|Driver keeps throttle open
Stockton 99 Speedway
By Bill Poindexter
Record Staff Writer
Published Friday, May 28, 2004
STOCKTON -- John
Moore's motor always is running, and there is no kill switch.
Not that anyone
would want to shut off Moore. He's the breath of fresh air
race fans can seek when their lungs become clogged with smoke
and fumes caused by barking, bickering and banging.
Moore is the
stereotypical race car driver: approachable for fans,
appreciative of the fans, just an all-around good guy. He's a
successful businessman and a supporter and spokesman for his
home track, Stockton 99 Speedway.
He will be an
obvious fan favorite Saturday night, when Stockton 99 acts as
host for the first of two NASCAR Grand National West Series
events this season. Moore will drive his No. 27 JM
Environmental car in the 100-lap Western Late Model main
event, the first leg of the Tri-Holiday Classic. Then, he'll
strap into the No. 20 car owned by Bill McAnally Racing and
drive in the Havoline/NAPA Auto Parts 150.
It isn't quite
Tony Stewart driving in the Indianapolis 500, then flying to
Charlotte, N.C., for the Nextel Cup Coca-Cola 600. Even so,
250 laps is a lot of racing. Is this guy nuts? Maybe a little.
"I'm going to
have a real good time jumping out of that Western and into
that West car, simply because they feel very similar. The West
car is just heavier and more powerful, and the feel is the
same," he said Wednesday during a rare quiet time at his
business in Roseville. "Pure adrenalin. I'll have more energy
when the first race is done. The first race will be a warm-up.
I'll rest later."
appears Moore doesn't rest at all. He approaches everything in
life with his throttle wide open, a trait he said was
instilled by his father, Carl. John Moore started JM
Environmental "with a Toyota pickup, a small utility trailer,
about $8,000 and a good wife.
"I'm a glorified
contractor ñ asbestos, paint, black mold removals, real
selective, high-profile demolitions. I like DE-struction
better than CON-struction."
Environmental does business from Tahoe to Turlock.
motorsports career began on two wheels. He was a motocross
racer who competed at Hangtown and twice in the Baja 2000,
finishing the last 500 miles of one event with a broken leg.
He switched to
auto racing after attending an event in Roseville with Eric
Schmidt, the defending Western Late Model champ at Stockton 99
who now is part of Moore's pit crew. Moore bought a race car
two weeks later.
"I loved the
crowd," he said. "It's being right there on top of that race
track, and I love the horsepower. You know, the rowdy, open
headers, tire smokin', fire-breathing race cars. I thought,
'This is a whole other level.' "
In addition to
racing full time in the Western Late Model division, Moore is
planning to compete in five Grand National West races,
including the second event at 99 in August; four or five
NASCAR Elite Division Southwest Series races, including Nextel
Cup weekend in June at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma; and double
duty again July 3 at 99, the second leg of the Tri-Holiday
Classic and the SRL Wild West Shootout 100-lapper.
"Somebody told me
I'm starting to live up to my old motocross nickname, which
was 'Iron Man,' " Moore said. "I don't know, maybe. It does
take a little bit of energy to tool all those laps. I just
love it. I love the people, the competition, the excitement. I
Rocklin, has a two-car operation. His No. 16 car is driven
full time by Austin Cameron, the Grand National West race
winner last year at 99 who is fifth in points this year. The
No. 20 car was being driven by Clint Boyer of Kansas City,
Kan., but he is competing full time with Richard Childress
This will be
Moore's second event in the car. He ran in the top 10
throughout the West race March 27 at Mesa Marin Raceway in
Bakersfield before a late wreck dropped him to 15th.
Moore also tested
two weeks ago at 99, and McAnally liked what he saw.
"John is the
complete package," McAnally said, "very marketable, very good
with the sponsors and fans, gets in the car, has patience when
he needs to but isn't afraid to get up on the wheel when he
needs to. He's always upbeat. I've never seen John down or
upset. He's always out there to have a good time."
Oh, he is.
* To reach
assistant sports editor
Bill Poindexter, phone
(209) 546-8289 or e-mail