Feature Article, Open Wheels, Washington — November 26, 2011 at 4:48 am

Reece Goetz (issue 100)

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By Steve Heeb

The 2011 season will go down as the year that 16-year-old Reece Goetz dominated the standings in the Midget ranks.

Between April and September the young driver out of Snohomish, Wash., competed at Northwest dirt tracks Deming, Grays Harbor, Skagit, Cottage Grove, and on the asphalt at Evergreen Speedway.

In addition to the ASCS Northwest regional races, Reece tallied laps in several divisions including Midgets, 360 Sprints, 600 Minisprints, non-wing Sprints, and even asphalt Sprints.

In 36 events this season, Reece and the No. 9R team notched 18 feature wins, and finished in the top-3 a total of 21 times.

Including his late-season wins in 2010, Reece put together an impressive 19-event win streak.

Any question of the team’s fortitude were dispelled after his car was destroyed about halfway through the season at Grays Harbor Raceway. He finished the season in a completely different car provided by Ken Sherwood, and continued to notch wins wherever he raced.

Let’s meet this young driver who can add 2011 Midgets champion to his already impressive racing resume.

Of the various classes you have competed in this season, which do you personally feel the most associated with? That would have to be the 360 sprint car series, the local racers plus the Northwest racers have taken me in as a big competitor and made me feel like I’m one of them.

It’s not often a team can string together the type of success you have enjoyed this year. What were your goals going into the season and what preparations did you make that you feel really paid off? The constant practice and pushing ability to go for wins and not the point standings are the preparations to make our goals possible. The goal for this year was to go out to the Northwest ASCS tour and compete with the best of the best and try our hardest to pick up as many wins as possible.

Were there any big adjustments made during the course of season that proved beneficial? In the Ford Focus series I had a big wreck at Elma just over half way into the season. Ken Sherwood took his time and money to put me into his Focus Midget for the rest of the season. This ended up to be a good year with five-plus wins in his car.

Were there any tweaks to your gameplan that backfired and provided extra challenges? Due to motor problems early in the season, we had to resort to renting and borrowing motors to get us through the majority of the season in order to continue getting seat time in my rookie season. 2012 we hope to find the funding to have a back up motor in place, so that won’t be an issue in the upcoming season.

Who are some of the drivers (local or national) who have been inspirational or had an impact on your racing? Jay Cole was a huge inspiration to my rookie season as we parked right next to him. He gave me tips and pointers and lots of encouragement and without him giving us a rocker arm, we would not have gone on to win our only two non wing appearances. Also Logan Forler who has been helpful as well.

What was the best piece of racing advice you’ve received and who gave it to you? Never settle or give up, my dad has always told me that.

What advice would you offer to young drivers who are just starting out in racing? Keep on trying and you will make it.

You have raced at several Northwest venues this season. What are some of the things you appreciate about the local tracks or racing programs at these facilities? I appreciate the track prep and every one that has helped us this year to make it fun and worth the experience.

What are your goals for 2012 and what changes or improvements do you plan to make during the offseason? To get into better shape and to make our team stronger on and off the track with being better prepared with a spare car, spare motor and larger trailer. We also hope to start our season earlier with some stops in California prior to the Northwest race season, followed by a running for Rookie of the Year in the ASCS NW Region, as well as a few more asphalt shows and non-wing shows.

Who are some of the people and/or sponsors that have been supportive during your busy 2011 season? Are there changes in the team/sponsors planned for the 2012 campaign? Mike Melwicks from CSA Transport, without him we would not be racing a 360 sprint he made it financially possible. Security Racing Products, a local company, who makes great racing suits as well as all your safety needs. Speedmart, who has helped me out through most of my racing career. Henry Dawson of Elma Lanes who keeps me and my entire crew from going hungry week in and week out. Debbie and John of Powder Coaters Inc, Warren of Sand Blasters Inc., Jake of FX Signs and most importantly my Mom and Dad who fund our entire operation.

For 2012, our team is seeking out more sponsorship to help fund the increased expenses of more races, including the cost of travel and spare equipment.

 

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