RPW Column: The 2022 Racing Season Looks To Be A “Bright One” For Jimmy Eaton

Column By: BRETT HORLACHER / RPW – BALLSTON SPA, NY – With the 21-22 off-season quickly closing, Ballston Spa’s own Jimmy Eaton is looking to make the new season count in more ways than one.

The Veteran Pro Stock racer and owner of Lightning Pit Lights LLC has a lot going on as we approach the opening of the 2022 season.

After a mid-season slump last year, diagnosing engine issues, with a suspected, but unrelated electrical problem after melting several plug wires at Utica-Rome, Eaton and his team discovered that a fitting on the fuel cell wasn’t completely tight. That was causing the engine to cut out under load, at higher RPM.

“The crate motors use a mechanical fuel pump that is driven by a shaft from the camshaft,” Eaton said. “At higher RPM’s, with the engine under race conditions, the fuel pump would start to suck in air which would make the whole car fall flat on its face.”

After that issue was fixed, the car was fast, as shown by timing in the Top 5 at Albany-Saratoga Speedway for the season-ending “Malta Massive Weekend.”

“We know that the car is fast,” he said. “Now, it’s time to continue to learn the coil setups and get up there.”

Eaton and the 8J team is looking to make Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, NY their weekly home this year. However, they are also intending on running Fonda Speedway and Utica-Rome Speedway as their schedule permits.

“Fonda is always a blast,” he said. “After running Utica last year, and seeing how nice the facility and track is, we definitely have to go back there, but Malta is where the best of the best of the Pro Stock’s run.”

Not just content with racing this year, Eaton is also the owner of a well-known lighting supply business, brightening pit stalls around the country. The opportunity for making money isn’t only his.

The ‘light business,’ as Eaton calls, has a sales marketing opportunity for racers and fans alike. A commission-based program, 10% of every sale that one makes, gets sent to the marketer.

“We had one guy make $350 in commission in three days,” he said.

Not just keeping to the local tracks in upstate NY, Lightning Pit lights has sales partners in 36 states and authorized Dealers in nine. Even with ‘Daddy Dave’ of Discovery Channel’s series ‘Street Outlaws’ picking up a set from a Midwest based distributor, the light is certainly shining from Eaton.

However, Eaton isn’t keeping the spoils of lighting the world to himself. His company is sponsoring the following the Empire Super Sprints in New York, a Steel Block Late Model series in Kentucky, Ohio & Tennessee as well as the Southern All-Star Series in southeast Georgia.

“This isn’t just about me,” he noted. “I must thank everyone who helps with all of this. Starting with my Fiancé, Adriane, who has always been so supportive of my racing and business efforts. My crew guys are a huge part of getting our race team to the track every week. Todd and Cory Berlin, Colby Pope and Colton Berlin are always there on race nights and whenever I need them at the shop throughout the week.”

Jim will be racing with a heavy heart this year, tough, following the unexpected loss of his Father, Bill. This season is dedicated to him. The 8J will be running ‘Ranch Trailer Sales’ on the car this year in honor of their early years in the sport. The Ranch was the business the family had and was prominent on their race cars early in Jimmy’s racing career as well as quite a few other race cars in the early 2000’s.

Finally, the 8J team intends on doing some fundraising for the American Heart Association this season to keep Bill’s memory alive.

“My Father had heart issues for years,” he said. “He had multiple heart attacks and stents and even a quadruple heart bypass in 2016. We need to do something, and will do something. This is very important to me.”

With a member of his crew being one of the American Heart Association’s ‘Cardiac Kids’ (born with a rare heart defect and had open heart surgery as an infant), be on the lookout for something coming from the 8J camp for this lovely fundraising goal.

Eaton racing would like to thank the following sponsors, “Lighting Pit Lights LLC, Fringe Hair Salon in Malta, Dayton King and Team, Howard Hanna Realtors, Carbs by Ray, JK Signworks, and Stone Motorsports.

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