Interviews

Chris Allard Off to Solid Rookie Season at Sunset Speedway

chrisallard3Starting from the night after his birth, Chris Allard started going to the race track, watching his dad from the grandstands. It sparked an interest in racing that grew into him crewing for a couple drivers.

Though this season, he took it to a new level as he jumped behind the wheel of his own stock car. Now into the fourth month of his rookie season, he currently sits fourth in points with five top-five and seven top-10 finishes under his belt.

“It’s fun,” he commented. “There’s a lot of good talent in your class. You just need to keep your nose clean and keep running hard.”

In the midst of those strong runs, there have been some frustrating nights with mechanical issues, but also some very spectacular nights.

Earlier this season on July 4, the pieces came together for the driver of the No. 76 Gravel Ridge Engraving, Absolute Automotive Specialties, Georgian Chevrolet Buick GMC, and Morley Photography entry as he was able to take the lead on the opening lap, leading the rest of the way despite a strong charge from Rick Drinkwater in the final laps.

“It was unreal just to watch the smile on everyone’s faces that have worked so hard on the car,” Allard said of his first victory. “Priceless – it wasn’t priceless, but priceless at the same time. Couldn’t have a better feeling in the world.”

This past weekend, he was able to make his second trip to victory lane after taking the lead once again in the early laps and this time, holding off current division points leader Treyten Lapcevich for the victory.

“Treyten is outstanding and just walking in the same shoes as (defending super stock champion and older brother) Cayden,” Allard said of his fellow competitor.

Through the highs and lows, there have been many lessons learnt, with the biggest being patience.

“Being patient is key,” he commented. “Throwing a three-wide is stupid. Just be patient and sit there and wait for the stuff to happen, for everything to unfold in front of you.”

He has also seen the benefits of spending the seasons as a crew member as it helped teach car set-up.

“Before I started, I didn’t know what tight was and loose was, and any of that was,” Allard mentioned. “It was just ‘go drive it’ and ‘this is what it is doing’ and pointed to them and they’d tell me the proper words to use. Having a bigger class car to work on is a lot better. Yes, the set-up isn’t the same but you get an idea of what you need to do.”

Now going into the final month and a half of the season, Allard is hoping to keep the consistency going and finish top-five in points.

“If I can keep my nose clean and stay where I am at right now. I’d be happy with that for a rookie year,” he said.

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