In light of the many tragedies involving loss of life and serious injury (including the recent fatal accident at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala) which have occurred at racetracks around the country, Jake Perkins a Junior at Belleview High School In Belleview, Florida and a Super Late Model race car driver, and his team, have taken the initiative to start a not for profit corporation which will help educate drivers and promote safety at race tracks around the country. It is Perkins’ hope that through the efforts of this corporation, many of these tragic occurrences will be eliminated. The effort will involve videos, written materials and other media to present the subject matter. Perkins, who has been racing since he was eight, and driving Super Late Models since he was 14, says that proper head and neck restraints and proper seat restraints should be required of all drivers and cars. It is the intent to inform drivers of proper safety measures, and getting race tracks around the country to subscribe to minimum safety standards for cars and drivers, especially those who are just starting in racing.
The team overcame a lot of adversity this week, worked hard on a car that wasn't even close to ready and we came home with a very solid 7th place finish after starting 13th. A mid race trip to the pits and a quick correction made the car a lot more competitive and Jake was able to move up quickly. Thanks to all the guys on the team. We take a week off then we head to Pensacola for round 1 of the Blizzard Series. Thanks again for all of your continued support.
Last Saturday at New Smyrna showed us the tough side of racing and the great side of short track togetherness. On the first lap of practice, we broke a right front spring which put us into the wall. That was the tough side. Having a car with severe damage, we questioned if we could get it back together by race time. What our guys did, coupled with the help of two other teams, got us back on the track in time for the race. Although we started dead last, 100 laps later, we were 16th. One huge thanks to everyone who helped get us back on the track for this race. It was an awesome effort, thank you all very much.
Jake will be appearing at his primary charity's summer event, THE DUCK DERBY at Westside Park in Gainesville on April 13th from 1pm to 4pm. This event is important to CHS and a lot of fun. Come spend time with Jake and the kids.
First and foremost, we send our thoughts and prayers to Niokoa Johnson's family.
After BRP's night was cancelled, the team was able to make it to Volusia just in time for the heat race in which we started 10th and finished 5th. After starting 14th in the 27 car field main event, Jake quickly worked towards the top 10. After getting caught on the inside on a mid race restart, Jake fell back to 12th. By the end of the 25 lap race, Jake was one of the fastest cars on the speedway and worked back up to 8th. Strong night for the team. Thanks to all of our fans, sponsors, and supporters.
Exciting news from the JPM camp, we are moving into a new race shop this weekend and WILL NOT BE AT SHOWTIME. The new digs will give us the space to store all the cars, equipment, etc. and a more central place for our crew to work on the cars. Will have some pictures and more information after the weekend. Again, we will not be racing this weekend but will be at BRP in Ocala next Saturday.....See you there.
Saturday night at Desoto Speedway in Bradenton was another top 5 for Jake and the 59 car. After starting third and moving up to second for about 25 laps, and actually moving into first on a restart that was aborted due to a spin out in the back of the pack, he finished fifth for the night. This was the third top five in three races this year running against very seasoned fields and has the team looking forward to a very good 2014 racing season. Shawn Reutimann and crew have worked tirelessly in getting the cars together and this coming weekend we will be taking the shorter track car (nicknamed “Patches”) to Showtime in Pinellas Park for its first run of the year.
Jake’s venture into late model dirt racing had a very distinct “Aha moment” this past Saturday night. After starting in seventh in the 50 lap feature, he got as high as third, moved back to fourth and ran the final 20 laps attempting to repass the third place car. Jake was giving about 200 hp to the field with a crate motor but was able to easily fend off those trying to pass him. The third place car, also with the 200 hp advantage recently won a big money race at Volusia so he was a seasoned driver with a good car. During those final 20 laps, Jake’s confidence and comfort level increased dramatically and it was obvious he had a great feel for the car and was driving hard.
We will be at Desoto in Bradenton next weekend and at Showtime in Pinellas the following week and then back to Ocala and BRP for another adventure on dirt. Come out and support Jake, this dirt stuff is fun.
Last night at Desoto Speedway in the Bright House Icebreaker race showed what hard work and preparation can do. After Shawn and the team spent countless hours preparing the new car for this race, Jake turned in a dramatic and awesome qualifying run, a second at 14.802 seconds for the run. The next turn was good news, bad news, good news. After the second place Q run, the field inverted 12 and Jake started 11th. Patience was a virtue and Jake had one of the best cars in the field, eventually reaching third with 50 laps remaining. He then got into a paint trading episode with eventual winner Joe Boyd while making a run at the lead and fell back to ninth but recovered and finished fifth with a damaged rear. We had a great car and Jake drove an awesome race and are looking forward to Citrus this coming weekend.