JAY — It wasn’t that long ago when a young man from Franklin County was tearing up karting tracks up and down the Eastern seaboard, and even out into parts of the Midwest.

After several record-setting seasons in karts, Jay native Dave Farrington Jr. jumped directly into a Pro Stock in 2008, and thus began a journey which took him from Wiscasset to Oxford, on stints with the Vermont-based ACT tour, and eventually to the NASCAR-sanctioned Beech Ridge Motor Speedway.

For 2014, his seventh year in a full-sized stock car, full-time efforts at The Ridge have produced an ultra-consistent performance in their premier Pro Series class. Farrington, now 22, is leading the point standings by 36 markers over Maine short track icon Kelly Moore with just four races remaining.

“I think the reason we’ve been this consistent all season is how well the car is maintained,” Farrington said. “Doing the proper preventative maintenance required week after week is crucial. On good weeks when nothing gets wrecked, you’re still looking at 25-30 hours a week to go over the car. And when things go wrong, you might work 50 or 60 hours to get it fixed. It requires a lot of time and effort.”

It seems as if the one common denominator in every successful race team is that dedication to what goes into the program between races. A lot of fans think after the races are over, the cars get loaded into the trailers and don’t come out again until next week. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“I think another big reason we’ve been able to perform as well as we have this year is the fact I’ve been able to enjoy some time off from work and focus my efforts 100% at the shop,” Farrington said. “That attention to the car has paid off.”

In 12 starts this season, Farrington has finished inside the top 10 on 11 occasions, with six top fives. With four runner-up finishes in that span yet no victory, frustration has been building. Yet Farrington isn’t letting it get him down, nor is he allowing any late-season pressure to affect his priorities. 

“It’s been tough starting out back and having to pass the same cars every week,” he said. “You face the same handicap system each week; high point drivers start the feature out back. Eventually, you just run out of time trying to get to the front. I’m getting up on the wheel these last few races, including on the restarts. We’ll get our chance in Victory Lane if we just keep doing the things we’ve been doing.”

Farrington’s career began at the age of seven and has taken him across a good part of the country. He ran karts for nine years, winning a feature his first time out. He ended up with 276 feature wins before he was done. In 2008, he made that big step from a kart to a Pro Stock at Wiscasset.

After settling into a weekly rhythm in Scarborough, Farrington has developed a routine he’s come to love. After traveling around the northeast racing in select events, this routine has had its advantages.

“When you race against the same drivers every week, it gives you the opportunity to learn their habits,” Farrington said. “Unlike when you bounce around from track to track, you can study your rivals. It really helps as the season unfolds.

“This year, we weren’t really sure if we would even pursue points. Yet we kept finishing in the top 10, so we decided to go for it. Then we blew an engine on July 1st, and that became a pivotal night in this unplanned championship drive.”

When he needed it most, a rival driver’s father offered Farrington the use of a backup car. And while he didn’t exactly excel with it, he was able to race and at least accrue some points. It was a kind gesture he won’t ever forget.

“I never even really knew him, but I approached Reid Lanpher’s father, Scott, and he ended up loaning us Reid’s backup car for the night. We only finished 11th with it, our worst finish all season, but it was better than no points at all. I can’t thank Scott enough for that, it was a very kind thing to do.”

In a fine example of good Karma, Lanpher won the feature that night.

Scott Lanpher is just one of many individuals that have made this unforgettable season special for Farrington.

“My father has been dealing with a back injury all year,” he said. “He’s scheduled for surgery sometime at the end of this month. It’s been pretty hard on him; he hasn’t been able to do all the things he’s used to doing, and hasn’t always been in the best of moods as he deals with this pain.

“I need to thank him for all he’s invested in this team, and all he endures as we move forward. I couldn’t do this without him, and I hope the success we’ve enjoyed this year helps to ease his pain.”

Farrington also credits his two uncles (Jeff and Earle) and other key supporters for making 2014 so special. 

“I simply couldn’t do this without support from folks like Hilltop Collision Center in Jay; Captured Memories Taxidermy; SIB Enterprises/Wood Pellet Warehouse; and my brother, who owns Fourth Generation Logging and Firewood. He helped us a lot when we ran the 250 this year, and we really appreciate it. 

“None of this has come easy; but thanks to my dad, uncles, brother, Mr. Lanpher, and support from sponsors and fans, we’ve enjoyed a great season. Now we’ll focus on these last few races and give it our best shot. It’s all we can do.” 

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.