Indoor Adventures in Racing
Jim Walace. NY6A Hoosier 600 Series PR director.
While it is freezing and snowing out side, there are several events inside that some have participated in. This includes a new event back in December in Trenton NJ. There is always the big shows like the Tulsa shootout, and Chili Bowl along with the Indoor Shows in Allentown PA, Atlantic City NJ, and Albany NY.
I had the chance to touch base with DJ Shuman, Nick Groff, and Matt Smith about the show in Trenton. I also was able to interact with car owner Eric Orozco durring the Tulsa shootout in which he had 2 entries.
DJ Shuman on Trenton:
For those of you that may not know DJ, he is originally from Honesdale PA, and currently resides in Oswego, NY. He has been happily married for 6yrs to his wife Shena, and they welcomed their first child in March of 2017.
DJ started racing go karts back in 1997. He is a 3rd generation dirt racing driver. His grandfather, James Bonham, is in the Penn Can Speedway hall of fame. DJ continued to race karts until 2016 at the local and state levels including indoor concrete races in NY, PA, and NC. Durring his karting career, he won appx 75-100 races. Then last year he and a family friend, Mark Johnson, decided it was time for a change. They purchased a 600 in late 2016 and started running it in 2017 with the name MDR Motorsports, same as his karts. Due to having a new baby, he was only able to compete in around 10 races including series races at Myers RV Limerock speedway, Weedsport Speedway, and Skyline Raceway. He also ran local races at Limerock and Paradise. All in, he was able to grab a few top 10 finishes in both winged and non-winged events.
DJ said that the Trenton Race was an awesome experience! This was the first time this event was held, so there was some minor issues with the track, but overall it was pretty racey. The pits were pretty tight, making even small tasks more of a challenge while working on the car. They brought every spare part they could think of, but thanks to clean racing didn’t need any of them!
DJ really relied on his past indoor kart experience, which helped him a lot in this event. He was able to make quick decisions on the track and was comfortable with the tight racing. He started the heat race in 7th. He had a great run up to 3rd, but then was tangled up in turn 4 on the last lap and had to settle for a 7th place finish putting him 12th in the A qualifier. After workout no his way up to 8th, his right rear tired glazed over and fell back to 11th sending him to the C-main. He was able to bring it home 6th but was just 2 sports shy of advancing any further. DJ said that the experience was great and cannot wait to do it again with more experience in a 600 under him.
For 2018 DJ looks forward to making a good majority of the NY6A Hoosier Microsprint Tour races, as well as some wingless shows at Limerock, and a couple races in PA. As of a couple of weeks ago he had sent the motor out for a rebuild and was working on purchasing a new fuel injection. We can’t wait to have him with us!
DJ would like to thank Mark Johnson for his continued support, as well as his father in law Larry Lee that works tirelessly on his car. This hard work has given DJ the pleasure of racing one of the best maintained cars he has ever run. He also wanted to thank his wife Shena for her constant support. Lastly he of course wants to thank his sponsors that help to make his racing possible; Lawn Shark Landscaping, Speedway Safety Solutions, and GJP Italian Eatery.
Nick was able to race in Trenton as well. He stated it was a ton of fun, and was able to leverage past indoor go kart experience. Nick stated that things would happen really fast on track. For 2018 he plans on running most of the tour but unsure how many at this point.
We look forward to seeing you on track with us Nick!
Matt is 36 years old from Shortsville NY. In between work, racing and haning on with his girlfriend, he enjoys watching the Buffalo Bills and atteding their games when possible. He has been racing since 2001. When his dad got him started in racing with him in street stocks. Matt has been able to race several classes including street stocks, pro stocks, sportsman and modifieds over the last 16 years. He also has been able to race at a couple of big stage tracks such as the Dirt Track At Charlotte(Pro Stock), as well as a few races at the Syracuse Mile(sportsman). He was able to pickup a win in the sportsman class, as well as several wins in 600's. Matt's favorite moments have always been racing with his dad, and spending time with his family at the track.
"The indoor race in Trenton was a really cool event to take part in" Matt stated. The event had a big race feel to it, which made if feel like it was something realy special. He stated that the Sammons family worked really hard at the event, and overall it was great dispite a light crowd turnout.
Matt says the track was so small that it was hard to compare it to anything else he has raced at, but it was a fun "drivers" track, very racey. He described it as being more about how you raced the car, vs how much motor you have under the hood, and realy hopes they run it again next year. Unfortunitly he "threw away the heat race" and was unable to make the A-main.
For 2018 he tells me that his Hyper 600 was stripped down in he shop to get ready to go, and the motor is out to be refreshed. He will have a new body on he car and new paint sceme thta he will be running in the tour. he also has run the Allentown PA indoor, the Atlantic City NY indoor race and will be headed to Albany this weeked running a tq hyper for Darren Forbes.
See you in 2018 Matt!!
After the Trenton race, there was one of the largest 600 shows in the country in Tulsa OK. Hundreds of drivers and cars from acros the country make the voyge to take a shot at winning a "Golden Driller" trophy. There was 4 drivers from NY that took at shot at several of the classes. 600 regulars Ben and Tatter Kysor (Kysor Bros Racing) were there, along with sportsman series regular David Schilling and big block modified regular Mike Meresca (Eric Orozco Racing). I had a chace to "chat" with car owner Eric Orozco durring the event. Mike Meresca was able to make the A-Main in the outlaw wingless class and brought home a 17th place finish out of 300+ cars. You could really sence the excitment and what it meant just to be able to make it to the A-main. Eric owns 2 cars and will be joining us for some events in 2018!!!
Other noteable races that some of our regulars have competed in include the indoor racing series at Allentown PA, (won by NY’s own Scott Krutter that has run 600’s with us), Atlantic City NJ, and Albany NY.
Now, outdoor racing season is getting ready to kickoff down in Flordia. Thank you to the drivers, and owner, that gave me input on writing this.
Look for more to come as we raced towards 2018!!!!