Stories

Already thinking about Boone

The car will be ready. So, too, will the driver.

But when it comes down to it, these first few months of the racing season could be looked at as one big, long test-and-tune for Brandon Blochlinger.

Blochlinger, manager of Belleville Motorsports, will compete Saturday night when Salina Speedway kicks off its season.

That's when part of the true testing will happen. He hasn't competed in a race this season yet. Instead, he's been helping build cars and tweaking others already on the track.

Then it's time to focus on the season, and one race in particular -- Super Nationals in September in Boone, Iowa.

Blochlinger has come close a few times to winning the coveted title at America's Racin' Vacation. Last year was the second time in his career he was within a whisker of winning, taking second.

"You get home from there and everything is winding down, except the specials," Blochlinger said. "You try things all year and go with an idea to promote things at Super Nationals. And at Super Nationals, you have to go with your A game on."

So as the season kicks off at 7 p.m. Saturday at Salina, Blochlinger will be trying to win just like drivers right beside him. But he'll also be focusing on every aspect of his car in order to get it fine-tuned for Boone.

That might seem like having tunnel vision, then again, that's what drivers need to do to be successful. That's what's pushing Blochlinger this season. It should be a fun ride to watch, starting Saturday.

* NICK SCHWIEN, HDN