The drive from York City to his garage in Glenville is about 45 minutes to the southwest.
Some nearby roads are made of dirt. Corn fields and farms are all around.
Tucked away just a few miles north of the Mason-Dixon Line is a large garage with three NASCAR racing trucks inside. And that's just how Todd Peck likes it.
The 26-year-old grew up around there, going to school in the South Western School District. And from a young age, he's always loved racing. After all, it's in his genes. His uncle, Tom, competed in the NASCAR Busch Series in the 1980s against drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jeff Gordon, among others.
While he respects his uncle's accomplishments, Peck is on a journey to carve out his own
Second go-around: Peck is set to make his 2012 debut this Saturday in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, competing in the American Ethanol 200 at the Iowa Speedway.
It's one of six races he is slated to race this season. He's still aiming for a top-15 finish. But given everything that happened last season, Peck is also hoping things go a lot smoother this time around.
Peck and his No. 96 racing team -- which is made up of crew chief Keith Wolfe, a 1994 South Western grad, and eight crew members -- first competed in the truck series a year ago. Nothing seemed to go right, though. Peck experienced everything from brake failure (Iowa Speedway) to getting caught in a multi-truck pileup on lap No. 1 (New Hampshire Motor Speedway).
In the only race he finished, Peck placed 27th among 32 drivers at the Lucas Oil Raceway (Indianapolis). He didn't compete at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway because he crashed into the wall during practice. And he couldn't make it to his final scheduled race of the year at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway because the truck engine blew out during testing at the garage in Glenville.
"We could go back and change a million things and it might end up the same way because it was bad luck," Peck said last week. "We could change everything but the end result, which is really kind of all that matters. But looking at the big picture, I think we'll be all right."
Reloaded: It didn't help that Peck only had one truck to race with all of last season. If something couldn't be repaired, Peck's day was done. So, it might be a different story this year.
After racing with associate sponsorships in 2011, Peck has now picked up his first-ever primary sponsorship in Stopain, a company that supplies topical pain relief products. Wolfe said the crew also pulls in money throughout the year by working on racing trucks for six to eight other drivers at their Glenville garage. In racing terms, that means Peck has a lot more money to work with now.
As a result, the racing team now has three No. 96 racing trucks that they'll travel with this year.
Arthritis: Diagnosed with arthritis at the age of 15, Peck is continuing his relationship with the Arthritis Foundation. He and his crew plan on participating in the annual Juvenile Arthritis Conference later this month in St. Louis.
"We're going to host a pinewood derby there for the kids in attendance. It'll be fun," he said.
Should he succeed on the race track, Peck can serve as a good role model by showing those kids they can overcome arthritis and achieve their dreams, no matter if they're from a big city or grew up surrounded by farmland like him.
-- Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.