Seniors race around the track

Seniors race around the track

Morgan Barr, Reporter

The sound of engines and loud shouting rings in his ears as Devin “Bonehead” Beidel zips up his jumpsuit. Just before he climbs into his “Super Sportsman” car, Devina, his girlfriend of five years, hands him his helmet and leans down to kiss him before he starts his race. He puts on his helmet, prays for a good and safe race and starts his engine. On another similar track, in a very different car, Taylor Farlling prays for a safe race for both him and his father.

For these two high school seniors, racing is everything. They spend months designing, fixing and testing cars from March until early fall.  They spend hours on the track, learning, training, and hoping they’ll bring home a victory the next time they fire up their engines for a race. For Devin and Taylor, racing is not just a fun pastime, hobby, or family tradition. It is a way of life that courses through their veins like blood.

The off season brings many changes, and months of preparation for Beidel Motorsports, and Farlling Racing. Many changes, repairs, and made to the different cars. Beidel said, “At the end of each year I tear the car apart and rebuild it and get the engine rebuilt by Benard Pinckey, I also get the rear end rebuilt along with the steering box.” While Beidel is busy with his Super Sportsman car, Farlling tells what he does to amp up his Late-Model car. “I tear the car completely apart check out the frame, then all the parts that are needed on the race car. I replace any parts that are defected. Then I build a whole new body for it.”  Although the off season is long, aside from rebuilding the car, there is not much to do. Farlling said, “There is no training for racing; you learn as you compete so you better learn fast.”

Promotional and public relations related activities are very important for the racers to get their names out there even when they aren’t on the track. Television interviews and other types of interviews are very common in the racing world. Farlling tells about his experience with such things: “I was the radio over the summer where the radio guy asked me questions about my racing career and things like that. I have had interviews at the track also. I also sell t-shirts to promote the racing.” Along with t-shirts, sweatshirts are often sold as well. Walking through the school hallways, many Devin Beidel and Taylor Farlling decals can be seen. 

During race season, mental preparation is a key factor. Beidel said, “Before every race I maintenance the car and just try to clear my mind of everything that has happened before the day of the race.” If racers are not in the correct mindset, it could distract them from the victory, or even cause a crash. Racing is a dangerous sport, with no room for any weak competitors. Crashes are common, and cause very serious injuries. Beidel said, “The most I was ever hurt was in 2013. I made contact with two other cars and it sent me flipping into the wall; I received a concussion, a torn ligament in my right shoulder and it also fractured my collarbone.” As a precaution, many racers wear protective gear. Farlling takes no chances when it comes to safety: “I have flame retarded gear such as a big suite I wear along with flame retardant underwear. I have a mask I put under my helmet in case of a fire. Along with my neck brace, flame retarded shoes, and gloves. I have a five point racing seat harness to keep me secured to my seat.”

As much as the sport is adrenaline fueled, and pushes the racers, there are many emotional causes that keep the drivers coming back to the track, and drives them to continue. Beidel said, “I’d probably have to say [why I continue to race] is because of my brother.” Joshua Beidel, Devin Beidel’s older brother, died in  a traffic accident in August of 2003.

Victory is a sweet, and much deserved feeling for racers. Beidel said, ” It’s something that you can’t really describe. It probably is the best feeling in the world after you built the car all winter and all of your hard work pays off.” Although in Farlling’s short racing career (he has been racing for four years) he has never won a Feature race (he has won many Heat races) his father, Donnie Farlling has been the Feature Champion multiple times. 

Both Beidel and Farlling plan to continue the family tradition of racing with the next generation. When asked if he would teach his children how to race, Beidel said “Most definitely! I’ve been racing since I was 4 years old and its been a huge part of my life so I plan to make it a huge part of my children’s too.” Farlling feels similarly about the subject, saying “If I have children, I probably will to keep the family tradition going.” The next generation of racers will definitely be a well prepared, hard working crew, with plenty of knowledge from their father’s experience on the track. 

For these seniors, the 2016 season is just beginning, and they pray for the best as they suit up and walk onto the track each weekend.

beidel racing