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Anthony Perrego Aims For Fast Start at DIRTcar Nationals After Strong Finish to 2023

Anthony Perrego
The Montgomery, NY driver returns to full-time Super DIRTcar Series action in 2024

Anthony Perrego is riding a wave of momentum entering 2024.

And after winning his final two races of 2023, he hopes to keep that momentum rolling at Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park, Feb. 14-17.

Perrego’s trip to Volusia in the iconic Vinny Salerno-owned #4* car will be his first since 2020. But he’s still searching for his first Gator trophy despite his consistency at “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile,” earning five top fives and nine top 10s in 11 starts.

“It’s kind of like the first time I went down there,” Perrego said. “It was the first time I went there in a Big Block. You just go down there with an open mind and take it night by night. 

“The first year I went down, we were really good in practice, and we kicked it off well. Then, it was a lack of experience, and I just didn’t keep up with the boys. I feel like when we went back (the next year) with Graham’s car, we were pretty consistent each night. We didn’t pick up a win, but we were in contention. I think now, going back again with the experience that we have, we’re coming in with momentum and can base things off of the end of the year.”

While Perrego brings momentum to Florida, it comes after a season of adversity. After winning his third career Super DIRTcar Series Feature at Big Diamond Speedway in July, motor problems plagued his season, forcing him to take time away from the Super DIRTcar Series and focus on the end of the year.

The move paid off for the 29-year-old driver, who narrowly missed out on his first Super DIRT Week victory, finishing second in the Salute to the Troops 150 at Oswego Speedway.

“We have a few guys that lend a helping hand, but they don’t come everywhere with us, so it’s kind of on me and Vinny (Salerno),” Perrego said. “Vinny has a full-time job, and I’m trying to make a living doing this. It got to be where we had to make a decision and fall off the tour because we didn’t have an engine. We drove all the way to Canada, blew up the first night, drove all the way back home, and obviously went to work on our program, and it showed at the end.

“Unfortunately, with the Big Block at Oswego, we didn’t get the finish we wanted, but with the [358], we showed we had the speed.”

DIRTcar Nationals won’t be Perrego’s only Super DIRTcar Series event in 2024, as he plans on competing for a championship—hoping to dethrone Matt Sheppard, one of his best friends, for the title.

While he knows some tracks he may struggle at, the 2022 Series Rookie of the Year said his experience with the schedule is starting to give him more confidence.

“When you get to see these tracks time and time again, you start to figure it out,” Perrego said. “Things just click like you’re at your home track. At a lot of the tracks, we have that mojo now, but there’s a few still you go there, and you’re like, oh this track.”

With that experience, Perrego said he’s ready to keep riding his wave of momentum, aiming for a fast start to the season at Volusia.

“Obviously, you want to go and win races,” Perrego said. “When you start the year out, you’re not really worried about the points. So, hopefully, we can start out strong. Obviously, we won one last year. But I think if we won three to five, that’d be a good year for us.”

Perrego’s quest for a gator trophy begins when the Super DIRTcar Series kicks off their 2024 season at Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park, Feb. 14-17. For tickets, visit dirtcarnationals.com.

If you can’t make it to the track, watch all the action live on DIRTVision, either online or with the DIRTVision app.