By BILL FOLEY
Corey Eliason came east this week and made it pay off in a big way on Thursday night at BAPS Motor Speedway by winning an event run in honor of the late Greg Hodnett. It meant a lot to Eliason to win an event run in honor of Hodnett.
“It was my most memorable win ever and to win in Central Pennsylvania certainly isn’t an easy thing to do,” said Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions traveler Corey Eliason as he reflected on winning the Greg Hodnett Memorial event at BAPS Speedway last Thursday night.
Eliason, who cut his teeth racing the tight, heavy, cushion laden tracks of California, started to branch out a couple of years ago and ran with some success with the Roth 83 team as he hit several World of Outlaw shows.
This year he teamed up with Rudeen Racing and is a rookie in the All Star organization.
They were coming east for the Outlaw-Stateline-Weedsport swing, but there was one stop before the sanctioned racing commenced.
He had an emotional connection of sorts with Greg Hodnett and felt it was necessary to show up at BAPS last Thursday night.
Corey explained, “A close friend of mine, Lee Stauffer, was a crew chief for Greg at one time and they remained close friends. One of the first calls I received was from Lee and it was cool to have something like that happen.”
Continuing he said, “I’ve raced against Greg at Knoxville and went wheel-to-wheel with him in a couple of instances. This was my more memorable win.”
Eliason is on a new road this year as he noted, “This is an elite team just like Roth is. It is a perfect fit for me. It’s a young team and we win, struggle, win, struggle, but it’s coming together.
He noted, “We are evolving and getting a little more consistent.”
During the weekend he was second at Outlaw and eighth at Mansfield. At the ‘Port he set fast time in his first time ever on the speedway and won the dash and finished a very respectable fourth.
Thus far this year wins have come in Virginia, Mansfield, East Bay and BAPS.
It’s sort of interesting because Corey grew up on smaller tracks, yet his wins have come at just the opposite type of layouts.
He said, “I am use to a big curb and pounding it until there is nothing left” from his days on the West Coast.
What he’s earned thus far about New York tracks is that they are different. He said, “I thought Ohio tracks were slick, but I’ll never complain about them again. These tracks are different than we see elsewhere in the country.”
However, he really didn’t see that as a negative. He explained, “I’ve never raced here so I don’t have any bad habits. You just go out and run it. Sometimes you can do better on a track that you’ve never raced on than one you’ve been to five time.”
Well, for Sunday night at least Eliason proved that final statement to be true as his name is probably recognized by a few more Central New York fans.