Flat Out Flying
Close your eyes. Imagine a traffic jam on a little dirt road. Three wide, you are heading into a corner at 90-plus miles per hour and slowing down is not an option. Suddenly, you are bumped from behind giving you that little push to get ahead of the two cars flanking you. The accelerator is slammed to the floor as the car straightens out of the turn; your heart is pounding as the crowd goes wild. It is no dream for Tracy Holloway of Osborne, driver for the #8 stock car. This is a hobby that has been in his family for a while. As a second-generation dirt track racecar driver, Tracy has a need for speed and the passion to get him to the finish line.
Tracy has grown up near a racecar as far back as he can remember. Some would say it is in his blood. “I got involved helping my dad and uncle working on their cars,” he recalls. After 13 years of watching and learning, Tracy climbed into a car of his own at the age of 16.
But driving is only part of the deal. One has to build a car first. The process is meticulous, with planning starting in November. It involves a lot of late nights and little time at home. In fact Lacey Holloway, wife and big fan of #8, calls the race shop her husband's second home. Everything from the building of the engine to the fabrication to placing the stickers on the car is done in the shop. Tracy, along with his father Brian, brother Shaylon, Jared Schurr, Verlin Coepland and Trevor Thornton built a total of four cars for the 2007 season. This team, known as Half Cocked Racing, also builds custom chassis for other racecar drivers.
Part of the reason there is so much shop time is due to the fact that races happen every weekend, sometimes both Friday and Saturday night. Tracy has run over 200 races on 10 different tracks since he started seven years ago. His favorite races are at the half-mile tracks as opposed to the 3/8-mile tracks. In fact at his favorite half-mile tracks, in Stockton or Osborne, he likes to say he is “flat out flying” going at speeds over 90mph.
To get ready for the race Tracy has his own pre-race ritual that involves getting buckled in and saying a quick prayer. “My wife Lacey always squeezes my hand before I start the engine,” he says. And just before he heads out on the track, he checks the belts one last time.
“It is really hard to explain,” Tracy says of the excitement that comes from racing. “The adrenaline you get from running side by side at high speeds is unreal.”
One thing he couldn’t do without in racing is the support from family and friends, especially his wife. “It really is a family affair,” Tracy comments. “It used to be just me out there with my immediate family. Now I have a brother competing with me and a real following of fans that includes my in-laws.” His biggest backer is of course his wife. “She is with me wherever we go and is a true supporter of me.”
That support also extends into his generous donors that help him get on the track each weekend. Sponsors of the #8 are pretty loyal. Some of the local donors have watched him grow from the 10 year-old kid following his dad around to the talented driver he is today.
The track champion has set his sights on wining the State Championship and possibly a National Title in his stock car division. Down the road, he has thought about maybe getting involved with NASCAR. For right now Tracy is content with the thrills he gets on the dirt tracks scattered across Kansas and Nebraska.
The crowd roars as the your car jumps forward. The car seems to be alive underneath you as it lurches to the finish line looming ahead. Cameras flash as the cars, door to door, tear up the track. It is not a fantasy for the #8; Tracy Holloway is living the dream.