Dreams Do Come True

I’m guessing the majority of kids, sitting in the stands at the local race track, dream of one day being a race car driver.

I know I did.

In the mid 1990’s, I recall sitting in the wooden bleachers at Attica Raceway Park every Friday night in the summer. I’d ask dad for a dollar or two to go down to the candy stand. I always bought laffy taffy and candy cigarettes before heading back to the stands in time to catch the first green flag waving to cheer on my favorite drivers.

My brothers and I would buy track cheeseburgers and have a competition to see how many bites it would take us to eat the whole burger. Oh, what we would do to entertain ourselves back in the day…..

I grew up a sprint car fan but I loved watching every division at the race track. Like any kid, I had favorite drivers. Sprint car greats Mark Keegan, Byron Reed, and one of my most liked, from the same home town as me, street stock driver Ron Koehler.

 

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Ron Koehler mid 1990’s at Attica Raceway Park. I remember Ron racing around the bottom of the race track and I would root for him to win week after week. He would pull off the victory every now and again and I remember that it would make my night.

 

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Thats me below the arrow. My buddy Tommy is beside me with the white hat on. Victory lane with all the kids who watched Mark Keegan pick up the win that night. As a kid…getting to be on the “horse track” and take part at ARP is incredible.

 

20180401_141537 - EditedMark Keegan in 2001 at ARP. I remember Mark would win ALOT. When you become the man to beat week in and week out the boooos start coming. Every time Mark would win the boo-birds would sound off….”Boooo, why don’t you travel?” “Boooo go to Eldora!”

20180401_141503 - EditedByron Reed after he won the feature at ARP in 2001. I remember Byron Reed being a young gasser and was exciting to watch. Byron is not as young as he once was…he’s still exciting to watch and he puts it on the young pups regularly nowadays.

It’s funny how things work out.

Ron was just in our race shop checking out the new ride for 2018.

Mark has a fabricating shop and my father and I have  a machine shop and we swap work back and forth. It’s always an interesting, up beat conversation with Mark!

We used to pit next to Byron’s team for years at Attica. I’ve chatted with him about the different tracks we’ve traveled to and the ups and downs of racing. Best of all, Byron and I shared the stage, at the Attica Raceway Park banquet, as track champions.

Most of the kids that wish to pilot a race car one day don’t actually ever become drivers.

Luckily I had the opportunity to get behind the wheel and I’m forever grateful to live out my childhood dream.

Ryan

 

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