December 6, 2013- It would be hard to find anyone who hasn’t heard the casual expression ‘close only counts in horseshoes…or hand grenades’. At the end of the 2013 season, Corey Earl discovered that close also counts in the world of short track stock car racing.
After turning in a solid performance throughout the schedule, Earl – who works as Operations Manager at the family business, Hotch’s Auto Parts – was tied for the Pro Late Model track championship with good friend, but bitter racing rival, Charlie Sandercock. The pair agreed to stage a head-to-head match race to determine the title.
Although things didn’t work out in his favour – partially due to a bent shock on the right front of his car – the 28 year old still sees it in a positive light.
“Obviously, I would have preferred a different outcome, but just look at the amount of exposure we were able to generate for the sport and for Brighton Speedway,” offered Earl, who also spent time in Comp 4 and Pro Stock rides before moving to the Late Model division. “Our little 10 lap shootout had everyone talking and win, lose or draw that’s great publicity for everybody. When people are talking about our team, it’s a shot in the arm for our sponsors and that’s why people put their name on the side of the racecar.”
While the final point separation was just a single marker, falling short of clinching crown was a minor blip on what was a highlight reel season for the driver of the #11 machine.
After winning the 2012 track championship, the Prince Edward County speedster occupied the top spot in the point standings for almost two straight years. The recently completed campaign included four feature event victories at Brighton, as well as taking the checkered flag in the Go Nuclear Series finale, staged at Brockville Speedway during the Northeast Fall Nationals.
As competitive as things can get on the racetrack, Earl – who enjoys hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and a variety of outdoor pursuits when not strapped-in behind the wheel – says he’s always amazed at how quickly another driver or team can step up to the plate to help a adversary get back into action. Whether it’s in the form of parts, mechanical or moral support, racers are always ready to pitch in and lend a hand at the track or in the garage.
“Over the years, we’ve all had our share of ups and downs,” said Earl. “When someone is struggling to find the right set-up or needs help to get hooked-up with the fast line around the track, our bunch is prepared to jump in. I’ve always found it was much more satisfying to work through the field and beat another driver on the racetrack than seeing their equipment loaded on the trailer before the end of the night. We’re not racing for millions of dollars out there and the goal will always be to have fun. In a way, it’s just like being on the schoolyard. Everybody deserves the chance to play.”
Earl’s Rocket Chassis machine hits the ground running with a General Motors crate powerplant under the hood and is prepped at the track and behind the scenes by a dedicated crew of friends and family members, including Doug Miller, Tim Jones, ‘Hotch’ Earl, Kristy Mills, Sheila Earl and Cathy Jones. The team owner/driver says he appreciates the help and support he’s received throughout his career.
“Nothing will ever replace hard work and a positive attitude,” said Earl. “You learn something every time you race and you can’t be afraid to push things a little harder at every turn. I’d like to compete as long and as hard as I can and eventually run at a track like Eldora, but there is still some unfinished business – like winning the Great Crate Race – here at Brighton that I need to take care of first.”
Potential sponsors can request a copy of the team’s marketing prospectus by contacting email@example.com.
Prepared by: Jim Clarke, Clarke Motorsports Communications/First Draft Media