Two of the most famous racing names in the Southern Tier will join together in this Saturday's "Hoosier Daddy Night" ASA Member Track racing program presented by Hoosier Tires at Shangri-La II Motor Speedway. J.R. Kent, a two-time champion of the original Shangri-La Speedway and the son of all-time modified winner George Kent, will drive for the Zacharias Racing team in both the Modified and Sportsman Modified divisions. J.R. Kent has been a regular in the Sportsman ranks at Shangri-La II this season, but he will be making his 2010 Modified debut at the Concrete Castle.
Car owner Terrry Zacharias explained that the arrangement, which is on a race-to-race basis at this time, should work for both parties. Kent will have the opportunity to race a competitive Modified and upgrade his Sportsman program, while the team's lead driver, Jimmy Zacharias, will benefit from Kent's experience as both teammate and mentor as he seeks to move forward in his own racing career.
The SpeedSTRs, open cockpit cars which created such a positive impression among Shangri-La II Motor Speedway racing fans in 2009, are set for their first of two appearances at the Concrete Castle on Hoosier Daddy Night presented by Hoosier Racing Tires this Saturday, June 12. Race time is 5:00 p.m. for the five-class ASA Member Track program that includes the headline tour-type Modifieds, the ASA Late Models, the Sportsman Modifieds, and the Street Stocks.
The SpeedSTR class is the creation of racing veteran Richie Tobias, who conceived and produced a racer that looks and performs much like a midget car from the USAC or ARDC circuits, but at a fraction of the cost. A sealed four-cylinder Mopar engine of 280 horsepower permits lap speeds close to the Sportsman Modifieds at a price of $17,000, ready to race.
When it was first introduced, the SpeedSTR class was most notable for its celebrity competitors like Ray Evernham and Erin Crocker, but now it is producing talent for the higher ranks of open cockpit racing, like Billy Van Inwegen who has moved on to the limited sprint car ranks with success. Among the SpeedSTR rookies of 2010 is Fred Rahmer Jr., the teenage son of sprint car legend "Fast Freddy" Rahmer.