It hurts me to say that in 2015 I will not be returning to compete in the Big 8 division at Elko Speedway. The dream of racing in one of the top divisions in the Midwest lasted about 3/4 of a season, as I experienced engine issues with about 5 race nights remaining last season. We were unable to rebound from that problem, as it has stuck with us since. This was an extremely difficult decision to make, but it all kind of became a domino effect… and it had to be made.
Did I get in over my head? Yes.
A lot of people were probably shocked last year when they saw that my brother and I had purchased a late model. We thought we were ready for it. We were sadly mistaken. I know a few people who think they could make the jump like I did, they also think they could do a better job than I did. That might be so, but I suggest that you stay where you are until you can win every single time you pull out on the track.
You don’t realize how much time, effort, and money go into a late model just to get the car to the track. It is not like a bomber… You can't just go home after the races and leave the car on the trailer. The work is endless… that is if you want to be fast. I was not prepared for that and didn’t think it through.
I invested a lot of money into this past season at Elko Speedway, to much to be exact. Paying $40 to get in, $200 each night for gas and at least one tire, and you can't forget about the fuel to haul the trailer out to the track each week. You have about $300 invested in racing each Saturday night, for what? A pay out of $75 to start? Since that $300 is just the bare minimum… That ain't enough money to be competitive, I forgot about that. That was enough money to just start a race and finish last. That wasn’t fun. I forgot what fun was at the race track.
I had fun at Raceway Park racing in the bomber division and winning races. Last year was miserable to say the least. The season started out good, even though we were still slow and learning about the car. We had a great crew, I had my brother Max, Tyler Wood, and Tony Hallberg helping me out for the first few weeks of the season. But the help ran out… Guys get burnt out when your best finish comes week two (11th) and then you finish worse and worse every week. Tyler went on to work every single Saturday at his hospital. I owe Tyler so much, as that kid busted his ass for me. Always the first one to the car after I pulled in the pits and was even my spotter for the first few weeks. Thank you Tyler. Tony went on to help a good friend I gained over the course of the season in Bryan Wrolstad. Can't thank Tony enough for everything, guy was willing to lay underneath that car in 90 degrees and fix whatever needed fixing. Without him who knows if we would have even raced those first couple weeks.
That left Max and I… Now for all you people out there who think its possible for you and one other person to run a late model you are wrong. Max did everything he possibly could, from spotting, setting the bar, tire pressures and even measuring tires the moment I pulled in. He did it all by himself… and it was a struggle. But he never gave up, he kept busting his ass hoping for a better finish each night.
With just Max and I we finally started running a little bit quicker thanks to the help of Jacob Goede. Jacob came over and helped set up the car. It helped a bunch, and he even offered to come out one night and help us at practice. Jacob and his brother Matt spent nearly 3 hours on a Thursday night helping us. Thank you so much. There help made us quick enough to keep up with pack at first… but when you keep up with the pack then you better be quick enough to run with them. Our best runs were wrecked multiple times… part of that division. You better go or you better get out of the way.
I remember one night is specific we came to about 5 laps to go and we were still running in the top 5, side by side with a guy for about 4 or 5 laps when he finally go impatient and just decided to run me right up into the front straight wall. Max came on the radio and said, " Don't be afraid to get under his ass going into one… that was bullshit." I wanted to do that so badly but I had enough respect to stay off of him.
That's one of the things that I will remember, how hard Max worked and I never gave him the finish he deserved. I am sorry for that Max. I tried my hardest and I let you down.
We had some help through out the remainder of the season from my friend Robbie Goebel. It was always great to have an extra hand at the track. He made it possible to race the remainder of our season. We had other help ranging from Curly, Kelcie, Adam, Tom, and Slim through out the year. They were responsible for a lot of stuff at the shop. I also had a ton of help from my dad, he supported me any way possible. Dad has always allowed us to store the car in his shop, use his tools, and even use his trailer when he wasn't racing. Thanks Dad.
I also have to thank my Mom, Grandparents (both sets), Sister, and Pete for the support each and every week. With out you guys cheering me on each week who knows if I would have been able to keep myself motivated.
I must thank all of my sponsors for the support last season. With out the Joey Logano Foundation, Pirtek, Bellatoria Pizza, Scoreboard Bar & Grill, Champion, leasTRANS, Tonka Auto Center, Tire Town, Schatz Realty, and Wrap City Graphics I would not have been able to compete. Thank you all so much.
The only down fall from this is that most of my sponsors will not be returning in 2015. I apologize for the poor results. Believe it or not your sponsors pay attention to how you run, that is the truth. I put up solid results in 2013, but they were not good enough in 2014 to continue a partnership with me. This will not stop me however as I will continue to fight in 2015.
Finally I can't thank all of my fans enough for their support, I know that I had a very disappointing season last year and I am sorry for that.
Maybe one day I will make my return to the Big 8 Series.... You never know.
I can promise you that in 2015 Prusak Racing will be back and better than ever. Just watch.