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tBBC The Buckeye Battle Cry Goes Racing

Discussion in 'News' started by Michael Smith, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. The Buckeye Battle Cry Goes Racing
    Michael Smith
    via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
    Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


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    (Image courtesy wsj.com)

    Hello everyone and welcome as I tell you about…….Stock Car Racing??

    Yes, Stock Car Racing. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Hey, this site is suppose to be about Ohio State sports.” Yes it is, but I’d like to take a minute and tell you about a joint venture that The Buckeye Battle Cry and my family’s race car team has for this year.

    Back in October I was asked to participate in a fan reaction article for the web site. After reading my answers I was asked to write a couple guest articles for the site. After reading them and talking to me, I was offered a writer position here at the Buckeye Battle Cry by Joe Dexter and Ken Kohl. I accepted, of course, and began writing articles. I can’t thank them enough for letting me be apart of all this.

    After a couple of months I approached them about the site sponsoring my family’s stock car for the 2016 season. Its something I wanted to do cause I wanted to show them and all the other writers here how much I appreciated them accepting me into their group. They said if I wanted to do it, it was more than OK with them.

    Now let me tell you a bit about what kind of car racing my family does. I realize most people when they hear stock car racing they think NASCAR and cars racing around a giant asphalt track at almost 200 MPH. Yes, that is stock car racing, but my family does it a little different. Nearly all those drivers you see in NASCAR got their start at racing on dirt. Dirt track racing is very popular in the mid-west and in the south. Dirt track racing is also very different than NASCAR. First, you’re racing on dirt and they don’t go as fast as the NASCAR cars do.

    My family started racing when my dad (Dennis Smith) bought his first stock car back in 1985. He raced a class then called Thunder Cars and later a class called Late Models. These cars look almost like the cars you see on NASCAR. My dad survived some horrific wrecks during his career. He once was involved in massive pile up in which his car exploded into a giant fire ball. He also had a wreck where his gas pedal got stuck and he hit the wall head on at full speed. This also was way before the safety features they have today. My dad spent a week in the ICU with many internal injuries. My dad raced until 1997 when he retired.

    Below is a picture of my dad and my brother with my dad’s 1st race car in 1985

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    Then in 2004 my brother (Keith Smith) wanted to keep the family racing tradition going. At the time there was a fast growing type of dirt track race car in Ohio and around the country called Mod Lites. Mod Lites are a smaller race car that use modified motorcycle engines as their means of power. The most popular engines are Suzuki. Hearing them race is almost as cool as watching them.

    This is a Mod Lite feature race at Mercer Raceway Park in Mercer, PA where we race most often


    Think it looks like fun? Well here’s what driving one looks like.


    Mod Lite racing is now very popular around the world. Mod Lites race all over the USA, Canada, England, Australia, and New Zealand. They are smaller and lighter than most stock cars. However, that doesn’t make them easy to drive. They are a handful, and because of how light they are (Only around 1300lbs), they do this a lot.


    2 years ago my family decided it was time to add to the family race team. We added more cars and with the help of a family friend formed the race team known as Fat Guy Racing. The Race team has grown to 4 cars now. My brother drives the #16 car, while a family friend (Josh Christopher) drives the #27 Mod Lite. There is another Mod Lite that will be a back up to the #16. We also have a small race car called a Jr Sprint which is driven by my 10 year old nephew Jordan Simmons. You can find Fat Guy Racing on Facebook.

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    Well as a man of my word, I asked my brother if The Buckeye Battle Cry can sponsor the car this season and he said, of course!

    There’s actually an all star group of Mod Lite drivers who race 3 big races during the race season. Fat Guy Racing is among them. The Winter Nationals was this past week (Feb 3-6) in Tampa, FL at East Bay Raceway. However, it was rained out 2 of the 4 nights, but we did manage to get on the track for a few laps.

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    The next big race will be at Sharon Speedway in Hartford, OH in May. The track is owned by former NASCAR driving Dave Blaney. Famous drivers who have raced there include Kyle Petty, Kasey Kahne, and Tony Stewart. Sharon Speedway even held an official NASCAR race back in 1954. The final one is in September at Merrittville Speedway in Thorold, Ontario, Canada. Fat Guy Racing will be at the next 2 with the Buckeye Battle Cry sponsored #16 Mod Lite.

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    As I mentioned earlier the other cars that make up Fat Guy racing are the #27 Mod Lite driven by Josh Christopher and the #13 Jr Sprint car driven by my nephew 10 year old Jordan Simmons.

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    These cars are exciting to watch. For those who live in the Columbus area, there is a track near you called Hilltop Speedway where Mod Lites race as well.

    I want to thank all the writers here at Buckeye Battle Cry and especially Joe Dexter and Ken Kohl for allowing me to do this.

    The post The Buckeye Battle Cry Goes Racing appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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