Unbuckled: Rowland Robinson, Jr.
Thursday, January 17 2013 @ 08:38 AM EST
Contributed by: ACT Staff
Unbuckled: Getting To Know Rowland Robinson, Jr.
Driver of the #28 Rowland’s Recycling Chevrolet
Hometown: Steuben, ME
2012: 14th place finisher on the American Canadian Tour.
What are your favorite hobbies in the off-season?
To be honest, I don’t have time to do a lot outside of my work, but I do like to snowmobile. I got one brand new in 2007, but I think I only have 900 miles on it.
What do you do for work?
We own a scrapyard, we buy metal, and we plow for two towns. Rowland’s Recycling is the name of the business, and my father and I own it. We’ve always had a junkyard but just recently we got a scrap yard too.
What is your biggest life accomplishment?
I would say, taking that risk to run the Tour. It’s just starting to pay off. We tried it a couple years ago and stopped and tried to skimp on things and make the best of it, but it wasn’t until last winter when we really went forward with Jeff Taylor. It showed this year. Not many people around where I’m from have tried to take a risk like that. I think there are a lot of naysayers where I live, so it feels good to have stayed. There were times I thought I would fail, but I’m glad we didn’t. I try to represent the people I grew up with and my hometown since we are so far away, so I am proud that we have stuck it out and improved like we have.
Big Plans for 2013?
Running the American Canadian Tour full time.
What is the state of your car currently?
It was just in the Augusta, ME Car Show for the pit crew challenge. Cosmetically it is decent, but it needs some updating underneath.
What race are you looking forward to the most in 2013?
Lee. I’ve never qualified for Lee and I would like to get that past me. I’ll be ready.
What was the highlight of the 2012 season for you?
I would have to say either finishing in the top ten at Sanair or being invited at Loudon. I raced the All-Star Challenge at Loudon two years ago, but getting invited to the Bond Auto ACT Invitational was big for me.
Do you have a hero? Someone you idolize as a racecar driver or try to emulate?
I’d say it would have to be Andy Santerre or Jeff Taylor. Andy has always been a big hero of mine because he never forgot where he came from. His hometown is two towns over from mine.
Who is your biggest fan at the track?
That would have to be my grandfather and grandmother when they can come. But we travel a lot, and all of the races are far away for us. My girlfiriend, mother, and father are my crew, and they are always there.
What is something about you that most people don’t know?
Probably the amount of hard work that me, my parents, and my girlfriend have put in when we aren’t actually at the track. There’s no golden spoon. We really bust our butts to do what we do. A lot of people think it’s just wheeling a car, but there’s so much more to it than that.
How did you start racing?
My father raced at Speedway 95, and I started working on his car from day one. I use to spot for him and he got me a Street Stock when I was 15. At 17 years old I was second in points and I was 18 when I won my first championship. He drove Late Models at the time. He let me drive his Late Model and I did well in it, and he let me race it. He says he enjoys watching me race as much as racing himself.
Tell me about your family?
My family has been into racing for a lot of years now because of my father. He got into it pretty early in his life. My girlfriend has two kids and when they can come they come. When they can’t it’s just her and I and my Mother and Father at the races. I have other people there 50% of the time maybe, but for the most part it’s just them. Brian Hoar’s crew has helped us, Glen Luce, and some others, but my family is still put in some tough situations. I do feel like there is a great sense of comradery on the Tour, though.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully running up front on the ACT Tour. I don’t mind the traveling, I don’t know if I could do it if I did! Working for myself it makes it a little easier, but Monday mornings are still pretty rough!