RPW Column By: LAURIE FALLIS / RPW – ALBANY, NY – As they say in racing, you are never too old to receive and your never too old to start.
This is exactly what happened in the 2019 Vintage season for three drivers that took different routes which brought them to the New York State Stock Car Association Awards Banquet Saturday evening.
Lets take a look back at the journey which brought our next driver to the stage.
Ravena, New York’s John Flach, the driver that carried the family #77J down from his father, John Sr. had a first go around in racing that was a historical one. Flach is a two-time track champion at the “Valley Of Speed” Lebanon Valley Speedway in 1988 & 1989.
However, he walked away from driving at a very young age. A few years after those titles, John stepped out of the drivers seat himself and focused on getting his two young boys, JC & Keith, going in the sport.
Both became winners in the Big Block Modified class, keeping the family tradition going. However, after many years had passed, John looked into getting back into a racecar.
In 2019, a spark was lit when word came out there would be a vintage race at his home track of Lebanon Valley…the track where he had so much success. John decided to put together a car that was once raced by his son JC and got back on the track.
Wondering what the rules would be, he reached out to long-time family friend and fellow competitor Stanley Wetmore. Wetmore asked him why only run one race when you could run them all? When the conversation ended, John thought why not?
He wanted to have some fun and get back to racing. That’s what he did and man, what a comeback it was.
Through Vintage Racing, you could say the 60-year-old came back in grand fashion. The rust & dust quickly vanished from the crafty veteran with John’s return after a long hiatus. He rolled through the 2019 season like a tornado.
In his first year with the group, he claimed multiple victories with the Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Series and won the Vintage Modified Championship.
“I’m having such a great time,” Flach said. “I can’t wait for the 2020 vintage season to start. I’m excited to hit the different tracks on the schedule and just really looking forward to it.”
For the special season John had behind the wheel he found himself on stage receiving the Drivers Performance Award.
Tomorrow, we’ll have part three and talk about a driver who was a rookie with the Vintage Modified Series, but in no way was a rookie behind the wheel.