INDIANAPOLIS — It’s been a whirlwind week for Monrovia, Ind., young gun Justin Peck.
Not only was he tabbed to fill in for Paul McMahan with Buch Racing in Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions competition, but Peck will also make a surprise USAC Silver Crown Series debut on Sunday night.
The 21-year-old will have a chance to compete in his state’s most historic dirt-track race, the Hoosier Hundred, when he straps in to the DMW Motorsports No. 110 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
“I guess the team had a guy that was ready to drive that car … I don’t know who it was and I don’t know what happened, but for one reason or another they had a driver back out or that couldn’t do it, and they ended up calling (DRC Chassis founder) Joe Devin about the driver,” Peck recalled. “Joe recommended me and that’s kind of how this deal came about. It was pretty quick and a surprise to me, for sure.”
While Peck will be the first to admit that a Silver Crown opportunity “wasn’t on the radar, at all really,” he wasn’t going to pass up the chance to race on the historic Indy dirt mile.
“It’s a race car, man. It’s four wheels on dirt and I’m ready to race anything, anywhere,” Peck noted. “I wouldn’t say that I necessarily was looking for a Silver Crown ride, or out there trying to put my name out there for that kind of a deal, but I’ll take them as I get them. This could go really well, or it could go really bad. We just don’t know until it happens, but like I said, I’m a race car driver and it’s got four wheels on dirt, so I wasn’t not going to give it a go.
“I think we’ll be just fine.”
As a born and bred Hoosier, Peck also nodded to the historic nature of Sunday night’s race and noted that “will definitely be in mind” throughout the day as he takes to the track.
“That’s the coolest part about this whole deal, man,” Peck added. “Getting to run a Silver Crown car is pretty awesome in itself, but getting to do it at the Hoosier Hundred … especially after not knowing if there’d ever be another Hoosier Hundred after last year, it’s pretty special.
“This one’s going to hit close to home, that’s for sure.”
Despite the fact he’s never raced a Silver Crown car, Peck is carrying confidence into the event and thinks he can find a comfort zone in the bigger machines relatively quickly.
“We’re going to send it. It’s just one of those deals, man. It’s just another race, no matter what kind of car you’re getting into,” Peck explained. “You just have to look at it as another race. Obviously, the goal is to win. We’re going for blood. I’m not saying I’m going to go light the world on fire, but I have high hopes for myself. I think we’ll have some speed and run pretty well. It’ll just be about how quick I can adjust to running a big Silver Crown car with 75 or 80 gallons of fuel in the back of it at the start of the race. That’ll be the real trick.
“I think later in the race, it’ll be more similar to a big sprint car on a big track,” Peck added. “I think it’ll fall right in my comfort zone once the fuel burns off.”
As for who he’ll be leaning on for advice going into the race, Peck had a plan in place for that as soon as he got the phone call about the ride.
“Working at Hoosier (Tires), I’ve gotten to know (five-time Silver Crown champion) Kody Swanson pretty well, so I’m hoping I can kind of lean on him and he might give me the insight I need to get up to speed,” Peck said with a chuckle. “I figure there’s nobody better to ask for advice from going into this than him.
“I know he’s busy this weekend but, hopefully, he’ll answer my phone call.”