Recent Dirt Classic winner Justin Peck returns to Trophy Cup next month

Justin Peck To Return To Trophy Cup

By Ron Rodda

Lincoln, CA…One of several cars entered for the Abreu Vineyards 27th Trophy Cup Presented By Rudeen Racing that was lacking a driver has named Justin Peck as the choice to chase the $200,000 purse next month.

Peck’s appearance at the three day event on October 21-23 will be his second time in Tulare, driving the F and F Racing X1 winged 360 sprint this time after a less than successful venture in 2018.

In 2018 Peck drove the Clayton Snow car and he summarized that year’s effort by noting, “We didn’t do worth a crap. I got upside down two nights in a row, we blew a motor, so it didn’t go good.”

Having difficulties the first time at a Trophy Cup is not unusual as numerous drivers, particularly ones from out of state who may never had tested the high banks in Tulare, find it a challenging time at the fairgrounds 3/8 mile. Eventually each night will see the fastest line become the top where an unforgiving wall is waiting for those who jump the cushion.

Peck appreciates the tough format by saying, “It’s pretty cool, it’s a unique deal. I thought it was a cool experience, first of all it’s all for charity, and the format makes you race every time you are on the track. If you want to win, you have to race hard.”

Racing for a team he has never met is not a concern for Peck.

“Everything I have heard about the team is that they are good people, they have really good equipment, and treat their guys well and I thought that was huge. It doesn’t hurt to see they win all the time with Forsberg and I know he is a good driver. When someone like that is in it, you know its got to be good stuff.”

This year Peck has been racing the All-Star Circuit of Champions full time and is second in wins to Tyler Courtney and is second in owner points. Other than All-Stars the team is racing all the big events and Peck has collected another trio of wins in those races. Despite numerous cancellations, the team is still in the mid-80s for number of races this year.

Peck is in racing because his father and uncle raced, When he was old enough, he raced quarter midgets, some engines built by his grandfather. Lots of wins in quarter midgets led to racing micros, then midgets, some pavement racing, and eventually he decided to concentrate on winged sprint cars.
At age 21 Peck became a full-time sprint car driver. Besides talent, it takes a car owner and Peck notes he was lucky to have that. “I was fortunate enough to drive for good car owners,” Peck explained. “This year I got hooked up with John Buch in the 13 car and we set out to go for an All-Star championship this year.”
Having raced only 410s this year, an adjustment is in order at the Trophy Cup when its a 360 providing the power. Peck figures it takes longer in a 360 to get momentum built back up after a mistake.

He is looking forward to the trip to California and fans can expect to see a much different result for the 23-year-old driver from Monrovia, IN than was experienced in 2018.

Image courtesy of Tim Holland