Contributed by: ACT Staff
Unbuckled: Getting To Know Dave Pembroke
Driver of the #44 VSECU Ford
Hometown: Middlesex, VT
2012: Third Place Overall in Late Model Standings, 50th Milk Bowl Winner
What are your favorite hobbies in the off-season?
I have a Harley Davidson that I barely ride, I have a four wheeler that I barely ride, I have a snowmobile that I have 150 miles on this year, I’ve got a snowboard that I don’t use, but I do have two racecars that seem to get a lot of attention. That pretty much covers my hobbies!
What do you do for work?
I am a network administrator at Vermont State Employees Credit Union.
What is your biggest life accomplishment?I guess it’s probably having my name on all the granite monuments at Thunder Road. I used to go there as a kid and I remember watching the Coors Tour and Busch North, and never in a million years thought I would ever even race there. The accomplishments that we’ve been able to achieve there are pretty cool, and the list of names we’re next to is even cooler.
Big Plans for 2013?
Running Thunder Road full time with the T-Road car, and running a few Pro Stock races. Probably just 3-4 of them.
What is the state of your car currently?
We are running the same car as last year, currently putting the body back on it. We’re getting there, but there’s a fair amount of work left to do.
What race are you looking forward to the most in 2013?
I’m ready to race. The warm weather last weekend got me into spring fever. I’m ready to go. I’m not sure there is one race in particular, though. The goal is the championship, so I’m looking forward to any race to strap in. If I had to choose one, it would be the Milk Bowl probably. I love the Milk Bowl. We won it last year, so that’s one we will be looking forward to all summer long.
What was the highlight of the 2012 season for you?
Winning the Milk Bowl, more particularly the 50th Milk Bowl. Because of the history and it being the 50th, that makes it so cool to me. I’d say it’s the biggest race I’ve ever won in my career.
Do you have a hero? Someone you idolize as a racecar driver or try to emulate?
Growing up, I use to go to Thunder Road and Catamount Stadium and some of the Tour races, and Bobby Dragon was a driver we always use to watch and cheer for. I like the way he races. He just wins. That’s what I want to emulate.
Who is your biggest fan at the track?
Biggest fan at the track, when she goes, is my daughter. She is just starting to go now, she just turned four.
How did you start racing?
My cousin Eric and I raced four wheelers with one of the guys who works on my car now. Todd Audet and Jeremy Jarvis really got Eric and I into it. We did that for a couple years, then my cousin Rick bought a Tiger car, and my Dad and brother use to help Alex Hart way back. I’ve always been involved, but Eric and I bought a Tiger car together in 1995 that we took turns driving.
What is something about you that most people don’t know?
My cousin Eric and I went to the last race at Riverside Speedway that year, and it was Eric’s turn to drive and I ended up towing the car because he wasn’t going to show up until late. I practiced the car, he showed up, and I ended up racing the car that day and I actually won the race. But the whole day, on this big race win for me, they were announcing Eric Pembroke in the car! Winning that race the first year got me hooked.
Tell me about your family?
Chloe and Shelly at home are big supporters. My team is a mostly family run team. My Dad and brother and Uncle and cousin Eric and Uncle Steve and Aunt Sheila, there are so many pieces to the puzzle. I have a sister and parents who are huge fans and supporters. I couldn’t do it without any one of them. Each one is such a part of the successes we’ve had.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I don’t know, to be honest. Oh boy. I’d like to think I’m involved in some way. I don’t know if I’ll be racing for points or if I’ll be helping my cousin Kyle Pembroke. I will still be at Thunder Road on Thursdays one way or the other.