Dave Farrington Jr. of Jay would love to be a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver.

It has been his dream since he first climbed into a go-kart at St. Albans when he was 7 years old.

But Farrington, the defending Beech Ridge Motor Speedway Pro (stocks) points champion, is much more than a stock car driver.

The 23-year-old, who earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Maine in 2013, works at Bath Iron Works as a project manager. He commuted once or twice per week for 15 weeks from Bath to Orono — 244 miles round trip — last semester working toward his master’s degree in business.

Farrington took a significant step toward realizing his dream when he landed one of seven spots in the inaugural Alan Kulwicki Driver Development Program. It was developed by Kulwicki’s family to help drivers advance and to keep alive the memory and legacy of 1992 Winston Cup (now Sprint Cup) points champion Alan Kulwicki.

Drivers from across North America applied, 15 finalists were chosen and the winners were interviewed and chosen by the seven-member KDDP board.

Each was given $7,777 to put toward his racing expenses.They also will compete for the Kulwicki Cup for a winner’s check of $54,439 (seven times $7,777).

Kulwicki drove the No. 7 car during his NASCAR days. He died in a plane crash in 1993 at age 38.

The organization will assist the drivers by helping them with publicity, marketing, sponsorship development and industry networking. They will be judged on their on-track results, their off-track engagements with fans and social media and their community involvement.

The winner will be announced in November.

Farrington said the extensive social media aspect of the program has introduced him to Twitter.

“You need to keep (the organization) in the loop. They need to see how you’re doing on the track, what’s going on with your community involvement and how you’re interacting with the fans,” Farrington, who considers it a great honor and is hoping to make the most of it, explained.

“It has brought me a lot more exposure. The people I see at the track all know about Alan Kulwicki,” Farrington said.

“My father (Dave Farrington Sr.) was a big fan of his. We have a big poster of him in our race shop. We have lot in common. He was an engineer (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and he also had a low-budget team like we have,” Farrington said.

Farrington also drives for his own family owned and operated team. His crew comprises his family and friends from the Jay-Livermore Falls area.

Farrington was a three-sport athlete at Jay High School and was a football captain his senior year, playing middle linebacker.

It was his favorite sport, “but school always came first,” Farrington said.

His baptism into stock car racing came seven years ago, when he jumped into a Pro Stock car at Wiscasset Speedway.

“The car was older than I was,” said Farrington, who was 16 at the time. “It wasn’t the best of equipment, but I got experience and exposure.”

He moved on to Oxford Plains Speedway, and last season he made his debut at Beech Ridge as a weekly Pro Stock points racer. He had raced there before but not for points.

Farrington captured the points title, despite not winning a race.

“I had four seconds and nine top-fives among 14 races,” Farrington, who finished the season with eight straight top-fives after replacing his motor, said.

Beech Ridge owner Andy Cusack said Farrington made a positive first impression last season and was well-received by the other drivers. He said you don’t often see a driver win a points championship in his first season.

“He was consistent,” Cusack said. “He is articulate, and he hardly ever put a scratch on his car. He was calm, quiet and consistent.”

Cusack pointed out that if something was unfolding around him, Farrington had the wherewithal to slow down and try to maneuver around the wreck instead of try to drive through it.

Farrington didn’t notch his first victory until 2013, when he took the checkered flag three times.

He won Late Model races at Wiscasset and the Waterford Speedbowl in Connecticut and a Super Late Model feature at Lee USA Speedway in New Hampshire.

This season didn’t get off to a good start as his best finish in three Pro All-Stars Series Super Late Model North races and an American-Canadian Tour Late Model feature was 13th. Car troubles were at the root of the problem.

“I was running in the top five at Beech Ridge (earlier this month,) but my clutch was slipping and it cost us,” Farrington said.

But he won last Sunday’s Coastal 200 at Wiscasset Speedway and is hoping that will jump-start his season.

He finished ninth in his first Beech Ridge Motor Speedway race of the season and is focused on defending his title.

“We’re going to do all we can to defend it,” Farrington said. “It’s going to be tough. We have some work to do. We didn’t get the job done last week.”

In addition to running weekly at Beech Ridge, he will also run more PASS SLM races. He owns a Super Late Model Chevy and a Late Model Ford.

He probably will run in the vicinity of 25 races this season.

Farrington has qualified for the Oxford 250 four times and has a best finish of sixth in 2012.

He knows the Kulwicki program may provide him with “my last opportunity to leave Maine to do something I’ve always wanted to do.

“I’ve always wanted to make racing my life,” said Farrington, who acknowledged he could use his engineering background to work in that aspect of the sport in a race shop. “But I want to try to make it as a driver first.”

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