By Bob Sutton
Special to The Alamance News
Burlington stock car driver Tony Edward has been tabbed to compete in the final two Automobile Racing Club of America competitions of the season based on a connection made following a recent race.
The ARCA series would mark a substantial upgrade for the veteran driver.
“I’ve got about 60 days to pull everything together,” Edward said. “Having a team to race for is the first hurdle and we have that. Now we need the funding.”
Edward said that Roger Carter, a team car owner with part-time entries in the ARCA Menards Series, reached out to him. Based on Edward’s race performance last month at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, a connection was made between Edward and Carter.
Edward and his son, Rusty Edward, are co-owners of Burlington-based Dark Horse Racing.
The potential ARCA races for Edward come September 30 at Salem Speedway in Indiana and October 7 at Toledo Speedway in Ohio.
“The goal right now is to get the funding together for the two ARCA races because this is a huge opportunity,” Edward said.
Edward said the June 10 race at Orange County Speedway turned out rewarding because Carter became aware of the performance. The situation unfolded in somewhat unusual fashion as Edward chose to skip qualifying because the temperatures were so hot that day. That put him at the back of the field for the race.
He passed about half of the drivers. “We flew through the field,” he said.
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Edward, a 57-year-old paramedic, resumed his racing pursuits a few years ago amid some life changes.
“This opportunity to jump into ARCA is huge for us,” he said. “To see how far we’ve come in a short amount of time is just amazing. In three years what we’ve been through and what we’ve accomplished is nothing short of a miracle.”
Other changes are in the works for Dark Horse Racing. The team will have cars entered Saturday night at Orange County Speedway.
Last month, Dark Horse Racing announced a partnership with Penny Racing for this season and next year. Edward said this relationship means Thomas Carpenter of Penny Racing will offer his expertise in car set-up, particularly how it pertains to Orange County Speedway.
Carpenter handled the set-up for Edward’s entry in last summer’s “Racetrack Revival” at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Now, there’s a more formal alliance.
Already, the Dark Horse Racing team converted its Ford Mustang to the Mod 4 division from Mini Stocks. The team’s Honda Prelude, normally driven by Rusty Edward, is staying in Mini Stocks for now.
Those cars were going to be converted for the Sports Car Club of America endeavors. Edward said those changes were deemed too costly.
The team remains in SCCA’s Summit Road Racing Series with its Mazda RX-7. That’s an endeavor that began this year, with races once or twice a month.
“We’ll hit select races the rest of this year,” Edward said. “You go all over the Southeast for those.”