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Kevin Hetrick – Contending for a Knoxville Championship!

Kevin Hetrick – Contending for a Knoxville Championship!

(Bill W) March 29, 2013 – A rookie in the 305 class hopes to aim for a championship this season at the Knoxville Raceway. Kevin Hetrick was the 2010 34 Raceway champion, and he has targeted the same honor at the famous half-mile this season. The Gladstone, Illinois driver will be campaigning the family #35.

Kevin started in racing in 1999 in a hobby stock. After running a modified in 2006, he started running sprint cars when they were brought back to 34 Raceway in West Burlington the following year. He won his first heat race that season.

His first win could not have been scripted better. His brother, Brian, started in sprint cars in 1998 and passed away ten years later. Kevin’s win came in the 1st Annual Brian Hetrick Memorial. “I would have to say the most special feature to me, obviously, was the first one I won,” he says. “It was in honor of my brother, Brian in 2009.”

Kevin has ten feature wins to his credit between Bloomfield Speedway and 34 Raceway in West Burlington. He was a track champion at 34 Raceway in 2010. “Racing has always been in the family. My dad (Jim) raced from the mid-70’s to the mid-80’s. My brother raced started in 1998, until he passed away in 2008. Of course, he was the track champion that year.”

His father, Jim spent many nights at Knoxville in his career. Kevin was excited to get on the track himself. Early returns were good. “I ran two nights at Knoxville in 2011,” he shares. “I was able to win a heat race my first night out. The second night, I was able to run third in the feature. I’d like to pick up where I left off there. Last year was definitely tough. We had some engine problems, but we are good to go for this year.”

Support for Hetrick is evident wherever he races. “We have great fan support,” he says. “I have Brian Anderson and Brian Collier helping me out with the car. They helped my brother in the past. Of course, I have great support from my Dad and from my mother Joyce.”

Why Knoxville? “I’ve always liked going up to Knoxville, whether it was to the Nationals or to a weekly show,” says Kevin. “After winning a championship at Burlington, I feel more confident going against the competition up there. We’ve proved we can compete there. I want to go for a championship there, as well as Rookie of the Year. My favorite Knoxville drivers are Terry McCarl and Clint Garner.”

Kevin feels the team is prepared to achieve their goals. “I feel confident with the equipment we have behind us,” he says. “We have a good Maxim chassis. My employer, Brockway Mechanical and Roofing is behind us, and so are Dave’s Construction out of Carman, Illinois, Hoosier Tire and Engler Machine and Tool.”

The schedule will include some other venues as well. “We plan on running the shows at Boone, and some at Bloomfield, Donnellson and maybe Jacksonville, Illinois,” says Kevin. “We’re looking at around 25 races, but our focus is definitely on Knoxville.”

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