ECMS Champ Now Points Leader In Jacksonville
July 16th, 2008
By Joe Holliday
SCOTLAND NECK - Last year's rookie is now a rookie again.
Originally from Danville, VA, Eric Winslow, now of Scotland Neck, raced go-karts until he moved to cars in 2007.
In the UCAR division last year, Winslow won the championship and "rookie of the year" at Robersonville's East Carolina Motor Speedway, in addition to three wins at Wake County Motor Speedway, all of which were "big money win nights" for the Wake track.
This season, he moved up to the Limited Late Model division and is now racing at Coastal Plains Raceway Park in Jacksonville, where he is currently leading the points.
"We did so good, I wanted to move up to something else," said the Limited Late Model rookie. "Tough as a track as it's supposed to be, we were able to go through it pretty easy."
"We already had a car, from when Ernest (Winslow) raced in 2004 in South Boston," Winslow mentioned. "If I didn't have the car, I probably wouldn't have moved up to something else."
Where Robersonville had six classes last year (and has dropped to five in 2008), Jacksonville has 10 classes.
In the UCAR division at Robersonville, the cars ran 87 mph, with 100 hp engines and street tires. In Jacksonville, the late models run 110 mph, with over 400 hp engines and 10"-thick tires.
"We've gone from the support division to the main event," stated Winslow of his team.
Limited model races at Coastal Plains are 50 laps and aren't held every week, which Winslow says saves gas ($7 per gallon for his racecar), as well as the gas that's burned traveling to Jacksonville.
"Three times a month is nice," he commented, adding that it is especially good with him having a young crew, so "it's not like racing is running your life."
There is an average of 15 cars per race, which Winslow says is "the best field of cars seen in Eastern North Carolina."
He describes the experience as "good, clean racing," with sizable crowds in attendance.
"I've never seen a racetrack where people are as nice as they are (at Coastal Plains)," he mentioned.
There is also a dragway at the raceway park.
As a beginner, Winslow said he was surprised that an unknown racer would be leading the points "against those who have raced for 10 years."
"It's kind of a scary thing," he remarked. "I've never even sat on a pole."
In the six races he's driven so far at Coastal Plains, Winslow has finished in the top five every time, with one exception.
"The first time we unloaded in Jacksonville, I finished third. Next week, I had a good run, then moved up to second. By the third week, we're leading the points," the racer informed.
He now races as Winslow Motorsports and has started his own web site, which is winslowmotorsports.com.
Coastal Plains Raceway Park also maintains its own web site to publicize the track and racers, and posts video on You Tube, as well.
"It's kind of flattering that everybody is behind me," Winslow stated of his crew. "I have family helping, and friends. It's basically a teenager pit crew."
Winslow noted that, for maintenance, "You basically pull half the car apart."
He is pleased that his young crew has taken a great interest in learning about cars. He said they now know how to work on their own vehicles.
"I'm proud at how much they've learned and thankful for their parents letting them come out," he expressed.
His crew consists of: parents Ernest and Sandra Winslow, grandparents Bobby and Sandra Fleming, Buck Jackson (owner of Paragon Insulation, Inc.), Tripp Peele, John Moody, Sarah Gregory Sykes, John Colby Sykes, Crissy VanWinkle, Bryan Everette and Winslow Holt.
Sponsors are: Paragon Insulation Inc. of Greenville, Moody Dozer Works Inc. of Bethel, Stroud Real Estate of Washington, D.C., Sticker Express, Winslow Turf & Tea, and Fleming Paint & Body Shop of Danville, VA.
Winslow said there is one more class up, before the big touring series.
His approach to this season's racing is, "Stay focused. Everything is falling perfectly; maintain it, don't change anything, ride it as long as we can and see how it goes."
Winslow recently got a second car and plans to travel around racing at the end of the year.
"If this keeps going and I get more sponsors, I might go somewhere else next year and get our name out there," stated Winslow.