'FAMILY FEUD' TAKES TO THE TRACK
By Pierre LaBossire
Observer Staff Writer
ELGIN The Arrand family of Elgin likes their cars, and on Saturday night, they're going to get the chance to find out who's the best driver of the pack.
The Arrands will be holding an "Arrand Family Grudge Match" on the track at the Elgin Stampede Grounds.
Four Arrands Estill, his son Tom, and Tom's kids, Josh and Meghan, will get behind the wheels of various vehicles for a 10-lap race.
The family race should take place early during Elgin's race night, which begins at 6 p.m.
Tom has been racing for about three years in Elgin and Baker City, and Josh, an Elgin High School student, and Meghan have racing experience, too. Estill's never done it before.
Because of his lack of experience, Estill will get the best vehicle. He will be driving a Ford super stock truck, while the rest of the family will be driving stock sedans.
"I've never been on the track before," said Estill, who is hoping for some practice laps before the race begins.
Estill thinks that with his superior vehicle and his pole position, he's got a shot at winning.
"As long as I don't spin out, I think they'll have a tough time getting around me," he said.
Tom will be in the back, but he thinks he'll be able to use his driving skill to get past the rest of his family.
They're calling it a grudge match ("You and I got some grudges to work out," Meghan told Tom), but it's really a friendly competition.
Tom said there might be a little bumping going on, but there won't be any serious fender slapping. Meghan said the "bump and pass" is all part of racing.
Tom said there's no side bets within the family, but that it is his understanding there are side bets going on in the Elgin community.
Cars and racing are a big part of the Arrand family. Tom's wife is named Mercedes ("which is kind of cool," he said), and 18-year-old Meghan, a 2003 Elgin High graduate, will be attending NASCAR college in Mooresville, N.C., this October.
Tom and his family scrounge junkyards and police sales year round, looking for cheap cars and parts to keep their race fleet going. He pciked up one car for $25 and another for free.
Tom said this is the time of year he stays busy with the family's race cars and with the local race circuits.
"A lot of stuff around the house gets put on the backburner during race season," he said.
Josh, who just missed going to the state 2A track meet in pole vaulting, likes the racing more than the pole vault. There's more of an adrenaline rush in racing, he said.
"In pole vaulting, you don't do much. You run and go up and then go down," he said.
Meghan said her dad got her into racing. "He got me into a car and I've liked it ever since," she said.
Meghan is hoping she can use the knowledge gained at the NASCAR college to become a Ford mechanic. She was accepted into the school after a NASCAR college representative came and interviewed her.
The top speeds at the Elgin track are around 45 to 50 miles per hour. There's real racing at the NASCAR school with speeds over 100 miles an hour.
"There's none of that 45 and 50 stuff going on," said Meghan.
Tom said it's exciting for Meghan to be going to the NASCAR college, but he's a little apprehensive. Not because he's afraid for Meghan.
"I just wish it was closer," he said.