Rival’s Call Puts Mardis Back On Track
LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. — After destroying his car in a crash three weeks ago at Lucas Oil I-10 Speedway, Jim Mardis was planning to sit out the final two races of the Lucas Oil Modified Series presented by LoanMart season.
One phone called changed Mardis’ outlook.
Fellow competitors Roger Brown and Thomas Pfundstein each called Mardis separately and offered him the use of their modified for this Saturday’s event at Havasu 95 Speedway and the Nov. 16 finale at The Bullring at Las Vegas.
Mardis listened to them and to Bluewater Technologies, K&N, JAM Sportswear and his other sponsors and finally said, “why not?”
Mardis told Brown, who ranks eighth in the standings to drive his own car and attempt to improve his position, but with Pfundstein not in the top 20, Mardis accepted that ride.
“We’ve had a lot of people support us over the years and Tom graciously offered me his car and allowed me to put some of my sponsor’s decals on it,” Mardis said. “He’s pretty much given me the car for the last two races, which is pretty awesome of him. He’s let me do whatever I wanted to the car and change whatever I wanted and he’s been super supportive. You can’t ask for much more than somebody who’s willing to get out of his race car and give it to you.”
Pfundstein, a 62-year-old construction consultant who lives in Las Vegas, is part of the H-Town Racing team that also includes Aaron McMorran and Pat Petrie. His car, a Lefthander chassis with a Chevrolet engine, is the same one McMorran drove to a second-place finish in the Las Vegas finale in 2011.
“If we’re going to go we’re going to try to win,” Mardis said. “I think I can do it in that car. Tom has given me every resource available to him.”
Mardis, a two-time series champion, will go into Saturday’s race trailing leader Chris Gerchman by 54 points. That makes him an extreme long shot in the title fight with Gerchman, but also has a positive aspect.
“The biggest thing is that we can go out and have fun,” Mardis said. “We don’t have to worry about anything except trying to win and have fun with it again.”
Mardis has a 48-point lead on third-place Jason Patison and should be able to hold onto at least a second-place finish in the points.