January 30, 2009
You know how there’s something
different about Carl Edwards? It’s not just those sculptured good
looks. It’s not his scarily brave competence in the office –
remember that last lap bounce off the wall at Michigan last
summer?). It’s the refreshing way he thinks and the joyful way he
Well, everybody stand back. Carl’s got a clone now. There’s another
10,000-watt smile in town. And the energy source behind this one is
a 25 year old from up in Fort Francis, Ontario, named Steve Arpin.
Credit: Eddie Sharp Racing
He was a lot of action from the
start. Son of an entrepreneur and dirt racer, Steve was winning in
go-karts at 10. And then jet skis. And there were the National and
World snowmobile titles in 2002 and 2003.
A rocket ship launched his first day on clay, and he was modified
track champ at 15. No question the handsome kid had the feel for the
wheel. He is also an A student of chassis dynamics, immersing
himself in how things really work.
Curiously, his trips to the South have always seemed to warm him up
and define him. Colorful drama, to say the least.
Take his 2007 adventures during Speedweeks at Volusia. Five out of
seven nights he whipped a modified field so big it spilled out of
the pit area. Do you think the driving scouts had their antennae up
Down at a show over in East Bay, Steve noticed that he’d have to
wait in the infield for a while after his time trial. He wired some
hot dogs to his exhaust manifold with tin foil, put some rolls and
mustard behind his seat, and offered up refreshments to the guys in
the infield after he qualified.
Then there was that little 2007 jaunt to Las Vegas. Thursday night,
Steve won his spot in Saturday’s feature, so he had a surprise day
off on Friday. He made the most of it. It was off to the Little
White Wedding Chapel where he took the hand of the gorgeously blonde
Steve and Trina
Photo Credit: The Arpin Collection
The eyes of the world were on the
Canadian as he towed into Volusia in 2008, and that was a different
kind of drama. That first night Steve was working on his engine when
a radiator hose blew off, spraying him with boiling water. His left
arm, thighs, and groin were horribly and painfully burned.
The racing community sprang to action. The Kenny Show – Wallace and
Schrader – pitched in, as did guys like Bobby LaBonte, Jared
Landers, Jack Roush. They flew Steve and Trina home, and racer Ron
Martin hauled all their kit back up North.
Taken by the kid’s infectious personality and obvious talent,
everyone watched as he recovered, and the ride offers followed. That
summer he ran late models on pavement and loved it. He was USAC
Rookie of the Year in the Silver Crown series, running a car owned
by Carl Edwards and wrenched by Chris Santucci. Soon he was picked
up by Cary Agajanian’s MMI, the leading driver rep agency in the
This past fall Steve and the fair Trina moved to Mooresville. They
house-sat for Carl before finding a place of their own. Trina’s now
the office manager at Eddie Sharp Racing, and Steve’s getting ready
to attack the ARCA RE/MAX race during Speedweeks 2009. His practice
times are lightning quick. And you can just sense his excitement. “I
was so consumed when we went down there for practice. Holy Crap! I’m
on my first lap at Daytona. Oh my God, I’m here!”
He just may be. It sure has the ring of Edwards II.
© 2009 Lew
Boyd, Coastal 181