Eric Winslow’s life revolves around racing. It has for more than a decade. Granted, his story isn’t unusual in weekly racing. But it may be a bit more intense than most.
His average day consists of an eight (or more) hour day at Sellers Racing, working on race cars. Then he heads to his own shop where he spends another two or three hours taking care of customers with his own racing business, Midnight Performance. By 9 p.m. he finally starts turning wrenches on one of his own race cars until fatigue takes over and he heads home to get a little rest before it all starts over again. And that routine doesn’t even include race weekends.
It all paid off two weeks ago, though, when he rolled into victory lane at South Boston Speedway for the most impressive win of his career, capturing a 75-lap Limited Sportsman race.
“There have been plenty of times I should have already quit, but I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t race,” said the 30-year-old Winslow. “I’ve wanted to race at South Boston ever since I was a kid. It’s cool to me to be one of those guys that get to race. I could be sitting in the stands and I think about that.
“We’ve gone over there (South Boston Speedway) forever and tried to run well. It was nice to make it all happen, to take that opportunity and run with it. A lot of people don’t make the most of situations like that … when you get a good car, and everything falls into place and you have to make it happen.”
Winslow admits he was concerned about letting it all slip away in the longest and biggest Limited Sportsman race of the year at South Boston.
“I was worried about me faltering under pressure. The last 25 laps were like qualifying. There was a lot of pressure on me. I had to make it happen and I’m glad we did.”
He was practically perfect those 25 laps, though, holding off Jacob Borst for his first feature win at South Boston and his best overall performances since he “had two second-place finishes when I was racing Matt Bowling’s back up (Late Model) car in 2015.”
“I haven’t had a really good car since then” at South Boston, Winslow said.
“Some weeks I’m downright embarrassed, but every race, I’m thankful I get to race and remember I could be on the other side of the fence,” said Winslow. “Last Saturday night was my day in the sun. They don’t come very often. But you know you can do it again. That’s a big part of it.”
That’s not to say he hasn’t had strong performances elsewhere, winning Limited Late Model races at a couple of Eastern North Carolina tracks the past two seasons and claiming a track championship at one last year.
“Getting one (a win) at South Boston is a big deal. It’s one of the tougher tracks,” said Winslow, who gets sponsor help from Solid Rock Carriers, Midnight Performance, Zipp Air Tool USA, Tanner Automotive, Daniel Sod Farm, D&M Lawn Care, Schaeffer’s Oil, Dr. Jamie Daniel and Montgomery Performance Consulting LLC.
“I feel like South Boston does have a tough field, but it’s a tough track. It’s tough to get ahold of. You have to be 100 percent all the time.”
Which is pretty much what Winslow had done at South Boston this season. He has started just four Limited Sportsman races this year … the most recent four events … and has a win, a second and two fourths to show.
Winslow won’t be in the Limited Sportsman field for Saturday night’s Southern Virginia Higher Education Center NASCAR Late Model Twin 75s. He’s opted instead to make his first Late Model start of the year.
“We’re going to run Late Model this weekend. I have to admit I’m a little disappointed not running Limited after that win,” said Winslow.”But we’ve got a good motor in the (Late Model) car. I feel like we’ll have a good run.”
If he doesn’t, it won’t be because of a lack of desire or work, that’s for sure.
Saturday night’s racing schedule includes twin 75-lap Late Model races, twin 25-lap Limited Sportsman races, a 30-lap Budweiser Pure Stock race, and a 15-lap Budweiser Hornets race.