Hastings Tires Plus owner drives fast for ChumpCar races
Hastings Tires Plus owner Troy Isadore has followed racing events like NASCAR, IndyCar, and Formula One since he was kid. As an adult, that interest led him to his hobby of ChumpCar racing.
“It’s modern day NASCAR,” Isadore said. “It’s entry-level stock car racing and you race on road courses primarily.”
The other major difference between NASCAR and ChumpCar is that ChumpCar courses have both left and right turns instead of just lefts.
Isadore said he has always been interested in racing, but he had to wait until his kids were older to get involved. Now he is on a ChumpCar team and he participates in three races a year.
Each race lasts about eight hours, Isadore said. There are four drivers and each driver races on the course for two hours.
“Trying to get consistently fast laps over a two hour stretch, it doesn’t sound like a lot but it’s a pretty big challenge,” Isadore said.
Other challenges include not wrecking the car when you are going at fast speeds and making sure the car is in good shape. Isadore said his team always has spare motors, transmission and rear ends on hand because you never know what will happen.
His team uses a 1991 BMW 325i. They use an E30 motor but are going to transition to an E36 motor because the E30 motors are getting harder and harder to find. Isadore said the key to having a good car is stripping it down so that it is as light as possible.
His latest race was at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) on Aug. 5-6, in Austin, Texas. There were 108 cars racing there and Isadore was the first driver for his team, but he didn’t complete his turn without a few snags.
“I made it an hour and 45 minutes and I could barely get out of the car,” Isadore said.
His cool suit had quit working after the first two laps and he had to complete the rest of the race in a thick racing suit in over 100 degrees of heat. The cool suit would typically cool down the driver’s body because the motor in the vehicle creates additional heat, but he had to resort to sweating alone.
The team was still able to clutch a fifth place at COTA and get their vehicle teched, which means their vehicle gets jacked up with the wheels removed so that the crowd and other racers can inspect the car.
“It’s a boy’s thing,” Isadore said.
The next race Isadore will participate in is Road America on Oct. 15-16 in Plymouth, Wisconsin. He said he gets really competitive in these races so he is happy to have the team he is on.
“I’m fortunate that I’ve got into a really good team,” Isadore said, “they’re fast, they’re consistent and they don’t wreck the car.”