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Friday, March 29, 2019

Ed Funk named 2019 URC race director

MARCH 28, 2019 – The Capitol Renegade United Racing Club has appointed a new series race director for the 2019 season.

Ed Funk, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, will take over the position beginning with the season opener at Bridgeport Speedway on Sunday, April 14.

Funk, whose interest and involvement in racing began in the mid-1960s, said everything he does is fueled by his passion for the sport of racing. His love affair with the sport began when he would attend the races with his father at Flemington Fairground Speedway.

From there, Funk went on to work in various positions throughout the sport, from crewing with several different teams to even getting behind the wheel himself.

After moving to Pennsylvania from New Jersey, Funk’s new interest began to grow. Purchasing a camera from his sister, he began taking photos of racing at the local Central Pennsylvania tracks. After several years of honing his craft and submitting photographs, he earned a press pass from Area Auto Racing News.

He served as the track photographer at the then Susquehanna Speedway (now BAPS Motor Speedway) for several years. Funk said the best piece of advice he ever received was to “go out and get yourself a scanner and get yourself a headset. Shut up and listen. Get the frequencies to all the racetracks you go to and do your thing taking pictures and listen. You will learn so much just by listening to how things are done during the course of a night of racing than you’ll ever get just sitting here with earplugs in your ears. You’ll hear why calls are made, the communication back and forth between the starter, the tower, the pit officials. Just listening and learning and watching.”

In between stints as track photographer, Funk also took on the role of track official. “Worked my way from the fourth turn to the middle of (Turns 3 and 4) to the flag stand as the assistant starter and then the head starter,” Funk said of his time at Susquehanna Speedway.

Fast forward to 2019, and Funk has now been named the new race director for the Capitol Renegade United Racing Club, which means taking on the role of running the programs throughout the entirety of the URC season.

Encompassing the entire racing program, Funk will begin by leading the drivers’ meeting and once the racing starts, “it’s my job to keep an eye on the entire program, from the first heat to the A-Main checkered.”

And he’s certainly up for the challenge. “Race directors all have different styles,” Funk said. “Me, I’m to the letter of the rule book. There’s no gray area. I’ve been crucified for it, but there’s no gray area. It’s black and white. Everybody is equal. “

Funk said he is proud to be a part of an organization that has such deep roots in the racing community like URC does.

“I like the fact that URC has got a very strong history,” he said. “I remember going to URC races when I was a kid; the club’s been around forever. If you look on the website, there’s a list of feature winners; it’s a who’s who of sprint car racing.”

He’s also looking forward to working with a series that acts as its own sanctioning body and makes the decisions as to where the club goes.

With much to anticipate throughout the 2019 season, Funk kept it simple when asked what he’s most looking forward to: “Good, competitive, dirt-track sprint car racing

I like a good show,” he continued. “I like seeing the guy from 10th or 11th work his way to the front and maybe win a race by .009 seconds like Brian Montieth did a couple years ago. That’s what I like. That’s what makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. Seeing that guy dig his way out of 12th place and pull it off, especially if it’s a low-dollar guy who happens to have the right gear, the right setup, the right everything for that night and it’s his first win. That’s the ticket, right there. That’s the stuff that brings people to racetracks.

Simply put, Funk’s motivation to pursue this new role with URC is fueled by one thing: “I have a very deep passion and love for what we do on the dirt-track level.”

The Capitol Renegade United Racing Club will open its season Sunday, April 14 at Bridgeport Speedway.

ABOUT THE UNITED RACING CLUB

The United Racing Club is a traveling 360 sprint car organization that was founded in 1947. Following the value “It’s your club, it’s racing the way you want it,” URC is governed by its own membership and runs at local dirt tracks across the northeast. For more information, please visit www.urcsprintcarseries.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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