It came out earlier this week that longtime Bloomquist Race Cars drivers Eric Jacobsen and Rick Eckert were going to pilot Warrior Race Cars in the upcoming races at the Smoky Mountain Speedway and the Volunteer Speedway over the next two weeks. Eckert will drive in this weekend’s NDRL events in Maryville while both are expected to be on hand next Friday and Saturday for the Spring Nationals in Bulls Gap.
Warrior Race Cars is based in Knoxville.
Jacobsen initially proposed the idea of looking around at other brands of cars and Eckert decided to join his friend and supporter.
“Eric Jacobsen sponsors me and helps me out some,” Eckert explained during a Thursday night test at Smoky Mountain. “This was his idea and he lined it all up. We were both going to do it here but he ran into some stuff and couldn’t fly out of California to get here so he just told me to go ahead this week and he would come out next week.
“I was sitting at home in the cold and snow anyway,” the Pennsylvania resident added. “It’s a lot nicer here.”
These runs in Warriors for the two veteran drivers can be labeled as a test that might grow into something more if all goes well.
“I don’t know,” Eckert responded when asked if this experiment could lead to a permanent change. “I’ll tell you after the weekend. As of right now, we’re trying it this weekend and I guess next weekend. You never know. Eric helps me out and whatever he says, we’ll do.”
Eckert says that dirt late model drivers’ tendency to change cars can spring from a number of reasons.
“There’s a lot of different circumstances as to why some guys do and why some guys don’t,” he explained. “If you’ve got plenty of money and something else is going good and you want to switch, I don’t see any problem with that. I’m not in a situation where I can afford to just go out and switch cars so I try not to do it very often.
“It takes a lot more than just getting a car to the racetrack,” he added. “It takes a lot of spare parts and when you buy one car, you end up buying four. It’s harder than you think. Some guys make it look easy.”
The 2011 World of Outlaws Late Models champion points out that a decision to change from one brand of car to another is not something to be taken lightly.
“It’s a big change, it really is. You might get in one and go really good the first night, but that’s in that track condition. Each dirt track is different. You do the same stuff at a lot of tracks but there’s several tracks where you do something totally different and you’ve got to refigure all of that out. It’s not a simple deal. It’s big undertaking, for sure.”