This is an archived page. A throw back to the old

Introduction to Local Spotlight

By: Rob Simon

As I drove home one night after meeting with a race team in my area I noticed several houses with their garages open. Inside the garages I could see winged machines on jack stands with the driver under the car. These were the same winged machines that I could pay $20 to see beat and bang their way to the checkered flag every Friday and Saturday night.

Prior to starting Rubber Racer I had little knowledge of the dedication and sacrifice it takes to run a race team. I was the typical race fan who ran a regular life through the week and went to the races on the weekend paying little consideration to what each and every driver on that track went through since their last race. While I enjoyed my evenings relaxing and doing the things I like to do these same drivers were under those racing machines preparing for the race. As it is for most fans I admit it was easy to take such things for granted. I was in it for the show on the weekend.

It wasn’t until I started working with local race teams that I began to realize what it takes to compete for the tiny purses on the weekends. These drivers aren’t in it for the money. It is about racing. They bust their knuckles weeknights instead of relaxing at home. They work on their cars until the wee hours of the night only to have to get up several hours later to work a full time job. They spend every extra dollar they have on tires, fuel, parts, sheet metal and so on. It is an endless pit of money that never gets repaid. They dedicate their lives to racing. As a race fan it is that kind of dedication that enhances the experience at the track on the weekends.

Next time you are at the track spend the extra money and buy a pit pass. Take the time to visit the drivers and teams in the pits and consider that what they sacrifice on the weekdays allows us to enjoy their sacrifices on the weekend. Get an autograph or thank them for their sacrifice. After all, they spend every extra spare moment of their lives and every extra spare dollar they have to put on a show for us fans. The least we could do it appreciate it!!

I admit that I have gained a huge amount of admiration for anyone who decides to dedicate their lives to racing. It is with this admiration that I plan to dedicate a section of this site to these men and women who strive to gain nothing but to fulfill their love of racing. I will be implementing a section called Local Spotlight. The goal of this section is to show race fans what it takes to wow us on the weekends.

Travis Keeney

In this edition of Local Spotlight we talk with Travis Keeney. Travis drives the #88 358 Sprint car owned by his father. Keeney Motorsports races at Williams Grove Speedway on the weekends. Travis started racing at a young age and has raced in many forms of racing including Power wheels, Dirt Bikes, Go-Karts and Sprint cars. We discussed what it takes to run in the 358 Sprint Car Series.

The initial investment for a competitive 358 team runs approximately between $20,000 and $40,000. This does not include a hauler and any spares you may need. The initial investment can never really be reimbursed because a team can only hope to receive between $800 and $1000 in purses per race. Once you factor in the ongoing costs that include tires, fuel, engine rebuilds, pit passes and repairs a team hopes to break even. This leaves an enormous need for sponsorship to try and help offset some of the expenses.

The Keeney Motorsports team also spends an enormous amount of time to prepare for the race. The team has 3 core members who make repairs through the week. Travis, with the help of his father and grandfather, spend an enormous amount of time preparing the car. This doesn’t leave much free time since all of their extra time must go into preparing the car for the race. There are no words that can describe the amount of sacrifice it takes to make it to the track. So why does Travis and his family do it? The Keeney’s have racing in their blood. It is a true love affair with racing that drives these men to sacrifice tons to receive very little in compensation.

The enormous expense of running a 358 Sprint Team as well as pursuing an education has forced Travis and his family to discontinue the Sprint Car team. This will be the final year for the #88 Keeney Motorsports team but that does not mean that that Travis is ready to give up racing. Travis’s aspirations are to continue running in the Sprints but under the banner of another team. For the rest of this season he hopes to run strong enough to get the attention of a Sprint Car team in need of a driver.

You can get more information on Travis and his racing operation by visiting his MySpace page: Travis Keeney MySpace Page