2004 "99" Schedule 

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."

It sometimes 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 asbestos, paint, black mold removals, real selective, high-profile demolitions. I like DE-struction better than CON-struction."

Now, JM Environmental does business from Tahoe to Turlock.

Moore's 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 love motorsports."

McAnally, of 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 Racing.

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
bpoindex@recordnet.com


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