Tardiff opens new season with strong run at Oxford
Tone set for 2019 as TMR Racing goes touring
OXFORD, Maine (Apr. 30, 2019) — After a late-season snowfall forced Pro All Stars Series (PASS) officials to delay their second race of 2019 by two weeks, the sun broke out on Sunday as TMR Racing driver Alan Tardiff drove to a solid eighth-place finish in the Honey Badger Bar & Grill 150.
Tardiff started 19th on the 33-car grid and steadily wheeled the iRacing/Earnest Performance Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 up into contention. By halfway, the No. 9 entry was inside the top 10 and had a car capable of moving forward. Hard work during the off-season improved the car’s handling.
“At the beginning of the race, the car felt really strong,” Tardiff said. “We were being patient trying to get ourselves into position, but there wasn’t much of an outside groove. I tried to keep myself as an odd number for the restarts. It worked out, and we kept good track position for most of the race.”
A minor incident just after the halfway mark hampered the car’s performance in the closing laps.
“At around lap 80 or so, I had a car cut down across my nose and it knocked the toe in. From that point on, the car got really tight in the center. We were still fast overall, and I drove up to sixth when a caution flew and we slid back to eighth. It was a great start for us, now we improve from here.”
Sunday’s PASS 150 kicked off a new program for Tardiff and his TMR Racing squad. This year the team will shift from weekly racing at historic Oxford Plains Speedway to running a majority of the PASS North series events. It’s a logical step for the 2017 OPS SLM champion, and he’s ready for it.
The decision to go from weekly racing at Oxford Plains to a busy touring series this year was not taken lightly. For Tardiff, the timing felt right and says his team can adapt to the challenge.
“Last year was our second straight season of racing every week here,” Tardiff explained. “We kind of wanted to have a weekend off here and there to work on the car instead of the weekly grind. With a little girl in the family now, I want to spend as much time with her as I can.”
Family demands have altered the plans of racers for generations, and will continue to do so as long as the sport exists. Tardiff’s priorities are in lined up properly, yet his love for racing is still deep.
“The touring schedule just fit us a little better for this year,” Tardiff added. “To be able to get to different tracks, have a few more weeks off in between and run the longer races is a little more fun to me. They fit my driving style more, I can focus on tire management. With our new sponsor iRacing on board, a couple of other new partners and a fast car, I think it’s going to be a great year.”
TMR Racing is owned by Rick Lockwood, a real estate developer who resides in Gorham, Maine. Tom Nason is also a part of the team, and brings years of racing experience to the table. Alan’s father, Marc, is very active in the shop and on race day, as are a handful of dedicated crew members.
It’s a tight-knit organization who’s members share a common goal of winning races, and having fun doing it. TMR Racing and the PASS North series return to action on Saturday, May 11, at Star Speedway in Epping, New Hampshire, for 150 laps on the tight 1/4-mile oval known for excitement.