SAINT EDOUARD, Quebec – Dany Trepanier visited Mitch Green before the start of the 2011 ACT Castrol Series season and promised him one thing.
“I will be annoying,” Trepanier told the owner of Crazy Horse Racing.
Trepanier was coming off a rookie season in the ACT Castrol Series, and the veteran of the Sportsman ranks and an eight-year go-karting career needed some help. He works with a small crew on the No. 19 Trepanier Motorsports Ford Fusion – including himself as both crew chief and driver – and wanted somebody to help him find more speed.
So he paid a visit to Crazy Horse Racing.
“I don’t have any money,” Trepanier told Green. “I’m not a millionaire, but I’m doing the sport of a millionaire. I asked if I could call them… I told Mitch that I was going to be annoying, because I was going to call him all the time.”
What happened next, Trepanier remembers, put him at ease.
“Mitch handed me a business card, flipped it over and wrote his cell phone number on the back of it,” Trepanier said. “He looked at me and said, ’24 hours a day.’”
The trust that Trepanier put in Green – and the availability that Green offered him – paid off last weekend when Trepanier won his first career ACT Late Model Tour race. He led 193 laps en route to winning the annual All-Star “Showdown At Chaudiere” at Autodrome Chaudiere in Vallee-Jonction, Quebec.
Sixth in the current ACT Castrol Series standings heading into this weekend’s season finale at Saint Eustache, Trepanier is headed to New Hampshire Motor Speedway next week for the fourth annual ACT Invitational as one of 43 Late Model drivers from the United States and Canada.
“To win the Showdown, I’m not intimidated no more by any other driver like (Brian) Hoar, Joey (Polewarczyk), Austin Theriault, Patrick Laperle. Now, I only have confidence. It was the best Americans and the best from our series, and I beat them all and I’m proud of that.”
Trepanier never wavered in his belief that he could compete with the best the ACT has to offer. He admits that the trip to Victory Lane came sooner than he expected, but that he knew in time he could be a threat to win.
That’s where Crazy Horse Racing entered the picture.
“It’s like I paid him a million dollars to get that kind of service from Mitch, and he does it because he loves the sport,” Trepanier said. “To perform with the best in only two years, with no crew chief and only Mitch on the phone during the race, is amazing. I call Mitch several times during the race (weekends) to see what I can do with something. Any problem, I call Mitch. He always helps.”
Though the winner’s check for the Showdown At Chaudiere was actually worth $5,000, Trepanier felt like the Million Dollar Man. His English may not be the best – but there’s no language barrier when it comes to the spirit of short-track racing.
You don’t need a translator in Victory Lane.
“It’s the gift of hard and long work in the garage every night with the boys on the team, leaving the girlfriend behind, all of those things,” Trepanier said. “I was hoping to win, but I never got frustrated about that because I never set that as an (expectation).
“To win that race was not what I was thinking going into it – I was really happy about that. It was a surprise. If it would have been in five years, I would have thought, ‘OK,’ But in three years, going up front with the strongest guys, the Americans, for a third-year racer – it was higher than my hope.”