Metz gaining experience in hobbystockWILMONT — When Mike Metz started sponsoring a friends race car four years ago, he caught the racing bug.
By: Amanda Walljasper, Worthington Daily Globe
WILMONT — When Mike Metz started sponsoring a friends race car four years ago, he caught the racing bug.
Last year he bought his friends old car and raced his first season in a hobbystock.
“I do not come from a family of racers,” said Metz, who is a fulltime farmer. “I always wanted to do it. My daughter Morgan and I used to go watch all the time.”
Metz’s first year on the track was a year of learning.
“I did a lot of beginner’s dumb stuff. The car I bought was a good one to start with, but it was an old car,” said Metz. “It was not a real good-handling car.”
At the end of last season, Metz purchased Ray Bertrand’s hobbystock car. Bertrand won the 2007 hobbystock track championship at Murray County Speedway with that car. Bertrand moved up to the B-modified class this season.
“This car is a good-handling car,” said Metz. “Ray helped a lot with setting it up.”
When it came time to choose the paint scheme for the new racer, Metz consulted his 8-year-old son, Austin.
“He said, ‘Why don’t you be 95 Lightning McQueen or Spongebob?’” remembered Metz. “I told him Spongebob doesn’t have a number, so that’s how I got out of that one.”
In his second year of racing, Metz is still gaining experience. He is currently in the top five in points at Murray County Speedway and Nobles County Speedway.
“Even this year I’ve had a couple races where you wonder if I’ve ever driven before,” said Metz with a laugh.
Driving a hobbystock has been a good fit.
“Slayton is hobbystock country,” said Metz. “Hobbystock is a competitive, tough class. It’s a class where you’ve probably got six or eight drivers that could win on a given day. Nobody really dominates the bunch.”
For Metz, racing has provided him with a hobby and new friends.
“I never had a hobby before I started doing this,” he said. “I enjoy the people I have gotten to know. The behind the scenes stuff is just as interesting as racing.”
Having fun is important to Metz.
“If it gets to where racing ain’t fun anymore, then I am going to do something else,” said Metz.