Last year was my first year back in the car – one of my buddies raced it in 2009 – and we’ve done a lot of work. We made a lot of changes to the suspension, and built a race motor for it; before that, I was racing with a bone-stock motor.
It took me some time to get used to all the changes and get more comfortable with the car. Finishing second to veteran racer Steve Sargis last year is nothing to be ashamed of – he’s a great guy and a great driver. But, hopefully, this year we can change that. I was dealing with some issues last year: the transmission kept popping out of gear and I had some difficulties with my air-fuel ratio. Plus, we’ve been doing some more development work on the car this year. I’ve also had more seat time at Road America – I recently won the June Sprints there (pictured) – and have been trying some different lines. The CRX has been stout and really, really good, so I think my chances are good this year.
My CRX and I have come a long way since I built it and started racing it in 2002. It took a couple years to get the car developed and get me up to speed, and accustomed to racing on slick tires. It was a new experience, because previously I raced on dirt and ice!
I started competing early, doing motocross when I was 12 and 13. Then there was no more racing for awhile, until I took up dirt track racing. At Hales Corner Speedway, I met Lawrence Loshak, who encouraged me to try ice racing. If his name doesn’t sound familiar, Lawrence was one of the first to successfully campaign a new-era, front-wheel-drive car in the SCCA Production classes, doing well with a Honda Prelude in E Production.
So, I gave ice racing a go, and from the first lap I was hooked. In my first season, I won the Rookie of the Year award, then took a couple of championships after that. It was funny, because I was beating guys in the Modified class, with a bone-stock Honda. Lawrence and I would always finish first and second overall, with him winning Modified.
Ice racing really got me hooked on Hondas. You can’t beat the reliability. Then Lawrence got his Prelude, and I helped him develop that car for four or five years. He won the E Production National Championship in 2006, and has now moved on to Sports Racing (he won the title there, too, last year).
Now, I hope it’s my turn for a National Championship. But, really, I just like to run my own race, and where I place is where I place. I’m just trying to have fun at it.
The Honda Racing Line program has been a big help. The parts discount is important, and the program is also helping to pay a little of the money we spend on racing through contingency. We get a little something back to put toward tires or fuel.
That’s just one of the things that keeps me in the Honda family. I like being loyal and Honda has been great to me. I like to go with a good product, and I’ve found out Hondas are the best. If you’re going to spend your money, you might as well spend it where you get the best bang for your buck.
If you’re a racer in a Honda or with Honda power, don’t forget to register for the Honda Racing Line program at www.hondaracingline.com.
Honda Racing Line is proud to offer original equipment replacement parts, performance parts and crate engines to Honda and Acura grassroots racers in the entry-level through professional ranks.