|Sanborn is ready for Hickory|
"We tested at Hickory a few weeks ago, and the car felt awesome," said Sanborn. "Tony (Blanchard - RACE 101 founder and team owner) wanted to test at Southern National, and that's when we noticed something was missing."
The handling at Southern National wasn't what the team was looking for, so they packed up and returned to the shop. In typical Blanchard fashion the car was cut apart and tweaked. "Sometimes you don't get the best idea of what you're working with at Hickory because of the nature of the surface," said Blanchard. "Southern National is much faster and smoother, and I saw areas where we could make improvements."
Less than a week later, the team returned to Hickory for more testing, and the results were mind-blowing for the driver. "The changes we made were minor, but we had to cut the front end apart to make them," said Sanborn. "It's a totally different car. That thing is bad fast."
With just more than a week remaining until the Easter Bunny 150 Pro All-Star Series race, it's clear that Blanchard is feeling revitalized. "The last few years have been about helping young racers learn," said Blanchard. "We created the RACE 101 school, and I'm very proud of what we have accomplished.
"It's time to go and contend to win races again, and we plan on starting next weekend."
The customized RACE 101 Howe chassis will feature Pave-Tek as a partner on the quarter panels, but Sanborn is equally as passionate about a smaller decal the team will run.
"I really appreciate Bill Stilphin and Pave Tek for the support they're showing," said Sanborn. "I want to bring Bill to Victory Lane, along with the SaveSpeed4TheTrack organization. This is a cause I feel passionate about. I've had people close to me get hurt and even die from accidents that could have been prevented. This cause promotes kids getting involved in racing the right way."
SaveSpeed4theTrack.org is the website, and the organization's mandate is connecting youth with local speedways and racing teams to inform them how they can fill their need for speed the right way - on the race track, and away from the streets.
The Easter Bunny 150 is the first of seven races the RACE 101 team has planned for this season. Sanborn will race in four events before he hands the reigns to Canadian dirt racer Luke Whitteker.
Whitteker graduated from the RACE 101 program, along with Sanborn. After being named Premier Driver in the program, Whitteker earned the opportunity to race the house car. Sanborn was hired this winter to work in the RACE 101 shop and also drive the house car when the opportunity arises. To learn more about the program, visit www.RACE101.net.
Sanborn and Whitteker aren't the only two graduates who will stay on to represent the program officially in 2012. Daniel 'the Hammer' Alvarez was too valuable to lose after graduating the program this winter, so the team brought him back, as well. The South Carolina teenager was recently hired to handle public relations duties.
"The Hammer is a natural when it comes to the media and public speaking," said RACE 101 marketing instructor Adam Ross. "We know his first priority is his racing career, but while he works towards his next driving opportunity we want him to help us build our brand. Daniel believes in what we're doing, and he has a magnetic charm that we want to include on our race team."
"I'm excited to work with RACE 101," said Alvarez. "I've never seen everyone so focused on winning. Trevor Sanborn is going to be fast at Hickory, and my job is to keep our fans informed."
Alvarez created a new Twitter account where people can stay up to speed with the team. "Our friends and fans can follow us on Twitter @RACE101DotNet to keep up with all the action," said Alvarez. "We'll be posting updates on a regular basis, but I plan on working even harder during race weekend. I can't wait."
Alvarez will accompany the team to Hickory Motor Speedway next week for the Easter Bunny 150. Blanchard says the time to shine is now, and the pieces are coming together nicely. Fans can stay informed by visiting www.race101.net. For interview requests, or for any information not found on the website please send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.