11 Questions with… Kody Swanson

Volume 6

Welcome to the sixth installment of “11 Questions with…”! At the end of each segment the current week’s driver will get to decide what the 11th question will be for the next guest. Simple and entertaining. Today I have race car driver Kody Swanson. Kody is a husband, father, and two-time USAC Silver Crown Champion. Let’s get to know a little more about him.

If you got the chance to redo one race, which one would it be and why?
Last year’s four crown for obvious reasons. I was like 6 or 10 points ahead of Windom and was running second or maybe even third and could have won the championship. Winning the Silver Crown Car Championship three times in a row would have been awesome. That’s something that has never been done. Shattered dreams. A lapped car half spun in from of me, and I got caught up in it. I should have never been in that spot in the first place. I don’t blame him. I was the one who should have known better. I guess I don’t want a whole race redo, but maybe just a one lap do-over. We should have won three championships in a row, which had never been done, and turn one at Eldora snatched it all away.

Since I’m probably the oldest DPM client, and have raced longer I think I should get two – HA! Most people still label me as a pavement racer so my pavement “redo” would have to be the 2006 Turkey Night Grand Prix at Irwindale. This is back when it was still on pavement. It was my 4th race ever in a midget. I was in my family owned car, flipped, and slid down the backstretch. I led about 80 laps. Billy Wease, my teammate that year, got by me for the lead. I was passing him back with less than 10 laps to go and a caution came out. I got to his inside with 5 or so laps left. We were racing side-by-side. I was too nice to wheel him, and too young to know I should have. I’d have to go back and look. After that I went back and sat on the pole another four times in three different cars, I think. I think from 2006 to 2011 I was on the front row every year. I never got another chance to be that close to winning that race again.

What is your reputation as a driver from other people’s perspective, and do you think that stigma holds true?
I’d say I’m a relatively clean racer. I don’t think, or I hope, people don’t think I’m a squirrel. I have a reputation of being a pavement guy that I can’t seem to shake, but I’m working hard to be better at both. Let me think. I’ve had people say that before they knew me they thought I was stuck up. I’m really just nervous in front of other people, so I don’t feel like that’s true.

Do you enjoy running the crown cars more on dirt or pavement? And tell us a little bit about your experience on both.
I have always been known as a pavement guy, but actually my first official start in a USAC Silver Crown car was on the dirt mile in Springfield, Illinois. I really enjoy the Silver Crown cars, on either surface, but particularly the pavement and the dirt miles. When I started in sprint cars and midgets I was a pavement racer only for probably the first three years. So, as I transitioned into Silver Crown, I was already comfortable on that surface and at those tracks. It was really just the new aspects of the cars themselves that I had to transition to.
Eventually I became more comfortable on dirt, especially the fairgrounds miles. I know people tend to think they race like pavement, but it’s not quite that simple. I was fortunate to get started with Team 6R, and I actually learned a lot about racing and driving the miles the year that I drove for Ricky Nix and Eddie Sachs, Jr. By the time I was able to team up with the DePalma Family and Bob Hampshire, we really clicked and have run well together on the miles.
The pavement is where I had been most comfortable, and really seemed to fit me. It can be technical, and has an element of hit your marks discipline that some dirt tracks just don’t have. Tire wear was always a factor, so you have to manage your equipment and your race to be a factor at the end. I really like that aspect because at the end of these races, everyone’s tires are worn out, we’re all sliding around and somehow you’ve got to make speed and figure it out before someone else does.

What is your “retaliation policy” if someone wrecks you, if any? Do you settle it on the track by beating them; give them a little bump; talk to them after the race? How do you handle it?
My perspective on that subject is whatever happened, already happened. I’m not going to risk tearing up my owner’s equipment to prove a point. I’m scrawny so we aren’t going to fight, but I would want to talk about it. If it’s something that they feel wasn’t necessarily dirty driving and I did, then I’ll know how to race them in the future. I just want to get focused on winning the next one. You can’t punch the guy and change the outcome.

If you had to race on one track for the rest of your life which one would it be and why?
Well I guess since we’ve split a few other questions between dirt and pavement I have two answers.
Dirt – Waynesfield is my little hillbilly heaven. It’s kind of where I got to start over in a sprint car. It’s just fun. It isn’t that serious over there. There’s no $10,000-to-win the show on the line. It’s a funky shape. It’s kind of slick. It’s kind of technical. Not to discount the place. I really like going there and just having fun. I also like all the fairground miles because you only get to do them once a year, and I wouldn’t want to ruin that.
Pavement – This might not be my favorite pavement track by any means, but it’s definitely one of the most memorable. I like a lot of the pavement tracks. This was back when the PRI show was held in Orlando. They held a race at Orlando Speed World. My family towed the family car from California all the way to Florida in 2006 and we won with a 360. The race before was Turkey Night where I junked the car. We scraped together enough to run this race, made the long haul and won. It was on ESPN 2. It paid $10,000-to-wink. They made a big deal out of it. It was kind of fun.

If you could pick one product sponsor what would it be and why?
Driving 200 miles one way to the shop every weekend, I’d have to say I want a gasoline sponsor to get there and back. A fuel card would be really helpful.

If you came out with an Autobiography what would it be called?
So, I couldn’t come up with a name. I know you and my wife, Jordan, were talking and came up with one. Let me reverse the role and ask you a question. What should my autobiography be called?

–Fair enough! I was talking to Jordan after your Williams Grove win and I said Jo, Kody is just a low key badass. He’s always flying under the radar. He’s humble and quiet, but he’ll murder you silently on the track. If there’s 20 laps to go and he isn’t leading you better be worried because you know he’s behind you and in the hunt. “Kody Swanson; Low Key Badass.” I’d buy that book.
–Well I’d never call myself that, but thank you!

If you didn’t drive race cars what else would you be doing?
Right now, even though I’m driving race cars as much as I can, I’m still working a “normal” job at Alt & Witzig Engineering. They have been a great fit for me, and have continued to be supportive of my racing. But if I wasn’t driving, I’d still want to be involved in racing, or at least give it a shot. I don’t know if I’d be able to, but I’d be interested in being involved in a series or event promotions on the business side of things. My degree is in Agriculture Economics, but it has been interesting to see how much of the same principles cross over. If I wasn’t able to work something out in racing, agriculture would be another interest of mine.

What is something you would change about open wheel racing and why?
Oh, I’ve definitely got a few ideas, and as much time as I spend on the road, I’ve had plenty of time to think about them. I know it would be a long shot, but you’ve got to dream big, sometimes right? I’d like to help make open-wheel racing more of a destination in racing. I don’t feel like there are any cars cooler than the ones we’re racing now. I like the old-school and simplicity of what we get to race now. I like that we still have mechanical fuel injection. I like that we don’t have any downforce. I like that these things will spin the tires on dirt or pavement. I like that these cars are hard to drive. I feel like they should be. It is what makes driving racecars FUN to me. If I was headed in a particular direction, it would be to embrace that old-school and the tradition of our sport. Sometimes I worry that if we keep giving in to what is “trending,” we’re going to end up like a bad version of the “Fast & Furious,” haha!

I was a race fan long before I was a driver. I grew up watching my dad race, and there are still so many aspects of that era that I miss today. He raced in the premier division – and during the night, I could feel the difference in the atmosphere when they were up. They lined them up and introduced the drivers before the feature. They ran the feature division last! I remember it being awesome because the race finished, they interviewed the top 3 on the front stretch, and then the entire grandstand poured into the pits. You got to meet the drivers, and see them in their element. They were still in their driving suits, still sweating. They were still full of adrenaline and fired up. You got to see them and witness what made racing exciting for them, because it was still fresh for them. They signed pictures, they signed body panels, they signed t-shirts. You felt like you got to know them.

As a fan, you became invested in the race, and in the drivers and teams. You liked them and you wanted them to win, or maybe you didn’t, maybe you hoped someone else would win, but either way you cared and when you watched you felt the adrenaline too, because suddenly it mattered to you who won or who didn’t. Maybe I’m lame for thinking it, but it made racing emotional. Come on, not romantic comedy emotional, but pit-in-your-stomach, heart-racing, feet twitching, the kind of emotional that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. It made racing fun to watch, fun to talk about and something that you enjoyed doing. I would like to help racing get back to more of that.

If you had to audition for American Idol what song would you sing and why?
Anyone that’s ever heard me sing would never encourage me to audition for American Idol. They would never ever let that happen, but if I was forced to I’d sing the first dance song from out wedding “Must Be Doing Something Right” by Billy Currington, just for the brownie points from my wife.

Last week’s driver, Brandon Morin, got to pick the final question and he wants to know: If you had to pick one restaurant, either dine-in or fast food, to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I thought Chinese food. I don’t know. I always say Jordan can cook pretty much everything else really good, even Mexican food. She makes the best Mexican food in Indiana. Sal’s Mexican restaurant in Central California is the one place back home I always go to when I’m there. They don’t make shredded beef enchiladas like that any place around here.

Ok, so what’s the 11th question for going to be?
Just a side note because I heard next week’s driver is Mitchell Faccinto, he used to kick my butt in junior sprints when I was like 13 years old and he had to have been maybe 8 years old. I remember one time we all wrecked and landed in a big pile and people and myself were worried that I was squishing him. Haha! I was too nice to the younger kids and they beat up on me on the track.

–That’s hilarious! I wonder if he remembers that. I’ll bring it up next week! Ok, so what’s your question for him?
–What kind of track would you rather race? A technical track where you have to it figure out, or more of a hammer down, the braver you are the better you go?

That’s all for today! We hope you got to know Kody a little more and maybe had a laugh along the way. Big thanks to Kody Swanson for being our guest. “11 Questions with…Mitchell Faccinto” is set for August 1st.

11 Questions with… Brandon Morin

Volume 5

Welcome to the fifth installment of “11 Questions with…”! At the end of each segment the current week’s driver will get to decide what the 11th question will be for the next guest. Simple and entertaining. Today I have race car driver, and new dad, Brandon Morin. Brandon became the proud father of a sweet baby girl just a few days ago! Make sure to wish him congratulations. Let’s get to know a little more about him.

If you got the chance to redo one race, which one would it be and why?
If I had to redo one race it would have to be this past May, during the race at Chandler Motor Speedway. We got shuffled back and I drove all the way up to the back bumper of the leader. I made just one slight mistake, and he drove away. We definitely had a car to win that night.

What is your reputation as a driver from other people’s perspective, and do you think that stigma holds true?
I try to race as aggressive and as clean as possible. I mean you can’t always give and never take or you’ll never win.

What it like racing for a family owned team?
Being a family owned race team can be difficult at times. Our very tight budget, time, and finding people willing to help us are just a couple reasons. The memories I have made with my mom, dad, Johnny, and Anthony, however, are something I’ll never forget, and something I will always cherish! We’ve had so many fun times at the track.

What is your “retaliation policy” if someone wrecks you, if any? Do you settle it on the track by beating them; give them a little bump; talk to them after the race? How do you handle it?
I have always kind of approached the issue the next time I race with them. That gives me and the other person a chance to cool down and think about it with a clear head. Problems shouldn’t be handled on the track in my opinion. We all work so hard on these race cars, and they’re too expensive to tear up just to prove a point.

If you had to race on one track for the rest of your life which one would it be and why?
I would have to say Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Indiana. I love it for the speed, and how the track is operated. Tom and his crew try to give us the same exact racing surface every night we hit the track. That makes my job a little easier. They do an excellent job and I really enjoy racing there.

If you could pick one product sponsor what would it be and why?
That’s easy! RaceOptics. I’d love to just get a shipment whenever I need some tear-offs. They are about $1 per tear-off, so on my budget it makes it difficult to buy a bunch at a time.

If you came out with an Autobiography what would it be called?
“Living Life One Mile at a Time”

If you didn’t drive race cars what else would you be doing?
Honestly, I would probably be working in the family business selling Dottie’s cinnamon rolls and ice cream. So, I’d be traveling from fair to fair all during the Summer and Fall.
— How long has your family been in the business?
–They’ve been doing it for 32 years now. They do most of the fair and festivals in the southern part of Indiana. They also sell Ice cream and lemon shake ups!

What is something you would change about open wheel racing and why?
I would try to get the “checkbook” out of racing, and bring back real car owners that actually hire guys. I would try to really bring back grass roots style of racing.

 If you had to audition for American Idol what song would you sing and why?
Oh, man that’s a tough one. I’ve always had a deep voice so I’d have to go with “Your Man” by Josh Turner. I’ve always loved that song!

Last week’s driver, Spencer Bayston, got to pick the final question and he wants to know: In the perfect world where you could pick your ride for a year, who would you race for, and in what series?
Honestly, I would have loved to have driven for Tony Stewart when he had his non-wing team. Tony has always been one of my favorite drivers, so I would have to pick racing non-wing sprint cars for TSR (Tony Stewart Racing)!

Ok, so what’s the 11th question for going to be?
If you had to pick one restaurant, either dine-in or fast food, to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?

That’s all for today! We hope you got to know Brandon a little more and maybe had a laugh along the way. Big thanks to Brandon Morin for being our guest. “11 Questions with…Kody Swanson” is set for July 18th.

11 Questions with… Spencer Bayston

Volume 4

Welcome to the fourth installment of “11 Questions with…”! At the end of each segment the current week’s driver will get to decide what the 11th question will be for the next guest. Simple and entertaining. Today, I’m happy to have Spencer Bayston with me. Spencer races midgets for Keith Kunz Motorsports and winged sprint cars for Kevin Swindell. He was born and raised in Lebanon, Indiana. Let’s get to know a little more about him.

If you got the chance to redo one race, which one would it be and why?
2015 Chili Bowl. I was locked into the main even and started 11th. I wasn’t expecting that at all. I kind of had more of a “whatever happens, happens” attitude and was just happy to be in the big show. I wish I would have taken that opportunity more seriously and made something happen. It’s so hard to make that main event. There are hundreds of good drivers competing for a chance to run that race.

What is your reputation as a driver from other people’s perspective, and do you think that stigma holds true?
I’m not the type of guy to take people out intentionally, but I’m also not going to back down either. I don’t put people in the fence, but if there’s and opening I’m going to take it. I guess you could say I’m aggressive, but respectful.

–Do you think other people think that about you?
–Yes, I think most people understand that. Some people will kind of lift or back out, but I’m not going to just let you go by.

What’s it like racing for a power house like Keith Kunz Motorsports and are there stigma’s or extra pressure that comes with it?
There is definitely extra pressure with past drivers that have driven for Keith. Tony Stewart, Kyler Larson, and Christopher Bell are big shoes to fill. There is always a competition between teammates because you want to be the best on the team. It motivates you to do better. I think a lot of people look at us as a money team or spoiled, but we also work hard and put the time in. We might have it better than most, but we still have to perform. I feel like we have the same responsibilities as everyone else.

What is your “retaliation policy” if someone wrecks you, if any? Do you settle it on the track by beating them; give them a little bump; talk to them after the race? How do you handle it?
I’m not the type of guy to go confront someone, and I’m not the type of guy that’ll take them out, but I’ll always keep it in the back of my mind. I’m not doing them any favors. The best way to get them back is to beat them.

If you had to race on one track for the rest of your life which one would it be and why?
Probably Kokomo Speedway. I know everyone says that, but it’s just a badass race track. They have great track conditions, track prep is always on point, the way they run place, and the fans make it awesome. It’s also close to home.

If you could pick one product sponsor what would it be and why?
Oakley. I’ve always really liked their brand and getting free clothes and sunglasses from there would be super nice. Haha!

If you came out with an Autobiography what would it be called?
“When in doubt, throttle it out.”

If you didn’t drive race cars what else would you be doing?
I’d go to a Big 10 college to get a degree in finance and take the same route as my dad. He is a financial advisor.

What is something you would change about open wheel racing and why?
If I could change anything about racing I would get it back to the days of Thursday Night Thunder. Races were televised, there were more sponsors and teams, and there were big opportunities.

–You don’t think there are big opportunities now?
–I think that there are still lots of opportunities right now, but during that time it seems like there were a lot of car owners willing to hire drivers. It would be cool to get it back to hired rides. I feel like there used to be true car owners, who got sponsors, and hired drivers to race. It’s kind of a touchy subject, but that’s just something I think would be cool to see return to the sport.

 If you had to audition for American Idol what song would you sing and why?
Flashlight by Chris Young. It reminds me of when I first started racing quarter midgets with my dad. He didn’t come from racing so there were a lot of late nights spent out in the shop learning how it all worked. I was always the one holding the flashlight leaning over my dad’s shoulder learning as much I could. It’s some of my best memories growing up.

Last week’s driver, Cole Ketcham, got to pick the final question and he wants to know: What is your pre-race/race day routine?
My race day routine isn’t anything special. I get up and eat a good breakfast with a cup of coffee. I get some Panda Express for lunch, and head to the track.

— So I hear you’re obsessed with Panda Express. What’s the deal?
— I like Chinese food. It always fills me up before a race. I was joking around with my teammates, and I told them all you need in life is Panda Express and watermelon. It’s just kind of a running joke.

Ok, so what’s the 11th question for Brandon Morin going to be?
In the perfect world where you could pick your ride for a year, who would you race for, and in what series?

That’s all for today! We hope you got to know Spencer a little more and maybe had a laugh along the way. Big thanks to Spencer Bayston for being our guest. “11 Questions with…Brandon Morin” is set for July 4th.

11 Questions with… Cole Ketcham

 Volume 3

Welcome to the third edition of “11 Questions with…”! At the end of each segment the current week’s driver will get to decide what the 11th question will be for the next guest. Simple and entertaining. Today, I’m happy to have Cole Ketcham with me. Cole drives non-wing sprint cars and is from Muncie, Indiana. Let’s get to know a little more about him.

If you got the chance to redo one race, which one would it be and why?
I’d have to say Plymouth Speedway in 2015. I was a rookie leading the race. There was a late race caution, the track changed, and I didn’t adjust to it. It ended up costing me a win. I’d have liked to have had that rookie win.

What is your reputation as a driver from other people’s perspective, and do you think that stigma holds true?
I’m not really sure. I’ve never really thought about it. I do know I’ve had some run-ins with a couple of other drivers, and I’ve also been the nice guy on the track before too. So, I guess my reputation would be a little different depending on who you ask.

What is your favorite thing about being in a race car and actually racing?
My favorite thing about being in the car would be just the actual feeling of it. There’s no possible way to explain what it’s like to race sprint cars, but I would say it’s more the feeling of being able to control something virtually uncontrollable.

What is your “retaliation policy” if someone wrecks you, if any? Do you settle it on the track by beating them; give them a little bump; talk to them after the race? How do you handle it?
I like to at least tell someone I didn’t like what happened so they know to expect me to race them dirty from then on. I don’t have a script. There is no actual policy because all situations are different. I’ve learned to just roll with it because accidents, no matter who’s at fault, are going to happen in this style of racing.

If you had to race on one track for the rest of your life which one would it be and why?
That’s easy, Kokomo Speedway. It’s close to home, and the racing is always better there than anywhere I’ve been. It’s fast, on the edge, and the O’Connor’s are some of the best people I’ve met. They are always going out of their way to help anyone who needs it, and they do whatever it takes to get a race in.

If you could pick one product sponsor what would it be and why?
I’d probably have to say, Honda, so I could get some complimentary dirt bikes or ATVs, HAHA!

If you came out with an Autobiography what would it be called?
“Life on Wheels”.

–That sounds interesting. Tell me why?
–Besides racing, most of my jobs have been related to cars. Whether it’s driving transport, making car parts, small engine work, working at a car lot, building campers, and now starting up an auto detail business. Cars have just been a big part of my life.

If you didn’t drive race cars what else would you be doing?
Honestly, I probably would’ve went to school for something I didn’t care for, but brought in good money. Racing has been the only thing I’ve been interested in doing.

What is something you would change about open wheel racing and why?
The cost. Our team struggles to afford it, and I know we aren’t the only ones. It would help to level the playing field as well.

 If you had to audition for American Idol what song would you sing and why?
Some Aerosmith would probably help my case if Steven Tyler is judging.

Last week’s driver, Hunter Schuerenberg, got to pick the final question and he wants to know:
If you were at a race and had to pick one of your competitors to win, who would it be and why?
Josh Spencer. He’s a good guy with a budget, and he’ll help anyone with anything he can.

Ok, so what’s the 11th question for Spencer Bayston going to be?
What is your pre-race/race day routine?

That’s a wrap everybody! We hope you learned a little bit more about Cole, and had a couple laughs along the way. Big thanks to Cole Ketcham for being our guest. “11 Questions with…Spencer Bayston” is set for June 20th.

11 Questions with… Hunter Schuerenberg

 Volume 2

Welcome to the second edition of “11 Questions with…”! At the end of each segment the current week’s driver will get to decide what the 11th question will be for the next guest. Simple and entertaining. Today, I’m happy to have Hunter Schuerenberg with me. Hunter had the second highest number of votes in the Twitter pole we conducted to select our first driver, so I thought it was only fair to let him go next. Let’s get started.

If you got the chance to redo one race, which one would it be and why?
Actually, it would probably be the USAC race at Lawrenceburg Speedway earlier this year. I was running second, had a race car fast enough to win, and now all I have to show for it is a neck that hurts all the time.

What is your reputation as a driver from other people’s perspective, and do you think that stigma holds true?
I’m not sure. Maybe that I either won or crashed. I’m not quite that bad anymore. I’m a little more consistent, but I’m not a points racer. I’d rather win than just run races, and finish 5th or 6th every week. Second place on back through the field is the same to me.

–Do you think that holds true to you?
–Yeah, I’m not a points racer like I said, so I’d probably go for the win.

What is your favorite thing about being in a race car and actually racing?
When you’re outside the race car you can think about so many things, but when you’re in the car all you have time to think about is what’s right in front of you. You only have time to focus on that, and not worry about anything else except racing.

What is your “retaliation policy” if someone wrecks you, if any? Do you settle it on the track by beating them; give them a little bump; talk to them after the race? How do you handle it?
I’m not confrontational at all. It takes a lot to make me mad. I own my own race cars so I’m not going to do it on the track and risk messing my own stuff up. That’d cost me money, but if someone made me that mad I’d probably handle it off the track. My wife is chiming in in the background that she would handle it for me haha!

— I’ve heard lots of stories about wives and girlfriends that “handle things” for their significant other. What’s something funny that stands out to you that she’s said before.
–Well, I’ll probably get in trouble for this, and I won’t use the exact words, but she yelled two choice words at Robert Ballou across the pit area at Perris (California). Robert was running his mouth about me and Bud Kaeding getting together, and Jess really didn’t appreciate that. Bud and I were cool after it happened, but Robert and Jess weren’t haha!

If you had to race on one track for the rest of your life which one would it be and why?
I’d have to say Kokomo Speedway. It really fits my driving style. It’s also one of the places that no matter what series you run, USAC, World of Outlaws, MSCS, All Stars, everyone feels like it’s a big deal to win there. So, I’d definitely say Kokomo if I had to race it every weekend. That way it’s always a big deal. Plus, I just like that race track.

If you could pick one product sponsor what would it be and why?
LMC Trucks. I could get so many truck parts and accessories.

That leads me to my next question. You buy, restore, and sell old trucks. What made you start doing that?
Well I sold an F150 truck for like $8,500 bucks so Jessica and I could buy our first race car that we owned ourselves. I needed something to drive, so I bought a C10, and about 6 months later I sold it. It just kind of snow balled from there. I would buy something, use it for a while, or fix it up, and then sell it. It was something I enjoyed, and could make a little extra money at the same time. I really like 1949 to 1987 Chevy pickup trucks, but I’d sell anything really. I just enjoy old trucks. That’s my thing.

If you came out with an Autobiography what would it be called?
Hunter Schuerenberg – Gym, Shop, Craig Lists

It’s kind of like Jersey Shore’s Gym, Tan, Laundry. I’m either at the gym, at the race shop working on the race car, or shopping for trucks. My wife gets so annoyed at me. Jess said I’d sell her for the right price, haha!

If you didn’t drive race cars what else would you be doing?
I’d probably hunt, but that doesn’t pay the bills. I guess I’d hunt as a hobby. Building hot rods for living would be cool. Something along the lines of building cars or motors. I really like that type of stuff.

If you had to audition for American Idol what song would you sing and why?
“This Cowboy’s Hat” by Chris LeDoux. My dad always had a Chris LeDoux CD playing in the truck when I was little, and we were headed to the races. I grew to like him because my dad liked him. I would sing that song because I know I could nail every single word. I’d sing any of his songs really, but that’s the best one.

Last week’s driver, Carson Macedo, got to pick the final question and he want to know: If you could go out with any celebrity, and have a hall pass if you’re married, who would it be and why would you choose that person?
Christina Milian.

Ok, so what’s the 11th question for Cole Ketcham going to be?
If you were at a race and had to pick one of your competitors to win, who would it be and why?

That’s a wrap everybody! We hope you learned a little bit more about Hunter, and had a couple laughs along the way. Big thanks to Hunter Schuerenberg for being our guest. “11 Questions with…Cole Ketcham” is set for June 6th.

11 Questions with… Carson Macedo

 Volume 1

Welcome to the first edition of “11 Questions with…”! First, a little bit about the new segment. It’s an informal chat that’s been transcribed between myself and each one of the DPM Drivers. The objective is for you to get to know them on and off the track. My goal is to hopefully turn it into a bi-weekly podcast or vlog (video blog), but for now you can follow along here. At the end of each segment the current week’s driver will get to decide what the 11th question will be for the next driver. Simple and entertaining. Today, I’m happy to have Carson Macedo with me. Carson was voted the first DPM Driver in the lineup by popular vote on a recent Twitter pole. Let’s get started.

If you got the chance to redo one race, which one would it be and why?

I would have to say the 2015 Trophy Cup. I finished 2nd in the points standings. I battled with Bud Keading to become the overall points leader, but I came up short because of bad decisions towards the end of race.

What is your reputation as a driver from other people’s perspective, and do you think that stigma holds true?

Hmm… that’s a hard one. When I’m on the track I give 100% effort, and sometimes that means I can overdrive the car a little bit. I’ve tried to calm down, but I’m sure people think I can be a bit wild at times. Haha! Yes, it’s fair to say that might be somewhat accurate at times.

What is your favorite thing about being in a race car and actually racing?

I like that it is different than any other sport. The speed, the rush you get, and the mental aspect of the racing in general. The mental aspect is what makes a driver like Donny [Schatz] so great. He outsmarts and mentally out prepares his competition on a regular basis.

What is your “retaliation policy” if someone wrecks you, if any? Do you settle it on the track by beating them; give them a little bump; talk to them after the race? How do you handle it?

I think it’s pretty fair to say that all drivers have great memories. Usually you never forget when someone does something wrong by you on the race track, or I don’t anyway. I’m usually not the type to confront someone. I try to just keep all of that on the race track, but sometimes emotions get high and we say or do things we don’t mean. The best thing to do is just go out and beat that person. That will get to them more than anything I think.

If you had to race on one track for the rest of your life which one would it be and why?

Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, California. It is by far my favorite track in the world. That place is so special. It’s a high banked, 3/8-mile paper clip, with a wall all the way around it. When you’re racing you just wait for the cushion to get built up on the wall and start “bangin’ the boards”!

What are some things you do mentally or physically to prepare when you have to change from non-wing cars to winged cars?

Wing to non-wing is still something I’m working to get better at. I’ve just tried to work on being open minded and adaptable as possible. When you drive winged sprint cars all the time you tend to drive so hard. With all the downforce, you have to drive that way. Now when I get in a non-wing car I tend to over drive it quite a bit, which usually leads to a pretty big crash. I’m working on getting better at that.

–You also drive for several different car owners so tell us a little bit about how you prepare for the transition from one team to the next.
–When you’re trying to make it in this sport at a young age you want all the seat time you can get. Unless you can find a team that can put you in a car for 90 to 100 races sometimes you have to drive for multiple teams. It’s hard to make up a true full season schedule driving for only one person. I’m fortunate to be able to drive several teams. They are all really nice people with a lot of knowledge and good equipment that I can learn from. A driver can only prepare so much, so I’d say the teams are the key to transitioning easily. They are very well prepared, and that makes my job a lot easier.

If you could pick one product sponsor what would it be and why?

It’s hard to pick just one when I have so many great supports! Bell Helmets, Fiberworks Composites Seats, Vaportrail Clothing, Shifty Illusions, Joes Racing Products; They are all very good to me! It sure would be nice to have a tear off sponsor though, I sure spend a ton on them, and trust me they aren’t getting any cheaper.

Enough with the race car talk. Let’s change directions and get into to some stuff about you away from the track. If you came out with an Autobiography what would it be called?

Life of the Mosquito: Carson Macedo.

–Haha! Why would you choose that? What’s the story behind that?
–There isn’t one really. Everyone just calls me that because it rhymes with my last name I guess.

Do you have any special talents or skills we don’t know about?

I don’t know if it’s special but I actually really love to wakeboard and snowboard! Last year when I drove for KKM [Keith Kunz Motorsports] I lived at Pete Willoughby’s house. He lives on a lake and we would wakeboard just about every day. It was so much fun! I’m not going to say I’m a professional by any means, but by the end of the year I definitely got a lot better on a wakeboard and wake surf!

If you are binge watching Netflix, what show are you watching?

I’d probably have to say How I Met Your Mother. I want to be the next Barney Stenson.

Since you were the first driver selected for this segment, I chose my favorite fan submission from social media for the 11th question. If you had to audition for American Idol what song would you sing and why?

Titties and Beer by Rodney Carrington. Haha!

–For some reason, I don’t think I need to ask for an explanation on that one.

Ok, the next “11 Question with…” segment is featuring Hunter Schuerenberg. Hunter was a close second to you in the voting poll so I figured it would be fair to have him up next. What is that 11th question going to be?

If you could go out with any celebrity, and have a hall pass if you’re married, who would it be and why would you choose that person?

That’s a wrap everybody! We hope you learned a little bit more about Carson, and had a couple laughs along the way. Big thanks to Carson Macedo for being our first guest. “11 Questions with…Hunter Schuerenberg” is set for May 23rd.