Column By: DYLAN FRIEBEL / RPW – RAVENA, NY – Austin Langenstein and Keith Flach Racing (KFR) have agreed to run two Super DIRTcar Series races together this year.
Austin will be piloting a KFR Big Block Modified at the famed Fonda Speedway during the Thunder Along the Mohawk Weekend in late September along with the World Finals at the Dirt Track at Charlotte in November.
“This deal really started a few years ago when I got my helmet from Speedlo, before the company was bought up by Simpson,” Keith Flach said. “I’d seen Austin down there and of course I knew his dad Charlie who worked for Hendrick Motorsports. He has a lot of roots here in the area with his dad, and Austin always expressed interest in racing a Big Block. We see him every year at all the motorsports show and talk all the time. He reached out and we started to put it together.”
While Austin may be young, he is in no way a rookie and shouldn’t be treated as such.
“He’s got experience,” Flach said. “He just raced in the BC39 USAC Midget event at Indy, but has also done some sports car stuff this year, some road racing and raced on asphalt. He’s a racer at heart and always been involved in Big Blocks. It’s been one of his dreams to race one so we started to work on a deal.”
Originally, the plan was for one event, in Charlotte in November, but then Keith checked the rules a little further.
“We were only going to World Finals due to his schedule,” Flach said. “However, after we talked this winter, I remembered you needed to attempt to qualify for a Dirt Series event to be able to run World Finals. That’s where Fonda came into the deal.”
This won’t be the first time KFR has run a second car out of the same stable, but he is excited for it.
“Austin is a smart kid,” he said. “I’m excited to have him in the car. It’s always nice to bounce ideas off another driver. I’m looking forward to another set of eyes. He may see some stuff I don’t and I’m going to see some stuff he doesn’t. It’ll be nice to bounce things off each other, setup-wise, when it comes to shocks and different stuff. I’m sure he can teach me some stuff. I’m always open to learning new things, even if it comes from an asphalt, road racing, or even sports car background. The more the merrier.”
Langenstein, the young driver from Scranton, PA, is looking forward to strapping into a Big Block…a type of car he grew up around.
“I’ve always wanted to race a Big Block Modified,” Langenstein said. “I grew up around them with my dad. I get to see them at World Finals every year and I still, to this day, love them. However that’s really all I ever to get to see them. Even with all I get to see, they are my favorite form of racing.”
Austin is very appreciative to the Flach family for the opportunity to live out a dream.
“I can’t thank Keith enough for giving me the opportunity to run one of his cars,” he said. “He has some of the best equipment around and I know we can do well in them. I’m excited to run Fonda as well. That’s such a historic track here in New York. All the big names in Northeast Dirt Racing have won there. I love how the river runs down the back of the track and just the layout in general. This will be totally different than the midget I ran last week at Indy for the BC39 event, or the sports cars, or even road racing in the rain. I’ve won in every previous category I’ve been in, but this a whole new animal. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to run with some of the best drivers on dirt. Brett Hearn and all those guys are my heroes I grew up watching. It’ll be cool to run with them.”
When the Super DIRTcar Series roll into Fonda Speedway on September 22nd, don’t be surprised to see two Keith Flach cars on the track, and don’t be surprised to see them both running very well around the famed half-mile.