well and take it race by race from the heats onto whatever comes next. Whether it's a "B" Feature or the Channellock Dash, we'll try to take these races one at a time and see what we can do. It's hard to look at this as just a six or seven race deal, when I know what kind of impact it may have on my career. "
Paulus, who ironically was hurt at the same event where Feese gained recognition, had been approached by many people, but wanted to give a "young gun" a shot with the Outlaws.
"Several names were tossed out there, and I guess part of the reason we got into racing was to help Brian," said Dawne Pender. "I got into to racing to help young guys that can't afford to do it on their own. That's why we got into sprint car racing eight years ago, and Brian reminded me of that when we were looking to find a driver. We're going to give a Blake a chance to see what he can do. We're not a high pressure team, and our sponsors have been very patience with us."
Pender explained that Feese will drive the car until Paulus can return to the driver's seat. Whether that's before or after the Knoxville Nationals, the team is unsure. What they are sure of is that the "famous Salad Car" will return at the Nationals with a little brighter look.