Bakersfield, CA – The contingent from Colorado continues to grow stronger, as Erie, CO driver Chris Eggleston has entered the $25,000-to-win “All-Star Showdown 200” on January 21st. Eggleston will be returning to Irwindale Speedway for the first time since the 2020 “All-Star Showdown”, when he was unable to make a qualifying attempt. Other than that event, Eggleston has been in the top-10 of every start at the ½-mile paved oval. His four ARCA Menards Pro Series West starts resulted in a win, two seconds, and a third. His lone Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series start found him ninth.
With his “West” series success at Irwindale, and his appreciation for the track, Eggleston would seem to pose a threat for the win. He will look to make strides in his personal Super Late Model, to put his Toyota Camry near the front of the field in the season opener for the SRL National and Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series.
“Irwindale is a fun racetrack”, Eggleston exclaimed! “I like it especially when they don’t treat the bottom, and everyone rips the top! We have had a lot of success in a K&N (now ARCA Menards West) car there; I think one or two wins and a pair of runner-up finishes. When I went to Irwindale in a K&N car, driving for Bill McAnally Racing, they brought me a car capable of winning every time we showed up. With my own Super Late Model, that is not always the case. I don’t race my Super Late Model enough, nor do I have the time or resources to get it where I want it. However, with a little luck, and getting a few things to go our way, there is no reason why we can’t run top-five.”
Eggleston’s attendance at the Showdown was unexpected until recently. There were issues with family health, a race car that was far from complete, and a small team that had an overabundance of work to perform.
“We had no intension of coming to Irwindale for the All-Star Showdown for multiple reasons”, Eggleston began. “One of the primary factors, for us not anticipating going to this event, is that my mom has been laid up in the hospital for a little over three weeks now. She went in for a somewhat simple gall bladder removal and has since ran into some complications. On top of getting ready for this event, dad and I are trying to make sure she can come home in a timely fashion. We are hoping she can come home before I have to climb in the semi to drive 16 hours solo out to Irwindale. We are all hoping she heals and gets better soon.”
Eggleston continued, “Additionally, our motor wasn’t supposed to be back until March. Dewaine, with McGunegill Engine Performance, called and said he got the motor done early and was shipping it back to us (that was a couple weeks ago). One night my crew and I were in the shop drinking a beer. I asked them if they wanted to go…. No motor in the car, rearend in a million pieces, no front suspension hung, power steering pump, steering rack, shocks, and tranny all out getting worked on. No one jumped in and said “yeah that’s a great idea lets go…” The motor showed up and we got to work. We will be busy getting ready until the day we leave.”
Eggleston has certainly had his share of success behind the wheel of an ARCA West car, Super Late Model, Late Model, and Legend car. He was the 2015 ARCA Menards Pro Series West champion, earning nine career victories. He was the 2011 winner of “The Race” at North Wilkesboro Speedway, picking up $75,000 in a 75-car entry. He was the 2009 ASA Late Model Series Northern Division Series champion. At his home track, Colorado National Speedway (CO), he has won the “Colorado Challenge Cup” twice and scored over 25 Super Late Model wins. Chris has earned four Legend Track championships at CNS and won both the “Chilly Willy 150” and “Turkey Shoot 125” at Tucson Speedway. (AZ), in his Super Late Model.
Eggleston would love to add another big win to his resume and the $25,000 wouldn’t hurt his bottom line. The veteran racer has become very busy with family, work, three classes of racing, and a son who is set to follow in his father’s footsteps. All of these factors make finding time to work on the Super Late Model difficult for the driver and team owner.
“It would be pretty sweet to win the All-Star Showdown, especially in my own equipment”, Eggleston stated. “While running a fire sprinkler business, with two kids, a wife who also has a very demanding job, our hours and resources to work on our car are limited at times. Beyond that, we have a Legend car and a Super Truck we work on. The truck is owned by George Green, my car chief who has been helping me for over 14 years. On top of that, Tanner, my 4 ½ year old son, just got his first Quarter Midget from Santa. I will be spending some time with him practicing and getting ready for when he turns five in August.”
With all the chaos that life creates, with the hustle and bustle of everyday living, it takes a large effort from friends, family, sponsors, and crew to attend an event like the “All-Star Showdown. Eggleston is grateful for all the sacrifices that are necessary for him to compete at Irwindale on the 21st.
“Going to these big races, it’s hard to do it on your own”, Eggleston admitted. “I’m fortunate that we have good friends and support with BlazeMaster Pipe and Fittings, as well as my good friends at Red Line Synthetic Oil, that help us get here and make this possible. I also would not have come close to getting our car ready without the dedicated help from George Green, my dad, Billy Green, and my wife for allowing me to be absent from our household for almost two weeks to get ready lol.”
The 2023 “All-Star Showdown” will feature the Super Late Models, competing under the banner of both the Spears SRL Southwest Tour, as well as the SRL National. $25,000 will go to the winner with $1,200 to start for those on the Spears Manufacturing “Frequent Flyer Program”. $1,000 will go the Fast Qualifier, thanks to the Apache Rental Group. The Spears Pro Late Models presented by Sigma Performance Services will join the action, racing for a $10,000 payday, with another $500 to the Fast Qualifier. The Spears Modified Series teams will race for $5,000 and $250 for Fast Time.
PC: Photo courtesy of Chris Eggleston