Merced Speedway modified stock car champion Bill Egleston will have a different focus when he races in this Sunday’s Delta Series special event.
The Atwater driver is glad to have his most successful racing season behind him as he competes in the big money event.
“I raced for the championship all season long,” Egleston said. “Now that I have it, I’m going to drive a bit differently.”
Racers look to finish consistently week after week to garner enough points to win a championship. The title brings with it a level of accomplishment shared by only a small percentage of racers.
However, when there’s big money on the line a win is more important.
Six years ago, Egleston, who owns his own trucking company, began his racing career spectacularly. He was named Rookie of the Year at Merced Speedway.
“My next goal was to win a championship,” Egleston said. “That took five seasons. Now it’s time to win some big shows.”
The addition of two crew members gave Egleston an edge this season. Shane Munden and Tyler Thomas showed up out of the blue and asked if they could help.
Egleston’s wife, Maria, was his crew member prior to this season.
“She is my biggest supporter,” he said. “I wouldn’t have made it this far without her.”
Maria Egleston can be found working alongside the guys in the pits. The new crew members made her job easier.
“Those two guys made the difference,” Bill Egleston said. “The car is set up to win like never before.”
The Delta Series is a two-day event, beginning Saturday night at Merced’s sister track, Antioch Speedway. On Sunday, a big field of modified stock cars will be on hand for the chance of winning a combined $3,000.
“I’ll be trying to stay out of trouble on the track,” Egleston said. “It is important to finish at Antioch Speedway without any major damage. Then I feel I can be a frontrunner at my home track on Sunday."
The Delta Series will also include the Sport Modified, Hobby Stock, Valley Sportsman and wingless sprint car divisions. All will be racing for extra money in the event.
A full program of qualifying races will take place for each division. Gates will open at 5 p.m. on Sunday, with racing beginning at 6 p.m. Grandstand admission prices will be the same as a regular event. Adults will be admitted for $10, children for $7, and senior citizens for $8. The track will also offer a family four-pack of tickets for $28.
Merced Speedway is located at the Merced County Fairgrounds, 900 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way in Merced.
The 2012 champions list was announced after the final regular season race in August. Merced’s Alex Odishoo is both Rookie of the Year and champion in the Four-Banger division. Andy Welch is the champ in the Sport Modified Division. Merced’s David Coleman topped the hobby stock division, and local businessman Mike Hausmann won the honors in the Valley Sportsman division. Merced Speedway’s only out-of-town champ is legendary Larry Damitz in the Super Street Stock division.