Getting Up To Speed With…Tony Bounds
By Ben Deatherage
A familiar face will be at the Cottage Grove Speedway in 2014 with a new car and number. Eugene’s Tony Bounds is excited to be back racing at the historic ¼-mile clay oval despite taking 2013 off for personal reasons. Bounds will be quite busy as he will be competing in both the Late Models as well as chauffeuring the Gary Compton owned #55 Street Stock entry.
In addition to running two cars Bounds has made the personal choice to run in one car per night primarily focusing on the Street Stock. However there will be several dates when select drivers will fill in his More of Everything Collectibles/Emerald Valley Towing/Jeff’s Garage #96R C.J. Rayburn machine in the Late Model division. Those drivers include Rick “The Animal” Zuvich, Eric Ashley, and Scott Kelley.
Born and raised in Cottage Grove Bounds’ goals are to be competitive this season and finish in the top ten in the final point standings in either class as well as finish in the top ten in every main event he starts. We hope you enjoy this article now let’s get up to speed with Tony Bounds.
Driver: Tony Bounds
Home Track: Cottage Grove Speedway
Hometown: Eugene, Oregon
Occupation: Auto Parts Clerk at Knecht’s Auto Parts
Years Racing: 18
Classification: Late Model/Street Stock
Chassis: C.J Rayburn Race Cars/Chevy Camaro
Sponsors: (Late Model) More of Everything Racing Collectibles, Emerald Valley Towing, Jeff’s Garage, Warp Graphix, DJ’s-B-Us, Gillespie Tree Service
(Street Stock) More of Everything Racing Collectibles, Jeff’s Garage
Special Thanks: Barney Hamilton, Jeff Serna, Jason Andrews, Smith Brothers Racing, Tom Randall, Frank Brewer
BD: You took the 2013 season off but coming back in 2014 you seem to be bouncing back stronger than ever.
TB: Well I took last year off because of the passing of my wife Robin in November of 2012. I wasn’t going to come back but it was one of her last wishes for me to go out and race. I found a heck of a deal on a Late Model from Barney Hamilton and I’ve always wanted to run one so I guess this is my chance.
This season I plan on racing nine Late Model shows at Cottage Grove. When I’m not doing that I’ll be driving for Gary Compton and his Street Stock. It’s one of Mike Zielinski’s old cars that he used to run at the old Eugene Speedway in the 1990’s.
BD: Tony you’ve been racing for several years now in various classes at different tracks. What got you started in this wild sport of racing?
TB: I was on a pit crew for a Sportsman team at Douglas County Speedway in Roseburg for a year. I decided to build a Limited Sportsman the one year they went to dirt and got sixth in the final points. I’ve ran the Mini Stock, Street Stock, Hornet, Limited Sportsman, Sportsman, and Modified divisions at either Cottage Grove, Roseburg, Willamette Speedway, and Coos Bay Speedway.
BD: This season you seem to be taking a new role as a part-time car owner. Are you excited for that?
TB: Yes, I’m going to have Rick Zuvich run it at Willamette Speedway a couple of times in the Super Sports when I’m not running at Cottage Grove. And like I said on the couple of Late Model shows at CG I won’t be able to race I’m going to have Eric Ashley and Scott Kelley in my car. Their all good drivers and I trust them with my equipment.
BD: What is your greatest racing memory to date?
TB: Well I’ve never won a heat or main but I’d have to say my big wreck in 2012. I barrel rolled my #66x Chrysler on the front stretch at Grove on the 4th of July. It’s the biggest response I’ve gotten from the crowd my entire career.
But my favorite part of this sport is signing autograph for the fans especially the kids. Being in the car is awesome but it’s even cooler to sign autographs for little kids who think your car is awesome.
BD: For several years you ran #66X but now running #96R. Do any of those number have special meanings to you?
TB: This year I will have the #96R in tribute to Robin. The #66X I’ve ran ever since I’ve been racing because I was born in 1966. I added the “X” because there have been other tracks I’ve been to when there has been another #66.
The Cottage Grove Speedway is set to host a test and tune play day on Saturday April 5th while the first race of the year is planned for the following Saturday on the 12th. Log on to www.cottagegrovespeedway.com for news stories and articles related to the upcoming 2014 campaign.