Chris Ferguson #22 – The dirt late model driver living in Charlotte, NC
Chris Ferguson is a dirt racer living in NASCAR land. A resident of downtown Charlotte, NC and surrounded by the pavement oval crowd.
This year, he won seven dirt late model races. One of those came on the national dirt late model scene. The #22 pilot was the first one across the line when the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series came to Fayetteville Motor Speedway.
How is it being the dirt guy in Charlotte?
It’s become cool to be a dirt guy.
“It’s definitely fun because there’s this phase now where, over the last 5 years, it’s become cool to be a dirt guy. I hate to say this, but when I was growing up, it was cool to be a development driver.”
“It was cool to be signed with RCR or DEI. ‘I’m runnin’ K&N, I’m runnin’ ARCA.’ It’s so cool to run these races.”
It’s way more exciting.
“Now, everybody see’s that dirt racing, whether it’s open wheel or fenders, it’s a lot more exciting. It’s way more exciting. The people that I’m friends with in the Cup world, they really enjoy keeping up with my racing.”
Ferguson is a frequent user of social media. A way of keeping fans engaged, simultaneously providing extra exposure for his sponsors. If you haven’t seen Chris Ferguson race, you’ve seen him on twitter. He’s highly engaged in the conversation. Tweet him, he’ll respond to you 90% of the time.
Witty tweets and responses are regularly transmitted virally to the feeds of dirt racing fans. “Will Race for Food,” Ferguson tweeted while looking for a crate car to drive in the Short Track Nationals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
“I have friends that race or work in NASCAR. My crate car owner’s a NASCAR crew chief. In their spare time, this is where they have fun.”
“That’s always cool. The goal of any short track racer is to make it to NASCAR one day.”
Is that or was that your goal?
“It was my goal at one point. At one point I wanted to make it to NASCAR. Then I fell in love with dirt late model racing.”
I’ll go race NASCAR for 5-10 years and make 30 million then come back and own a dirt late model.
“I realized, even if I make it to NASCAR — I’ll go race NASCAR for 5-10 years and make 30 million then come back and own a dirt late model.”
It’s aero racing.
“It is, as you can tell there’s been a lot of guys who’ve been thrown into a great car and they were able to go win in NASCAR. I’m not knocking anybody — You can take some drivers that aren’t so good in dirt and put them in Scott Bloomquist’s car, they still ain’t gunna win.”
“In NASCAR, I see a lot of really good cars. There’s some drivers that can get into those, who haven’t won in anything before. It’s just like drivin’ a Cadillac. There’s a big gap now, from the big teams to the small teams. The millions that the big teams are spending, it shows on the track compared to the small teams.”
Ferguson is saying that the level of equipment means a lot more in the NASCAR ranks. In NASCAR, an average driver can preform via premier equipment. In dirt track racing, you can be implanted in the best equipment out there. But, that equipment certainly doesn’t come equipped with a Cadillac cruise control button and a GPS aimed to victory lane.
You gotta be a driver in dirt.
“You gotta be a driver in dirt. I don’t care what anybody says.”