MONROVIA, Ind. — Justin Peck has been tabbed as the substitute driver for Buch Racing this weekend with the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1.
Peck will fill in for Paul McMahan, who confirmed Thursday afternoon that he has tested positive for COVID-19, along with his wife Jan.
The 21-year-old will pilot the Buch No. 13 in events at Wilmot (Wis.) Raceway on Aug. 21 and Plymouth (Ind.) Speedway on Aug. 22. Peck ranks 14th in All Star points and has made 10 feature starts this year.
“It was one of those things, man. I saw that Paul (McMahan) had put out there on Twitter that he was sick, and I just reached out and said, ‘Hey, man, I hope you get to feeling better,’” Peck recalled when reached by phone Thursday evening. “And then like an hour later, I kind of stewed on it, and I was like, ‘Man, I should see if they’ve got a driver and if they’re going to go racing,’ so I hit him up and asked if they needed a backup (driver)?
“At the time, he said he wasn’t sure, but that he’d let Sean (Strausbaugh, crew chief) know that I was interested and it all just worked out from there,” Peck added. “It wasn’t necessarily something that I figured would happen; I think it was just kind of one of those things. I just happened to see it on Twitter, and as soon as I saw it on Twitter, Sean called me. Hopefully, we can have some fun this weekend.”
The deal for Peck to fill in for McMahan worked out well because Peck was already planning to compete in the two races with his family-owned No. 5x. Now, he can simply go to the track and focus on driving.
“These guys seem to have fun while they’re out there at the track and it seems like it’s led to success for them,” Peck noted. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity, man.
“Sean seems like he knows what he’s talking about and he seems like he works pretty well on race cars. The (No.) 13 team has top-flight stuff, so it’ll be fun. I’m looking forward to filling in for with them.
“Paul’s a good friend of mine, so, hopefully, we can do well for him.”
Even though the weekend is just a one-off opportunity for Peck, he views it as another step in his racing career that a full-time touring team like Buch’s operation trusts him for such a role.
“This is the type of thing that I’ve worked my whole life for. You know what I’m saying? As a kid that started racing when he was five years old, my goal has always been to make it to the World of Outlaws and go racing for a living,” Peck noted. “To do that, you have to step outside of your comfort zone a little bit and do some stuff that you weren’t necessarily prepared to do. But I’m pretty excited. These guys are a lot of fun to talk to and hang out with, and they always seem to find themselves running toward the front.
“I think we’ll make a pretty good combination.”