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 GMIRacing.com, stop at the shop, or stop down after the races.