Contributed by: ACT Staff
Unbuckled: Getting To Know Trampas Demers
Driver of the #85 Shelburne Limestone Corp Chevrolet
Hometown: Shelburne, VT
2012: 4th in Late Model Division at Thunder Road
What are your favorite hobbies in the off-season?
Snowmobiling and flying. I do a lot of recreational flying with my Dad. I actually got a glider ride from Dan Lathrop once, one of the Street Stock racers. It was pretty fun.
What do you do for work?
I manage Shelburne Limestone. My father started it in 1969.
What is your biggest life accomplishment?Learning how to work with people. When I was 23-years old, there wasn’t a chance in the world that I could manage anybody. I had to learn how to approach things and how talk to people and motivate people. I wasn’t good at it at first; I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to say things and how to come at things, and I’m still working on it. I learned by an opportunity that my father gave me to work on the racecar and set goals and timelines for myself, but also I had people that worked with me that helped me and I had to learn how to work with them. It’s so critical to racing, and life really
Big Plans for 2013?
To compete at Thunder Road weekly in the Late Models as I’ve done for many years. My whole focus has always been to try and do as well as I can at Thunder Road. I’ll have the same program as last year.
What is the state of your car currently?
The car is currently having a new body put on it.
What race are you looking forward to the most in 2013?
I’m looking forward to the Governor’s Cup the most, I think. I think that we’ve learned from our past mistakes, and I feel good about where we are. I think we can get the finish we deserve in that race.
What was the highlight of the 2012 season for you?
Being competitive on a weekly basis. I think our connection with RPM was a big catalyst in that. It was the missing piece, so to speak.
Do you have a hero? Someone you idolize as a racecar driver or try to emulate?
I try to live up to the standards of my father’s. Not really as a race driver, but outside of life. There are a lot of wrecked cars in the shop, he either seems to wreck the car or win the race, there’s no in between! So I don’t know about as a racecar driver, but I try to uphold the standards and things I learned from the guidance of my father.
Who is your biggest fan at the track?
That would be Louis Cassani, my father-in-law. He comes every week, and he’s a season pass holder. It’s great to have fans like him in the stands every week.
What is something about you that most people don’t know?
I very rarely get through a meal without spilling food on myself. It’s been like that my whole life, right from my childhood days. My parents still laugh, and I’m sitting there looking around and there’s food all over me.
How did you start racing?
We lived in a trailer that was a half-mile from Catamount Stadium when I was born, so we would go there on Saturday nights and watch the races. We got away from racing a little and got more into Aviation later in life and then, in 1991 on a nice sunny Saturday afternoon, we went to Devils Bowl to watch Todd Stone race. One of the original owners of Bobby Dragon’s 71 team, a father’s friend, came with us. He always loved racing. Randy and Arlene fisher went with us too, I think, and my Dad and I thought “boy this would be fun.” We knew John Casey, the PR guy for Airborne at the time, and he encouraged us to do it. Airborne had a lot of great competition then. My father was 41 at the time, and he had always wanted to do it, but he couldn’t when he was younger growing a business, so we decided to try it out. I was 20. On the way home we plotted our plan and in five weeks we were racing a Tiger car at Airborne. We only raced a few events because it was August before we got the car done. I’ve been hooked on it ever since then. I raced a lot with my father and now I’m kind of doing my own thing.
Tell me about your family?
I recently got married to my wife Emily, who grew up about a mile away from the racetrack. I basically met her at Thunder Road. I enjoy spending time with my parents and also Emily’s parents. We set aside family time, so to speak, by only racing weekly. We do our thing on Thursdays, but that allows opportunities to do things on the weekend with my family. That works out well. She enjoys racing. She’s been very supportive of me, which makes it much easier for me. It means a lot to have such a supportive member of my team. She grew up around it, her father use to race at Thunder Road in the #13 car. We have a lot of common ground because of that, and Emily’s brother Joe started helping Joey Laquerre and worked on Jamie Fisher’s car for awhile, but he left when he started his own business. I talked him into coming back and helping me during Thunder Road races. So now I have Emily and Joe helping me and Rich Palmer and Charlie who have been with me for a long time, and with the addition of Rick Paya of RPM, we truly have a full crew, which gives us the opportunities to do things during practice I never could do. My father and I use to run both cars with just a total of four people, so to have a crew for one car is a big difference.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?I don’t see myself any further than being a weekly Thunder Road guy as long as I’m still having fun. That’s the key. I enjoy going to other race tracks, but I’ve done that so much with my father that I’m burned out with the travel. Hopefully a life-changing event will come soon with a child, and I’ll have to figure out what I want to do when the time comes. There is a core group of us that race there week in and week out that have raced together there for a long time. The Pembrokes and the Sweets have been beating us, and I don’t like it, but I absolutely respect what they’ve been able to do.