RPW Column: After Eight Long Years, Eric Mack Is Ready To Get Back To Victory Lane As A Driver
Column By: BILLY HODGES / RPW – FORT JOHNSON, NY – After eight years sitting outside of the cockpit while at the race track, Eric Mack is back.
Mack, who last raced in 2015, will return to the driver’s seat this season in the Sportsman class at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.
The co-owner of DKM Fabrication is very familiar with the Malta, NY oval and is very excited to be back. Since the last time Mack raced full time, he’s been focused on building and running DKM, which has been getting ever more popular with the drivers over the years.
This season, he’ll be racing for Pete LeClair, who owns a DKM Cyclone chassis, that his son, Gerard, has been racing as a Sportsman for him the last couple of years.
“Gerard raced for Pete last season and finished 25th in points at Albany-Saratoga,” Mack said. “He’s since relocated and won’t be racing. I told Pete if he needed a driver, I will do it. Pete asked me if I was serious and I said yes.”
LeClair works at BPI Piping in Waterford, NY, which the team’s major sponsor. He’s definitely ready for the challenge this season, but not only with Mack. He is also a huge help to his nephew, Michael Arnold, who runs a Limited Sportsman at Malta.
Mack’s life hasn’t always been about racing. Over the years, he’s owned a bar and a restaurant. However, his focus changed and he sold both to concentrate on DKM. He also helped a guy named Stewart Friesen from 2011-2019 where the two became best friends.
While he’s visited victory lane at Albany Saratoga on multiple occasions, he hasn’t won in years and is hoping to change that in 2023.
“This year, we’ll call Albany-Saratoga home,” he said. “We’ll race a little at Fonda Speedway too as time allows. Depending on how the things go, we could possibly run some bigger races during the season.”
What’s the biggest obstacle facing Mack and the 71 team this season?
“Probably the biggest challenge will be running good and finishing ever week,” he said. “With a stacked Sportsman division at Malta, which could be 25 plus cars ever week, it’ll be tough.”
Mack doesn’t have to worry about expectations being put upon him. He does that for himself.
“The team and I are going out there to perform,” he said. “Yes, I haven’t raced in years, but my heart was always in the sport. We want to do well. I can’t thank Pete enough for this opportunity and all of the sponsors that are part of this deal. BPI Piping, Haun Welding Supply, MPH Metal Processing, NEFCO, Roberts Towing, DKM Fabrication, Integra Shocks, SRI, One Zee Tee’s and JK Signworks are all behind this deal. I can’t wait to make them proud.”