NWAAS: T.J. Moreshead Looking for Seekonk Speedway Late Model Rookie of the Year

Kyle Souza Featured, Northeast, Other Late Models, Stock Cars, Touring Series 1 Comment

SEEKONK, Mass. — Story by Race Chaser Online New England Correspondent Kyle Souza — Seekonk Speedway/Lester Gray photo —

A jump from the Seekonk Speedway SYRA division to the Late Models is probably one of the biggest across the Northeast.

The difference in the cars is obvious — the Late Model cars weigh roughly 2,000 pounds more.  Even though it has been done in the past, it is a tough task for any driver that attempts to make it happen.

For Seekonk, Mass. native T.J. Moreshead, that jump will be made in 2015.

“I’m very excited for this season to kick-off,” Moreshead told Race Chaser Online. “Getting to drive a Late Model beginning at 15 years old is an amazing feeling.”

Moreshead will be chasing the Rookie of the Year honors in his T. Moreshead Landscaping No. 00, a family operation.

“Here in the North, young Late Model drivers my age are just starting to come around,” Moreshead explained. “Down South they are everywhere you look at a racetrack. It’s awesome to be one of the first up North. I have been waiting for this opportunity to come since I ever had the dream to drive a racecar.”

His experience does not only come from SYRA — he has also used his own backyard to turn some laps.

“It was a long road to get to this point, starting off with go-karts, then the SYRA Minicups, and lets not forget that we’ve had a dirt track in our backyard for years now that I’d sometimes go turn some laps on in a go-kart pulled out of the shed next to the garage.”

Moreshead described in depth for Race Chaser Online the difference in the driving characteristics of the cars (SYRA and go-kart) he has driven compared to the Late Model.

“There are many adjustments I’ve gone through and many I still have to go through as I transition from a Minicup to a Late Model. I feel the biggest adjustment is the way the car drives. Simply because the first time I drove the Late Model, in a test at Waterford in August, I noticed the feel of driving a go-kart was back.”

“The best similarity I can describe in those two is just physical, the g-force the action gives you. My first laps in a Late Model I felt my arms and hands begin to ache, much like racing in a go-kart. Racing in a Minicup was nothing compared to a go-kart and a Late Model.”

“I’m also adjusting to the size of the car. In a Late Model, we race up towards the wall, so I need to know how much of the car I have left on the right side of me. Lastly, I need to know that there will be much more bumping, shoving, and being knocked around than ever.”

For a young driver who is up and coming — Moreshead has a lot of confidence headed into his rookie season. Even though he has turned minimal laps so far behind the wheel of the Late Model, the teenager’s excitement level is extremely high, leaving him ready to chase laps and positions on the race track.

“My expectations are basically finish every lap this season, and collect as many top 10’s as possible, and if we are up in the top five, we’ll try to stay there,” Moreshead said. “I’ve been asked a lot if I think I’ll win this year. I say, I wouldn’t count that out. But I have so much to learn this year, so I can’t get over my head.”

“If I’m up to second or third with a few laps to go, and the leaders in sight, then you bet I’m going for it. We want the car back in the garage on all four wheels every night, we don’t want to be replacing parts after every race either.”

As with anyone in racing — sponsors are a huge part of Moreshead’s effort on the track.

“The sponsors right now are currently T. Moreshead Landscaping, which is my dad’s company, Miller Chiropractic and our letter guy, Jim, from Simple Signworks. One more person is Mike Tracy, who has been a huge help to us all last year and this year.”

“I want to thank them for all their help at getting me to this point in my young career, and even my mother, yes, some things we get are out of her wallet, my friends Josh and Tom who have lended a hand in the garage this winter, and will be on the pit crew for some races this year. Family, friends, everybody we know has given us some help, and I really appreciate it. I wouldn’t be here without them.”

Moreshead sent a special shout out to his father, Tom Moreshead, for all the extra work he has done to make it happen.

“A huge thanks to [my dad] for the countless hours he spent during the cold winter out in the garage. He’d be out there doing something to the car before I even got home from school.”

Fans can watch Moreshead take to the track at Seekonk in his first career Late Model feature on Sunday, May 3.

For more information on Seekonk Speedway, visit www.seekonkspeedway.com.

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