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Richard Moody Racing Reunites With Trevor Sanborn For 2023 SLM Campaign

Trevor Sanborn carries three years’ worth of momentum to a top Super Late Model team looking for a big turnaround, hoping their fourth time together will be the charm.

Trevor Sanborn has a lot to look forward to as he reunites with Richard Moody Racing for the 2023 season. (STS/Jeff Brown)

In a region where owner-driver partnerships are scarce, pivotal driver changes are even scarcer. It seems fitting, then, that Trevor Sanborn’s move for 2023 is more of a reunion.

The Parsonsfield, Me. Super Late Model veteran and two-time Pro All Stars Series North feature winner will join forces next year with Richard Moody Racing, the team with which he won his first PASS races over a decade ago.

RMR broke the news on Facebook in mid-December, with Sanborn echoing the announcement on his Trevor Sanborn Motorsports page as well.

One of New England’s most successful Super Late Model teams, Richard Moody Racing hopes Trevor Sanborn will help turn the tide on a few years of frustration. (STS/Jeff Brown)

“Richard Moody Racing and Trevor Sanborn are excited to announce they are teaming up for the 2023 season,” the team posted. “RMR and TSM are looking forward to another chance to team up and to have the opportunity to compete for more wins together.”

The rejuvenated partnership is an opportunity for Sanborn to find the missing pieces to cement his presence at the front of the field, and for RMR to rebound from a challenging 2022 that fell short of lofty expectations.

Sanborn’s last three years have been a change of pace for the driver who broke into the Super Late Model scene in the mid-2000s. Armed with a new car in 2020, Sanborn made seven PASS features, his most in a season since 2010. Two weeks after winning Wiscasset Speedway’s annual Boss Hogg 150 in September, the young driver fell ill and was hospitalized, ending his season early and threatening to derail his racing career.

Recovering over the offseason, Sanborn made ten starts in 2021, finishing in the top ten in all but two. At Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Vermont, Sanborn led 72 laps to earn his first PASS North win in more than a decade.

Sanborn embarked on an even busier 2022, running 13 of the 18 PASS North events. While he went winless and placed eighth in overall PASS North points, Sanborn was fourth in PASS’ New England North points program, just 61 points shy of New England North champ DJ Shaw and overall PASS North titlist Ryan Kuhn.

Trevor Sanborn at NHMS, April 2022

Sanborn’s stout performance over the last few years has come at the wheel of his own equipment. While he will take the reins of RMR’s fleet in 2023, his established crew will follow him. (STS/Jeff Brown)

RMR entered the 2022 season with grand plans of its own. Since 2006, four-time PASS North champion Ben Rowe had been integral to those plans, winning 23 PASS features, a PASS North and a PASS South title, and four more PASS National Championships with RMR. The team added an American-Canadian Tour Late Model to its stable in 2020, with Rowe clinching the 2021 ACT Tour championship with a last-lap pass for the win.

Super Late Models, though, had been a challenge for the veteran team. A 2018 switch to a Senneker Performance chassis, a rarity in New England, paid quick dividends with a win, but the team had not won a PASS race since. Another chassis change, this time to Fury, had yet to pay off.

RMR fielded a two-car effort for Ben Rowe and Joey Polewarczyk in 2022, but early-season promise did not translate to long-term success. (STS/Jeff Brown)

Amid offseason rumors of a driver change, RMR instead announced a two-car PASS program for 2022, pairing Rowe with youthful veteran Joey Polewarczyk. Twice a PASS feature winner in 2021, “Joey Pole” finished in the top five in four of his first five starts with RMR. At Stafford Motor Speedway, Polewarczyk finished second and Rowe fifth, the results hinting at a turnaround.

Instead, both cars regressed in the coming weeks, a combination of on-track struggles and in-race misfortune. In July at White Mountain Motorsports Park, Rowe and RMR parted ways.

RMR moved on with Polewarczyk as a single-car operation, running most of the remaining PASS shows with some extracurricular starts. But the team’s struggles persisted, with their best PASS outing a ninth-place run at Oxford in August. Polewarczyk fielded his own car at the season finale at New London-Waterford Speedbowl, logging his first PASS top-five since April.

Polewarczyk’s 2023 plans are unknown, with RMR clarifying on Facebook that a driver of the team’s traditional No. 4 will be announced “at a later date.”

Sanborn, meanwhile, will put aside his own No. 29 in favor of the number with which he first visited victory lane for the Moody team.

“The TSM crew will merge with the RMR crew and race out of the current RMR stable, with Trevor carrying the familiar number 44,” the team’s release said. “With everyone working towards the same goals of competing for top finishes [in] short track racing. Everyone is excited to get the season going!”

Sanborn has driven for RMR on multiple occasions, most recently a three-race stint in 2017 as a teammate to Ben Rowe. (STS/Jeff Brown)

This is Sanborn’s fourth stint racing for Richard Moody Racing. Hooking up with the team early in the 2008 season, Sanborn picked up a pair of wins at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, N.C. in the now-defunct PASS South division. After stepping back from touring for a year, Sanborn rejoined RMR at the second race of 2010 as a teammate to Travis Benjamin. In the ninth race of the season, he took his first career PASS win at Riverside Speedway in Groveton, N.H.

Sanborn went his own way after 2010, but made three starts for RMR in late 2017 as a teammate to Rowe. Back at the wheel of a yellow No. 44, Sanborn finished twelfth in the Oxford 250 and was fourth at WMMP a few weeks later.

For his fourth go-around with the team, Sanborn brings three years of solid performance in his own equipment, plus a hard-fought win at one of the series’ toughest tracks.

Like Polewarczyk, Sanborn has raced primarily in Distance Racing Products chassis over the last few years. How he adapts to the more modern Fury cars in RMR’s fleet will be key to his success. Distance-prepared cars have long been the hot ticket in PASS, but Fury cars acquitted themselves nicely in 2022. Eddie MacDonald and champion Ryan Kuhn each won twice, and Austin MacDonald added a fifth win for the manufacturer.

And no matter what chassis rolls out of the Richard Moody Racing hauler in 2023, the team will have spared no expense making it ready to win.

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Jeff Brown is a contributor to Short Track Scene. A native of New Hampshire and a long-time fan of New England racing, Brown provides a fan's perspective as he follows New England's regional Late Model touring series.

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