Randy Scheuer, Jr. Secures Second Super Pro Championship
As a Quick Time Super Pro driver at Summit Motorsports Park and a carburetor-builder at APD, Randy Scheuer, Jr. spends a lot of time thinking about other people’s racing and other people’s carburetors, but not much about his own.
It is, after all, in line with the “don’t think about it, just do it” motto that he has adopted to help him remain calm and carry on.
But his family follows a routine each race day, and it involves his girlfriend, Mandi Downing, giving him a kiss before he puts his helmet on; his son, Dylan, crossing his fingers as he pulls up to the starting line and his daughter, Emma, making the shape of a heart with her hands and holding them out to perfectly frame him as he flies down track in his American dragster.
Then, regardless of whether he has won or lost, they greet him back in the pit area and then help him get back to the starting line in time to support his Bear Motorsports teammate, Chris Bear, who competes in the same class.
Outside of racing, Randy and his family like to go for walks in their Toledo, Ohio neighborhood, spend time outdoors, bowl and visit Cedar Point.
After earning 31 points and two feature wins in the 2014 season, he backed up his 2013 championship by driving to the 2014 Quick Time Super Pro championship.
Brian Hurst Hustles to Pro Championship
While most of his childhood friends were playing with Matchbox cars in the yard, Brian Hurst was playing with Matchbox cars in the pit area at Norwalk Raceway Park (k.n.a. Summit Motorsports Park) while his dad raced.
As the years went on, he would hand tools to his dad while he was working on his engine and before long, he had learned how to use them himself.
At fifteen, he purchased his 1970 Nova, and when its engine expired just days later, father and son swapped engines and subsequently secured an even deeper bond.
Soon Brian began driving the car to school and racing it at the park alongside his dad. He earned the Super Stock championship in 1984 before moving to the Pro class a year later and earning a win at the bracket finals in 2009.
While that meant a lot to him, being Sportsman of the Year in 2010 meant even more because his dad had received the same honor several years prior, making them the first father-and-son to receive the award. “Incredible” is the word he uses to describe the title given to them by their peers, whom he considers family.
Brian — who in 1984 repainted his car to its current scheme using a mix of Ford, Chevy and AMC colors after drawing a design with Crayola crayons — has a pre-round routine that consists of charging his car’s battery, airing up its tires and studying the weather to help him predict what it will run, and while he’ll sip a bottle of water before eliminations, he won’t eat. Some might chalk that up to superstition, but he affirms that rather than believing in superstitions, he believes that whatever is meant to be will be.
Having grown up in Norwalk, he now lives in Milan and works two miles from home at Johns Manville, where commercial rubber-roofing is made. When he’s not racing or working, he spends time with his wife of thirty-one years, Marsha Hurst, four daughters and nine grandchildren.
With 28 points, he's the 2014 Lakewood Pro champion.
Rick McWaters Muscles His Way to Super Bike Championship
Rick McWaters discovered at the age of fourteen that bikes are in his blood and there’s nothing like revving them up, releasing the throttle and riding.
He competed every weekend on the motocross track that he referred to as “killer” at Norwalk Raceway Park back in the 1980s, and went on to win two championships.
With his bike — and all of his bones — still intact, he decided to put his other bike, a Kawasaki 750 Turbo, on the park’s paved quarter-mile and discovered that there, he could continue his lifelong thirst for thrills and craving for competition while also giving his body a break from wild wipeouts.
He joined bike class points the following year, and despite the fact that he had the only street bike in a sea of drag bikes, he did well. He has since moved on to having a bike that runs high eights and another that runs 8.0s, and every now and then, he has to give the handlebars a tug to bring the bike back to the straight and narrow, but he’s even further motivated by the manhandling.
When he’s not riding, the 2013 Sportsman of the Year is working on his strip or street bikes or his 2011 Mustang GT, or running his business, Cycle Tech in Bucyrus, Ohio, where fellow riders can revel among all the bikes and bike parts.
When he’s not doing that, he’s bowling, and can boast that he’s had a 300 game and carries a 210 average. He admits that it’s slightly slower-paced than riding a bike, but he’s drawn to the fact that it’s solo rather than team-based and he alone is responsible for the outcome.
Because the gears in his head move as swiftly as the gears on his bike, Rick — whose motto is to be calm but ready — has already begun planning his 2015 season.
With 21 points and one feature win, he’s the 2014 Wiseco/Cycle Tech Super Bike champion.
Nick Hastings Holds Sportsman Championship
There are many similarities between the door-car racing and slot-car racing which Nick Hastings takes part in on a regular basis.
For each, he’s willing to travel to tracks near and far for competition. For each, he’s willing to use whichever car is capable of carrying him to a win. And for each, he’s willing to give it everything he has.
He’s confident that his door-car racing abilities are enhanced by his slot-car racing, especially when it comes to reaction-time and judging the finish line, and proof of that are the multiple wins he’s had in his Mustang and Mustang II, as well in cars belonging to fellow drivers.
While he never appears to be ruffled or restless, he admits that he sometimes fears making a mistake at either end of the track and strives to overcome that by forcing himself to adapt to the situation and apply strategies that might seem to be opposing, like pushing the tree even when he’s concerned about going red.
Nick, a multi championship-winning driver who got his start in junior-dragsters before moving up to Sportsman and Pro classes, works with Nationwide Auto Works, and lives in Shelby, Ohio. When he’s not behind the wheel, he spends time with his girlfriend, Amber Mansfield, and her children, Landon and Nadia.
Upon earning 34 points and one feature win, he’s the 2014 Accel Sportsman Delivered on Time by TFC Transportation champion.
Connor Grisez Garners Advanced Championship
After praying for his safety and the safety of his fellow drivers each race day, Connor Grisez climbs into his junior-dragster, fastens his harness and focuses on the finish line.
It’s a routine which the eighteen-year-old adopted when he began racing five years ago, and it’s a routine which he plans to continue when he moves to a full-size dragster.
Away from the track, the senior at Amherst High School in Amherst, Ohio is a shooting guard on a traveling basketball team for St. Joseph Catholic Church in Amherst, Ohio, and at six feet, he’s the fourth tallest player on the team. To stay in shape, he jumps-rope and lifts weights, and he can currently lift a whopping 225 pounds.
When he’s not doing that, he likes to go to the movies with friends, and recently saw “Unbroken,” a war drama based on the book titled “Unbroken – A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption,” by Laura Hillenbrand.
It follows the life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete-turned U.S. Army Air Forces bombardier who was captured with his fellow servicemen by Japanese forces and made a prisoner-of-war after his B-24 Liberator plummeted into the ocean during World War II. Connor — who considers himself a disciplined person — feels it offers inspiration to keep going even when circumstances conspire against you.
This marks his first championship, and at his side every step of the way were his parents, Ed and Mary Grisez, and his sister — and fellow Advanced junior-dragster driver — Courtney Grisez.
With sixteen points, he is the 2014 Bear Motorsports Advanced Junior Dragster presented by Wiseco champion.
Zachary Smith Slides Into Novice Championship
Stephen Crowell likes to be behind the wheel.
He’s happiest when he’s in the cockpit of his junior dragster, but he’s also quick to climb into the family’s Chevy Tahoe to drive through a course of cones set up in the backyard, and even quicker to climb onto the family’s tractor to help harvest corn, wheat and soybeans.
He’s even all for mowing the two acres of grass at home, as long as he’s on the riding mower.
When he’s not driving something, Stephen — who counts his win at the 2014 Summit Racing Equipment Shakedown at the Summit as one of his proudest moments — helps his dad work on his junior dragster as well as the dump-truck which hauls dirt and stone as part of the family’s business, but while he’s doing that, he fantasizes about someday piloting his dad’s ’72 Chevelle.
Even though it’s not related to driving, the seventh-grader tried out for — and made — the basketball team at Keystone Middle School in LaGrange, Ohio after putting his mind to it and practicing.
The three-time junior dragster champion lives in LaGrange, Ohio, with his parents, Steve and Joely, and brothers, Michael and Tyler, who also drive junior dragsters.
With 15 points and two feature wins, he’s the 2014 Bear Motorsports presented by Wiseco Intermediate Junior Dragster champion.
Zachary Smith Slides Into Novice Championship
When class is in session at Midview Elementary in Grafton, Ohio, third-grader Zachary Smith is able to focus on his schoolwork, but as soon as the bell rings, he talks to his classmates about his junior dragster and whips out pictures of it.
And as the weekend approaches, he not-so-subtly lets his dad know that it’s almost time to go racing by dragging the toolbox into the motorhome and making sure his junior-dragster is tightly tied down in the trailer.
Once he’s at the track, he helps fellow drivers change the oil in their junior-dragsters, rides on the golfcart and listens to music by pop-country-hiphop singer PJ North. And when it’s time to take his place on the starting line, he’s calm and confident, regardless of who’s on the line next to him.
He’s so into racing that in his free time, he plays racing-related video games like “Door Slammers,” Extreme Velocity” and “No Limit.”
He also goes to the slot car track, where he changes engines, gears, tires and even wheelie bar height on his large collection of slot cars before sending them down the race surface. Among his favorites is an ’84 Mustang which sports a tall hood and wing and reminds him of a real race car.
Zachary — who has said he’s already looking forward to the 2015 race season — lives in Elyria, Ohio, with his parents Steve and Tonya; sister, Hailey; brother, Kalob and his always-up-for-wrestling dog Jackson.
With 16 points and two feature wins, Zachary is the 2014 Bear Motorsports Novice Junior Dragster presented by Wiseco champion.