BOYD, Texas — Among the huge talent pool of dedicated racers across North Texas, one fairly young driver is making a big impact on our sport. While he isn't racing as often this season as in years past, he's still running wide open all the time since buying out his former business partner.
For 23-year-old racer Jeffrey Abbey, balancing a race team with a rapidly growing business is a major challenge. Yet it's one he can apparently handle, since he has seven wins and 13 top-five finishes in 23 starts this year. He's a legitimate threat to win in any IMCA Stock Car or Late Model race he enters.
“We really haven't raced as much as we usually would,” Abbey said. “Normally, we would have 35 or 40 nights under our belts by this time. I recently purchased CRS Suspensions as the sole owner, and have been really busy with that. That deal has kind of exploded here recently.
“But when we do race, we normally have a pretty good showing. The guys over at Sniper Speed have been doing a lot of R&D work, and it's paying dividends. We're a dealer for Sniper Speed cars built by Jon Courchaine and his guys up in Wisconsin. They've been super helpful to my racing program.”
The Abbey family's impact on short track racing in Texas (and points beyond) is notable. Jeffrey was young when he got started, and has enjoyed success in everything he's driven in a 17-year career.
“I've been racing for a long time,” Abbey explained. “I grew up watching my Dad run Hot Stocks at 281 Speedway. I started out in Karts when I was six years old. I ran those for a couple of years, then we went and raced on the asphalt in Bandelero and Legend cars for a few years. My brothers did that, too.
“In 2013, I got my first SportMod when I was 13 or 14 years old. We ran the SportMod pretty heavy for four years, every Friday and Saturday night, 60 nights a year. In 2015, I finished second by three markers in National points. I won that the next year, and that really was the last points racing we did.”
From there, the progression and eventual landing in I-Stock was a natural evolution for this wheel-man.
“In 2018, I got a Modified and traveled around running that for a while. We didn't run the same tracks often, but we were still able to pick up the IMCA National Rookie-of-the-Year award. Then we got back into the Stock car, started hitting the big money shows and kinda traveling around some.”
Bottom line here; Abbey has been pretty blessed in this sport to already have the success he's enjoyed.
“We've run a lot of different cars over that 17 years,” he said in humble fashion. “We've won a bunch of races in a Factory Stock, won races in a Southern SportMod, Modified, Stock Cars, Late Models, we also ran a Mini Sprint a couple of years for Dustin and Kelly Davidson.
“We even made it to the Tulsa Shootout. In our first appearance there, we made it into the A Main. That was pretty amazing. We've just raced a ton of cars, and sure have had a lot of fun doing it.”
While he is always a legitimate threat to win in any Late Model show he enters, he doesn't own the car.
“The Late Model I drive is actually owned by Tom Earl,” Abbey explained. “He got with me about mid-way through last year and asked if I'd like to drive for him. I ran the DFW series and the STLMS some.
“We have a newer car this year, and have missed maybe one of two of the American Crate Late Model Series. We've had a lot of fun driving that car for Tom. We're getting close to our first win.”
The winner of the recent Baby Blue Harcrow Memorial at Heart O' Texas Speedway says the level of competition in I-Stock is on the rise, boys.
“I think three or four years ago, this class was kinda dead around here,” Abbey said. “There weren't many cars, and tracks struggled to keep it viable. But the last couple of years, car counts have really exploded. Not just here in Texas, but all over the country. And there are plenty of fast drivers out there.
“That's one good thing about this class; IMCA has a very solid rules package. You can go all over the country. I can take this car to Oregon, California, Arizona, up to Wisconsin and North Dakota, it doesn't matter. It's all on the same rules package. I can unload, know I'll be competitive and will pass Tech.”
When Abbey isn't swamped building shocks for CRS customers (that list is growing) and actually gets to go race himself, he straps into a world class race car.
“We were up in Hays, Kansas, racing in 2020 and that's when we met Jon Courchaine,” Abbey explained. “Shortly after we met, I got my first Sniper Speed stock car. It's been a great machine ever since we got it; they're really good cars. Jon puts a lot of time and effort into the R&D side of things.
“He's always working to find new technology and more speed in these things, and it shows. These Sniper cars are a very good piece. As for horsepower, I run a 360 cubic inch motor built by Kevin Stoa up in Minnesota. We switched to his motors in 2015 when I ran SportMods; and that's all we run now.”
Along with his immense natural talent behind the wheel and top-notch race cars, Abbey also has several valued marketing partners and key people behind the scenes who keep his program successful.
“I need to thank CRS Suspension, Sniper Speed, KS Engineering, Hydrostatic Pipe Services, Dynamic Drivelines, Race On Texas, Southern Range Logistics, McElroy Logistics, Industrial Instrument, Stop Tech Brakes, Jake Henderson Racing, JB Skid, Dirt Defender, Landrum Springs, Bilstein Shocks, Supreme Vinyl Works and Abbey Racing. I truly appreciate the support of each and every one.”
As this steamy-hot Texas summer rolls on (several cities have had nearly 30 days of triple-digit temps), Abbey will keep slaving away to satisfy the many CRS customers and go after a few more big wins.
“This shock business is really taking off, so we won't be out there as much as I'd like,” he concluded. “But I'm fine with that, and we'll still be doing lots more racing before the year is out. We just partnered with Justin Whitehead and his Outlaw brand; so that will bring a lot of new guys to CRS.
“We're going to run the Late Model again for Tom when the ACLMS runs, I know that much. I probably won't run the Stock car much until this fall, we plan to hit the IMCA Super Nationals in September. That will probably be our next big outing in the Stock car. I'm just happy being this busy.”
By Phil Whipple, RaceOnTexas.com Staff Writer
Photo by Stacy Kolar/Southern Sass