Where is our next generation of race car drivers going to come from?
When you look around at the local dirt tracks, a couple of young hot drivers have been outstanding. One worthy of attention is Grafton's Brent Trimble.
At only 18, Trimble has already collected an impressive record in the
Modified division at area tracks. He has captured 35 wins and 60 top-10 finishes in just 3 1/2 years of racing.
In that time, he has competed at Interstate 79 Speedway, Corridor H Speedway, Tyler County Speedway, Interstate 77 Speedway in West Virginia and Roaring Knob Raceway in Pennsylvania.
After a rough start to the 2000 season at Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tenn., that saw Trimble flip end-over-end, the young driver has rebounded to record seven feature wins this year. His latest victory came last Friday night at Interstate 79 Speedway against a strong field of cars.
"Winning at (I-79), it's as rough as anywhere," Trimble said after the race. "There's six or seven cars that can win every night. When you win (at I-79), you've really earned it."
Of his victories this season, three have came at I-79 and four at Roaring Knob Raceway in Markleysburg, Pa., where Trimble currently leads the points standings. Trimble's goal for the rest of the season is to stay up front and gain as much experience as possible.
"We'd like to win the points championship at Roaring Knob and have a shot at the points (at I-79), but we're pretty far back," Trimble said. "We'd like to win about eight to 10 more races by the end of the year. We've still got a bunch of racing left."
Trimble started racing at an early age. He raced motorcycles when he was eight years old and moved on to go-karts the next year. When he was 15, he moved up to the Modifieds.
"My dad used to race go-karts, and he got me into it," Trimble said.
Although he didn't win a feature event his first season, his numbers were still impressive, as he finished second six times and captured 10 heat-race victories in 37 events. He finished his second season with six trips to victory lane split between Corridor H Speedway and Tyler County Speedway.
It seems that Trimble's biggest obstacle in racing was just getting on the track. Many of his fellow competitors were worried about racing with someone as young as he was when he started. Acceptance was slow, but Trimble gradually gained the confidence of the other competitors.
"There for awhile, everyone was giving us a hard time, because I was a lot younger and running with them, but most of them have took it pretty good," Trimble said. "Shawn Davis has really helped me out. He's taught me a lot about racing."
Trimble has added to his knowledge of race cars by working at Throwin' Dirt Chassis in Monongah for the last two years. He helps hang bodies on the chassis built at the shop, some welding and works at repairing wrecked chassis.
Trimble receives a great deal of support from his family in his racing. His parents, Keith and Brenda, and older sister Tiffany, cheer for him at each event. Sometimes, though, the racing action keeps his mother on the edge of her seat.
"It makes me nervous, but I'm glad he does it," Brenda Trimble said. "I've always liked racing. I grew up as a child going to the races. Brent seems to have an ability for it.
"It scares me to death sometimes. The first night he ever went out for hot laps, the car wasn't set up right, and he went down into turns three and four, and he flipped it. But he landed on his tires, and he went right back out the same night and raced."
Trimble's race crew includes his father, mother and his friends, Matt Mewshaw, Josh DeBolt, Nick Mewshaw, Danny Mewshaw, Timmy Mewshaw, John Bevilock and Chas Foley.
As for his future in racing, Trimble plans to move up to the Late Model division next year.