Trail-Way Speedway in Hanover, Pa., opened its 1992 racing season last Sunday, the same day that Brad Green of Westminster started his racing career in the four-cylinder division. The 18-year-old turned in an impressive performance in his first outing, a day the Green familywon't forget.
Brad had wanted to race ever since his father, DaveGreen, returned behind the wheel in 1990.
He helped on the car as his father grabbed most of the headlines that year, winning the track championship at Lincoln Speedway in Hanover in the eight-cylinder thundercar division. Before that, Dave drove for four years in the mid 70s.
Mike Ebaugh of Hanover, the ownerof Dave's race car, found a Ford Pinto sitting in a field and thought that the car would be just right for Brad. Since it had been idle for more than two years, Brad was able to pick up the car cheaply.
Still, he needed money to make the car race ready.
To raise the money, Brad sold his radio controlled race cars and equipment.
"I had been racing radio controlled cars for five years," Brad said, a Westminster High School graduate. "I was losing interest and it was costing too much. Besides, I'd rather spend my money on something I can sit in and drive."
Brad and his father began working on the car as soon as they towed it home. They tore out the interior while Ebaugh put in a roll cage. Although the car had not run for two years, the motor did not require any major work -- new plugs and ignition parts were all it needed. Overall, Brad spent less than $1,000.
In order to get the car ready for the opener last week, Brad's father postponedworking on his own car. After putting in some long hours, the Pinto was completed just in time for opening day. Brad was ready to go.
"I was excited, but wasn't really nervous," said Brad. "I didn't knowwhat to think. I just went out there and did the best I could."
Naturally, Brad's father was by his side giving him advice.
"He told me to keep my mind on what was going on ahead of me and don't go over my head," said Brad.
In the qualifying heat, his first race, Brad started fifth and finished fifth. Not bad for the first outing.
Before Brad went out for the feature, his father was quick to give him a few more pointers.
"I told him to stay a little higher on thetrack, to stay aggressive and be up on the bumper of the car in front of him on the restarts," said the elder Green.
The advice paid off.
Brad started 13th in the feature and finished seventh.
"I was happy," said his father. "He did better than I expected out of him. He passed some cars, avoided some and stayed out of trouble. He didgood. I think when he gets a little more track time he'll get better."
Brad was happy, too.
"I am glad with what I did, being the first time out. It was totally different than I expected."
Brad plans on staying in the four-cylinder class to get in more track time.
"I'll move up when I feel capable of handling the faster car and can afford it."
Dave Green has been a dominant force in his divisionand now it looks like a younger Green will be making a major mark onthe local racing scene too.