Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Interview with Gerard McIntyre JR.

Today we are proud to have a one on one interview with the 2007 Lincoln speedway 358 rookie of the year Gerard McIntyre JR. Gerard sat down and discussed his career this far as well as what he has in store for the 2008 racing season.

When did you start racing career ?
Gerard - 2000 in go carts at Hunterstown speedway.

You ran 270cc micro at Shippensburg speedway. How did you do in the 270's ?
Gerard - In two years we had six wins, a fourth place in points, a championship, rookie of the year, and most improved driver.

Why did you decide to race at Shippensburg speedway instead of a closer track like trail ways ?
Gerard- I was only 12 years old at the time, and wasn't old enough to race anywhere else.

How was the decision made to make the jump to the 358's?
Gerard- We had success in the micros, and thought we should keep moving up while I was still young.

How big of a learning curve going from a 270 to a 358 sprint?
Gerard- There was a big learning curve, especially with throttle control, and braking. It also took me a few races to work out my nerves.

How did your first season go?
Gerard- Fairly well. We had a win, a few top fives, and a bunch of top tens.

What was it like winning your first feature in just your second start?
Gerard- It was awesome, yet set me up for some disappointment, after winning so soon, it was frustrating not to win the rest of the year.

How did the other drivers react to a 14 year old kid racing a 358 with them?
Gerard- Most were fine with it, but I think some didn't like it if they got beat by someone as young as I was. Everyone was very nice and helpful though.

How long did you race at trail ways?
Gerard- Two years, until I was old enough to race at the Grove.

in 2007 you made the jump from trail ways to running Lincoln speedway and Williams Grove speedway. How hard was the transition between the tracks?
Gerard -
The Grove was very different, and took me a while to get used to, but now it is my favorite track despite having our troubles there.

How did the beginning of the season go?
Gerard- It was tough, it was difficult making features, then we started getting the hang of it, and brought out a new car and started running a lot better.

You came within 1 lap of winning your first race at Williams Grove, only to loose the race on the last lap. How did it feel to come so close to winning in your first season at the grove?
Gerard- It was heartbreaking, but I was still happy, I just messed up. The top went away, and I stayed up there too long.

You ran a very consistent year at Lincoln and finished 6th in the points. What did it mean to you to be named rookie of the year?
Gerard- It was a great honor. I still don't know how we finished 6th in points. In my opinion we sucked all year there with the exception of a few nights, but we just made features.

At fall fest you took one of the worst flips of the season at the grove. What was going through your mind when you started flipping?
Gerard- Ill keep it pg, I wasn't happy.

Looking back on the 2007 season is there anything that you look back on and say "i wish i would have done that different."?
Gerard- I wish in the race at the grove I would have moved to the bottom, as I might have one the race. Also I wish that I wouldn't have raced on any date ending in 13, because I flipped on every one.

Is there anything you would like to see change in 358 racing?
Gerard- I think we should be allowed to run any tire we want, be it American racer, Goodyear, or Hoosier. This would bring down the tire bill considerably.

What are your plans for 2008?
Gerard- 358's at Lincoln and the Grove, and any big races anywhere else.

Do you have any plans on running the special shows at Hagerstown and Susquehanna speedways?
Gerard- Hagerstown race is on the 13th so we will probably skip it, but port has a race, Selingrove's 5000 to win, and Susquehanna are probable.

How bout your sponsors?
Gerard- We have many great sponsors that do everything they can for us including Weavers Body shop, William A McIntyre & Sons, William Hoffacker General contracting, Forcine Concrete, Seigman forced air, and Napa Auto Parts to name a few, But like everyone else, we are always looking for help.

Who all helps out on the car to make sure the 16 gets to the track every week?
Gerard- My dad, Uncle donnie, bill Hoffacker, Matt Weaver, all of my cousins and uncles, my crew chief Brady Bitting, and my Grandparents. Basically it is like a big family deal.

How do the fans go about getting in contact with you?
Gerard- Through, stop at the shop, or stop down after the races.

Friday, January 11, 2008


today i have the pleasure of having 4 great men give there opinion's on the racing scene. i have asked these guys 10 questions, and they have decided to share there thought with all of you. let me introduce these guys to all of you.

Brent leech is known to most of you as the man who lives at the Tilton Hilton. Brent is a super fan who goes to just about every race, every week end.

Filmguy is the man behind the lense. his videos of bad Chad Layton are a thing of beauty.

Mike Root is the man who started the beerhill gang.

Drakpak is the gentleman who runs the williams grove national open chili cook off.

Question #1. The tire rule in 2007 did exactly what they intended it to do ?

Brent - Fact. I think it did . Some times evening up the competition doesn't
make for the best racing (NASCAR)

Filmguy - Fiction. Although it brought more parity to the local dirt tracks it did not significantly reduce costs for teams and owners.

Mike - Fact. Maybe a little too good as a lot of teams complained about not being able to pass this year.

Drak - I will honestly answer each of these questions as honestly and thoroughly as I can. I honestly don't know what they wanted to accomplish with the tire rule this year Bill. My overall observations from the racing this year are this............the tire rule put allot of different people into V-lane this year, but you really didn't see allot of quality racing. Tracks rubbered down early allot of times, and there were a few cars who were able to run the top and make some big moves up through the pack, but overall.............I think the tire rule hurt the quality of racing.

Question #2. With the new rules that the WOO are implementing in 2008, it will help with the cost of 410 racing ?

Brent - Fiction. I don't see any cost savings anywhere.

Filmguy - Fiction. Same scenario. The real crippling costs in sprint car racing is the purchasing and maintaining competitive 410 motors.

Mike - Fiction.

Drak - Fiction. The major portion of expenses felt by race teams are under the hood and on the road. I don't think the rule changes will help ease the numbers game in 410 racing.

Question #3 There are too many races run here in central pa every season?

Brent - Fact. I try to go to as many as I can , but two "speedweeks" and three and four race weeks twice a month dilutes it some .

Filmguy - Fiction. If the teams and fans show up and the tracks make money on all the shows then it's not to many.

mike - Fact. Depends on who you ask though. Most fans will most likely say no, as we have become spoiled rotten in Central,Pa. The Owners might say yes.

Drak - Fact. I completely agree that the schedule here in PA is too full/demanding. We are already seeing the first signs of this with Selinsgrove cutting back some 410 shows. I think with less shows the racing would improve dramatically.

Question #4. Passing points in heat races are the best way to set the feature line ups ?

Brent - Fiction. I NEVER saw a good race yet that was lined up through passing points and I've seen quite a few. Time trials is the FAIREST way , but I like the present handicapping system , with maybe a smaller inversion heat races.

Filmguy - Fiction. The invert has worked in Central Pa for years. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Mike - Fiction. don't mess with the handicapping system.

Drak - I don't know if passing points are the best way to set up feature line-ups, but I think it's something to try for an extended period of time and see how it shakes out.

Question #5. There should be an age limit for drivers that race locally here in central pa?

Brent - Fact . I think you should have your drivers license to drive anything over a 1/4 mile in length.

Filmguy - Fact. Same as age requirement for motor vehicle license.

Mike - Fact. I say 16 y.o. for 358's and 410's would be practical.

Drak - Fact. I think there should be an age limit in the 410 division only.

Question #6. The days of one driver winning 25 race's a year are over?

Brent - Fiction. Who knows , it could happen this year.

Filmguy - Fiction. Never say never. Hard work, thinking outside the box, and lady luck makes anything possible.

Mike - Fiction. someone out there is still very capable of doing it. It will be done again.

Drak - Fact. No doubt in my mind that with the way the rules are today in 410 racing that you will rarely, if ever, see another big win total from one team in 410 racing.

Question #7. Super teams are the wave of the future in central pa?

Brent - Fiction . It takes lots of resources to run a top team .The easiest way is to pool money together . But it is still possible for a person to come in with deep pockets too . Some teams merge to keep racing at a higher level rather than quit. Others use mulitble sponsors to reach
the same goals.It depends on what you consider a "super team".

Ps. I hate that term as much as I hate hearing "Pa Posse".

Filmguy - Fiction. Too many big egos to go with the big wallets. As a fan I let that stuff work itself out and appreciate every race car fielded by any team.

Mike - Fiction. I for one am not into it. Some teams might be forced into that with rising costs though.

Drak - Fiction. I think super teams are the wave of the future for the WoO crowd, but it's nothing that will catch on here in Central PA.

Question #8. The state of the 410 sprints will remain healthy for the next 10 years?

Brent -Fact. The state of the 410 sprints will remain healthy for the next 10 years. 10 years is a long time

Filmguy - Fact. Have no crystal ball but I'll do my part by supporting the sport. Central Pa is blessed with a multiple, self-contained, spirited sprint car community.

Mike - Fiction. I say that because it looks great right now, but I have a feeling it's gonna go down hill before 10 years are up.

Drak - I think the 410 division is healthy right now. 10 years is a long time to look down the road, but I'd say it's good for 5.

Question #9. USAC will make a huge mark here in central pa in 2008 ?

Brent - Fiction. It will be successful , but I don't think it will reach "huge mark " status.

Filmguy - Fact. USAC makes a huge mark wherever they go. Another form of awesome sprint car racing with it's own built in spice.

Mike - Fiction. I believe fans need to be exposed to non-wing events throughout the year rather than just the USAC swing.

Drak -Fiction. USAC will never make a huge mark here in PA. The Central PA fans love their wings. They will support the USAC swing and the tracks where they compete in 2008, but as far as influencing the 410 scene here in PA............nope.

Question #10. NASCAR drivers who have race teams are good for the sport ?

Brent - Fiction . It will give the sport more exposure , but I don't know if more exposure/money is a good thing . It'll just bring more money into the top traveling series' temas and make it harder for other teams to break in .

Filmguy - Fact. $ from former dirt track drivers is as good as any body's. If Nascar $ provides them the means to put their money into the sport that they come from then that's great.

Mike - Fact. They are in a way giving back and they are helping drivers obtain their goals of stepping up as well.

Drak -Fact. NASCAR drivers who have 410 teams are good for the WoO, but really have little effect on the local racing scene IMO. Kasey and Tony have my respect, but they are spending the bulk of their money out on the road. The Kahne race at WG this summer brought in some non-regulars for that race, and we always see the WoO influx of fans on the weekends when the circus is in town, but week in and week out the locals/regulars are who support the sport, drivers and tracks.

I would like to say thank you once again to all 4 members of the panel for taking the time to answer these questions and sharing their thought's on the racing scene here in central pa. We will do this again some time during the racing season. So keep checking back to Central Pa Racing Scene for more Fact or Fiction.