Column By: RYAN HILL / RPW – KENT, CT – Sportsman Modified driver Chris Lynch straps in for today’s installment of RPW’s “The Ten”. Chris is a 26 year old driver out of Kent, CT. Chris’ home track is Lebanon Valley Speedway where he has 2 career victories, as well as a win at Accord Speedway. Here are Chris’ answers to our ten questions.
1- WHY ARE YOU # 74?
I have been going to Lebanon Valley almost every Saturday either racing or as specatators for 21 years. My parents and I would camp across the street and that is where I met Ken Schroder. Ken was J.R Heffner’s Grandfather. Ken was one of the greatest men I had ever known. I went on to sit with Ken and his wife Dee in the blue section of the stands for the next 6 years every Saturday before I was old enough to go in the pits to help on the car. It’s because of Ken that I became a fan of J.R’s from young age. In memory of Ken, I drive the #74.
2- WHAT TYPE OF RACE CAR WOULD YOU LIKE TO DRIVE?
I would love to have a shot at running either a big block or a late model. The racing in the late models is really fun to watch and I know I could get around pretty good in a big block given the chance.
3- WHO WAS YOUR FAVORITE DRIVER BEFORE YOU BECAME A DRIVER?
My favorite driver has always been Danny Johnson. I love the fact that he can come with some old piece that he found in someone’s shed and make it go. I’ve always loved watching Tim McCreadie as well.
4- WHAT RACE WOULD YOU LIKE TO WIN?
I would love to win the Eastern States 200 believe it or not. No valley regular has ever won it. Otherwise, The Chili Bowl would be awesome.
5- HOW DID YOU START RACING?
My father started racing in 2001 in the open sportsman. I was into go-karts and had a pretty impressive resume for the 4 years I spent racing. When it came time to pass the torch, I began driving his car for the final 4 races of the 2006 season. The second race I ever ran at 16 years old, I was chasing Kolby Schroder down for the first win of my career and with 2 laps to go, the radiator hose fell off. I should have known at that point how our luck for the coming years would be.
6- WHAT IS YOUR STRONGEST TRAIT AS A DRIVER?
I think my strongest trait in racing is being able to adapt to conditions and relay that info to my team. I have studied racing almost every free second I have ever had. Car setup is something that I have always worked on, and knowing what changes to make and what the car needs for the conditions is a big deal when you are traveling or adapting to a new situation. In 2016, we won at Lebanon, won Halloween havoc at Accord and finished 5th at eastern states out of 100 sportsman cars at Middletown. Diversity makes us dangerous anywhere we go. I think that is more than most can say for themselves.
7- HOW HAS RACING AFFECTED YOUR PERSONAL LIFE?
Racing is life. It consumes all of your free moments, vacations, and weekends. Most everything that we do in the summer is about or preparing for racing. That’s what it takes to be great. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
8- DO YOU HAVE ANY RACE DAY RITUALS?
I pray quite a bit on race day to be honest, but the only ritual that I have is when I go to get into the car I wipe both hands one at a time across my name on my roof and slap the roof twice. Once I enter the cockpit my steering wheel needs to be in exactly the same place every time. It is something that I need to do or else I don’t feel comfortable.
9- WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST RACING MOMENT?
I have had a very nice career to date. Since the crate class has come to Lebanon Valley, I had finished in second place, nine times. Finishing second to Bobby Hackel, Tyler Dippel, John Virgilio and Jason Herrington who are all past champions of the division. Between my father and me, one of us has raced almost every Saturday night for the past 15 years straight at Lebanon. Last year on father’s day weekend, We finally got our first win as a team. My fellow competitors, other crews and plenty of fans congratulated us on what was a long time coming. It was not only the best moment in my racing career but the best moment of my life.
10- WHAT IS YOUR OFF SEASON LIKE?
The off season is preparing for the racing season.. There is never really an off season for us.
Chris wanted to thank his sponsors that make racing possible for him : Elliot Air LLC, Jaime’s Scott’s Auto & Tire Center, Jeff’s Tree Service & Land Clearing, Shocks By Dick, PMC Races Cars, and Blue Cord Media.