‘Right after I heard that engine … it was over’

Hardin man’s goal is Sprint car career

Shaner says his beloved Grampy is never far from his thoughts and every win is for him. Shaner said he points to heaven after each win, and before each race to say, “This one’s for you Grampy.” (Submitted photo)

By Liz Johnson, Staff Writer

There’s just something about speed, competition and the roar of an engine that most guys love. For 21-year-old Dustin Shaner of Hardin, he got that feeling when he was a young boy.

“I’ve been wanting to race since I was a little kid,” Dustin said. “My dad raced modified and street stocks all over (assorted venues).”

Inspired by father, grandfather

Shaner began hanging out in the family garage with his dad, Curtis, and his Grampy (Forrest “Shucks” Shaner) when he was very little working on his father’s racecars.

“Since he was about 2 years old, he’d been out there with his dad in the shop,” said Carla Shaner, Dustin’s mom.

“I just been wanting to do it since my dad did it,” Dustin said. “I wanted to be like him.”

Watching his Grampy and dad work on the race cars got something going in Dustin that he said he just couldn’t get out of his head. He knew that racing was something he was going to do and he didn’t wait too long to test his wings.

“One time I headed into the racecar (in the garage) and started it,” Dustin said. His dad and Grampy were looking for him when they heard the car start up.

“I was revving it up,” he said. “Right after I heard that engine it was over.”

The desire to drive fast and race was now in the young boy’s blood and his interest only grew as the family went to dirt tracks all over the area where his father was racing.

At last, he gets to race

Dustin said he began voicing his desire to race when he was about 11 years old.

“Dad kept telling me ‘One more year, one more year,’” he said.

They ended up going to the micro Sprints in Sweet Springs one year, which has six different classes for racing.

Dustin was about 17 so his dad got permission for him from the other drivers for him to go out and practice on the hot laps, which is when the car gets warmed up while running five slow laps on the dirt track. Hot laps do not count as part of the race.

He now had a small taste of racing and liked it … a lot.

“Then, on the last race of the year, I got to actually race and did pretty well,” Dustin said. “My dad said I could drive the next year. And I did and I did pretty good.”

In 2014, 18-year-old Dustin raced and got a heat race win. The heat race comes before the final race, and determines the starting lineup.

The complete story is in the Friday, October 27, 2017 Richmond News.

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