And a brand new attitude.
Or maybe a brand new level of “confidence” might be a more accurate way of describing Shawn Deering and his approach to the 2014 dirt-track racing season.
For the better part of eight years, Deering and that popular No. 16 UMP modified he wheels around the .29-mile track at 8000 Broadway knocked on the door. Finally, on Aug. 18 last summer Deering knocked that door down and won his the first feature of his career.
“It feels good having finally won,” Deering said. “It gives me the confidence that I can do it (again).”
Deering’s victory ended a 132-feature drought. Seven times he had finished second during that run and numerous others he had contended. But not until Aug. 18, 2013 did he collect that first checkered flag.
Deering admitted he was beginning to question whether or not he would ever win a feature. From 2006 to 2013 is a long time, and the frustration had begun to wear on him. The year before, the likeable Deering confessed he had trouble sleeping some nights, trying to figure out what little change in a setup might make a big difference.
Now, Deering turns to his next goal — winning a modified track championship. He has repeatedly been close in that area, too. He has never ended up outside the top 10 in points and during the past five seasons his points finishes have read: 7th, 6th, 4th, 4th and 3rd. He hopes to keep that improvement going this summer.
“All the pieces are there for us to do well,” he said.
Count Deering among those who contend the UMP mods might be the strongest division at the track.
“It’s tough, it’s really tough,” Deering said. “There are a lot of good classes at the track, but I think the modifieds might be the strongest from top to bottom. There are a lot of good guys — (Steven) DeLonjay, Dave (Wietholder), Michael Long, Robbie Reed … and now Li’l Schlip (Jared Schlipman) and that means it will be even stronger.”
Uhh … he left out one name. Shawn Deering.