BENTON COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Dirt was flying this weekend at the Daugherty Motor Speedway where drivers from all over the state gathered to slide around the dirt track. Amongst the fumes and dust, News 18 brings an up close look at the action.
“Well, I’ve been coming to this track since 1978. Mom and dad first brought me up here, after that I was hooked,” said driver Jeff Vanlannen. “To me, this is home.”
The preparation. The stands. The dirt.
Every weekend, men and women gather at the Daugherty Motor Speedway near Oxford to battle. They race for one reason, the thrill.
“It’s an adrenaline thing”, Vanlannen said. “When you get in that car and you’re strapped in, you’re scared to death and excited at the same time.”
Dirt track racing is motor sport that is all too common to Indiana. Racing greats such as Tony Stewart and Kenny Wallace got their starts on these little dirt tracks dotting the Midwestern countryside.
They are cutting their teeth on these four banked turns, just like these weekend warriors. They are working hard throughout the week to prepare for the first green flag of the night.
Some drivers said it’s in the blood of a driver. It’s something that doesn’t go away after a crash. Once you race, it has you.
“I was in the sportsman car for 10 or 12 years, and I ran a dwarf car before that,” Vanlannen said.
“This will be 33 years of racing for us. I was 15 years old,” driver Tim Reynolds said. “That’s when I first started racing here, back in the Henry speedway days, and we’ve been here ever since.”
For some, it’s more than just racing. They come to the track to be with their family.
“I enjoy coming out here every weekend and the camaraderie with the people. It’s fun,” Vanlannen said.
“I just can’t wait till Saturday, so I can come up here. It’s kind of like my getaway and being able to talk to people and make sure they have a good experience — that’s what it all about,” said driver Hugh Mcguire.