Taken from selinsgrovespeedway.com
Selinsgrove Ford will be in familiar waters again in 2008 as the Sprint Car team will find Selinsgrove Speedway their home on Saturday nights. Two things that will be quite unfamiliar to the local car dealership owned Sprint car team this year will be the number, and the driver.
After decades of supporting the number 63 through the likes of the late Paul Long, the Selinsgrove Ford team kept the number that Paul made famous during his illustrious career when they organized their first ever Sprint Car team four years ago. To keep that number was the right thing to do since the driver of the Sprint car was the nephew of Paul Long, Mike Walter. But time changes, and changes come with time. With the split of Mike Walter and Selinsgrove Ford in the off season, Mike decided to keep his family owned rights to the 63, and rightfully so. Like I said, time changes, and changes come with time. The 2008 era of Sprint car racing under the ownership of Selinsgrove Ford will bring on a number that their new driver has had his own rights to since the first day of his go cart racing career, decades ago. Just as their former driver, Mike Walter did when he joined the Selinsgrove Ford team four years ago.
Chuck Paige, son of Selinsgrove Speedway track promoter Charlie Paige, will be in his rookie year behind the wheel of his number 28 high powered Ford Sprint Car, despite no Sprint Car experience. He does bring years of National go cart driving experience and more wins than one can count as well as numerous victories at the State and National levels. He also brings the drive and guts to handle a 700 Hp rocket on wheels to compete against the best Sprint car drivers in the east coast. Selinsgrove Speedway has an elite group of over a dozen regular Sprint Car drivers capable of winning any given night. Although Chuck won't be expected to pull his number 28 into victory lane in his first year of competition, he is in the right place. A place that he has called home his entire life. He has been his father's right hand man in keeping the historic Selinsgrove Speedway up and running throughout the years of Charlie Paige's reign as promoter. Chuck is a guy who doesn't like to settle for second best. He races to win. You can't compare a go cart drivers resume to a Sprint car drivers resume, but that's all Chuck has so far. But it is impressive. Anyone who knows Chuck knows he deserves a shot at the big time as well as anybody. Todd Benner from Selinsgrove Ford agrees.
This season will surely be a year for Chuck to learn, and get his feet wet. There is no pressure, and nothing is to be expected. But you shouldn't have to look too far into the future before Mr. Paige is competing for his first qualifying event win, and eventually a drive into victory lane at Selinsgrove Speedway. A road that Chuck does not need a map to find.
Over the past few years, there has been an eruption of younger drivers entering the world of Sprint car racing. More than years ago. The evolvement of many of these drivers have come from the go cart ranks. That's where it all begins these days. Last season, Selinsgrove native Cody Keller opened the eyes of many as the High school student was fast right out of the gate and eventually won three heat wins in his first season and led a main event for several laps. Tom Wise entered his first season as a Sprint Car driver last year and competed fairly well in his rookie season. Tom also came from the go cart ranks. Big names such as Pat Cannon, Phil Walter, Scott Messimer and Adam Romig among many others, all started with Briggs and Stratton power before finding their way to the high powered Sprint Cars. Blane Heimbach, Colby Womer, and Jeff Furlong all competed at a high level in Micro Sprints before making the jump. A jump that none of them regret. As I'm sure Chuck won't either.
Thank You to those who make the 2012 season possible:
Susquehanna Soft Serve
KC Sprint Supply
RT Customs Pro
Skeetz-Built Motors and Rub n's Rac N Machine Shop