Press release from New London Waterford Speedbowl
WATERFORD — Alan Eastman admits there may be some rust involved when he resumes his New London-Waterford Speedbowl racing career after a 15-absence.
He hopes the rust, however, will be nullified by his enthusiasm and his joy of racing.
Eastman plans on being a regular in the Legends Division for the Speedbowl’s Wild & Wacky Wednesday program, and he can’t wait to put his foot on the gas pedal.
“I am at my happiest when I’m at the race track,” the Fishers Island, N.Y. driver said. “I’m just going racing to have a good time. I have no aspirations to go Cup racing. I’m here to have some fun.”
When Eastman did race regularly, he had success, winning six races at six different race tracks, including a Mini Stock win at the Speedbowl. He was a rookie of the year in both the Mini Stock and American Race Trucks division.
He raced an SK Modified in 2004 before stepping away from the car. Since then, he has spent most of us time concentrating on his son A.J.’s career in the Bandoleros and Road Course Legend cars.
“A few years ago, I built a Legends car so I could race with my son,” Eastman said. “We raced one race together on the road course at Thompson. But the next weekend, my son’s engine exploded and the car caught on fire. So I gave him my car. I only got to race it one time.”
After the 2016 season, his son left racing to go to college and his car sat around for two years.
“I started getting the itch again, so I figured I would race the car,” Eastman said “And here’s another plot twist. I also repaired my other car, and my brother Kevin is going to race that. He’s a former off-road racer and has a lot of experience. So you’ll be seeing the Eastman brothers wheeling it at the Bowl this year.”
Eastman got his introduction to motor sports from a Mini Stock champion, Joe Perry.
“Joe worked at Fishers Island, where I live and I got to know him,” Eastman said. “He wanted me to come to the Speedbowl and watch him race. Before that, I had no interest in racing at all. I was an unmechanical person.”
That started to change when Perry moved up to the Pro Stock division at Riverside Park Speedway and sold Eastman his Mini Stock.
“I came to the track and I didn’t even know how to bleed the brakes,” Eastman said. “I needed Dwayne Dorr to bleed my brakes for me.”
And now Eastman is ready to resume his career after a 15-year intermission.
“I haven’t raced in a long time, but I think I’m older and wiser,” Eastman, 49, said. “I’m going to take it easy and get my feet on the ground and get my groove on. I’m not looking to set the world on fire. But I think the sky’s the limit. I’m going after the Rookie of the Year title and maybe the track title. Because I’ve been away for so long, I’m able to run for Rookie of the Year.”
Eastman said the Speedbowl is the perfect track in which to make a comeback.
“I’ve raced from Maine to North Carolina, and the Speedbowl is by far my favorite track,” Eastman said. “It is smooth and fast. Because it’s a two-groove track, you have to be up on the wheel for every lap. It’s always white-knuckle time. You can’t rest for a lap.”
There’s also another reason why Eastman is a huge Speedbowl fan. He spent his honeymoon there
“I got married at about 11 o’clock, and I promised Joe Perry I would watch him race that day, so we went to the Speedbowl that afternoon,” Eastman said. “It must have been okay, because I’ve been married for 22 years.
Eastman’s main sponsor is Brooks Systems of Mystic. He’s also helped by his mom, Jane, who also is known by the nickname of Grandma Tarzan.
His brother also has helped him during his oval track days.
“As a driver, he is a beast,” Eastman said. “We’re going to have a lot of fun this year.”
Eastman’s car will be numbered 444.
“That means protected and surrounded by an angel,” Eastman said.
If that angel can help get the rust off, Eastman could be enjoying a happy second honeymoon at the Speedbowl.
Contact Mike Serluca at email@example.com