Camping World East series driver Alan Tardiff didn’t follow a normal progression in auto racing.
“I began racing go-karts when I was a kid and then went right to Pro Stocks [at Scarborough’s Beech Ridge Motor Speedway],” grinned Tariff, a native of Lyman and a graduate of Waterboro’s Massabesic High School.
He raced Pro Stocks for six years and was the Pro All-Stars Series Super Late Model North division rookie of the year in 2006.
Prior to last season, he hooked up with Saco’s Archie St. Hilaire.
“[Team owner] Archie St. Hilaire wanted to race in the Camping World series and so did I,” said Tardiff, a former two-time go-kart Triple Crown series champion.
They ran four races a year ago and his best finish was a pair of 17ths.
“We struggled a little. We didn’t have the resources,” explained Tardiff.
This year the team has more resources, including all-purpose mechanic and car builder Buddy Desrocher, and the results have been dramatic.
Tardiff ran four of the five races entering Friday’s Heluva’ Good Summer 125 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and had three top-10 finishes. He had a third, a sixth and a ninth.
The team didn’t have a road course car so they didn’t run the race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.).
“We were running fourth in points and after we missed the Watkins Glen race we were 12th,” said Tardiff.
Tardiff said having Desrocher on board has been pivotal to their success. Tardiff did a lot of work on the race car last season but having Desrocher with him has made life a little easier.
“I can concentrate more on my driving and I feel I’ve become a better driver,” said Tardiff.
The 24-year-old said he has been “real happy” with their season to date and is hoping they can continue to run well. They expect to run the rest of the 11-race series with the possible exception of the road course event at Lime Rock Park (Conn.) on Aug. 15.
He wants to go as far as he can in racing and knows this series can be a valuable ally.
“You get a lot of exposure in this series. There are a lot of [Sprint Cup] development teams so there are a lot of eyes around the track,” said Tardiff.
He said he also intends to run some PASS North and South SLM races.
The team is sponsored by Bestway Disposal from Belmont, N.H. and PBI Waste in Old Orchard Beach.
Mainers lend a helping hand
Steuben natives Brenton and Wayne Parritt, Chad Dorr and Wayne’s son Wayne Jr. were helping out the teams of Kevin Swindell and Patrick Long in the Heluva Good Summer 125 Camping World East series race Friday.
Those two cars are owned by Dave Davis.
The Parritts have been long-time racers at Hermon’s Speedway 95 but Brenton is running at Wiscasset Raceway this summer.
Brenton Parritt explained they come to New Hampshire Motor Speedway every year to do whatever they can to aid either the Andy Santerre Motorsports Team or Davis.
“It’s fun. We look forward to it every year. Today we were gas luggers,” said Brenton Parritt.
The quartet pulled the rig carrying the containers of racing fuel.
“It’s something different,” said Dorr who was instrumental in landing the deal for the four of them.
“There’s a little bit of knowledge around here and you can learn something,” grinned Wayne Parritt Sr.
Davis put them up in a hotel and fed them for their efforts.
Their drivers had a good day.
Swindell finished third and Long was ninth.
Pit strategy a key at NHMS
Kurt Busch shed some light on the fact there have been eight different Sprint Cup winners in the last eight races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
“You can say that the new car [Car of Tomorrow] has added a different twist because we continually come back to the racetracks that we’ve seen before with completely different setups and that will create different winners and a trend such as that.
“This racetrack has a lot to do with pit strategy. Once you get towards the end of the race, you want to pit and stay out as long as you can and, sometimes, guys who haven’t been running well all day will stay out and try to stretch their fuel and they end up having track position. Timely yellows come out, and so it creates a road-course-type atmosphere where you pit as soon as you can make it to the end and then stay out and hang on,” said Busch in a press release during an open interview Friday conducted by Dodge Motorsports.