Twenty-year-old Bobby Feeser of Millers has been around racing all his life. But that didn't mean he enjoyed going to the races.
"When I was little, I used to cry when my dad made me go to the races. I hated it," recalled Feeser. "I didn't like going, because I didn't know anyone that was racing. When I was in high school, I preferred playing baseball over races."
Feeser did go to a few races, but even after high school he was more interested in other sports.
That all changed when his older brother Larry Feeser began to drive about four years ago. He started attending the races regularly and began to think about someday driving a car himself.
Then one night three years ago at Trail-Way Speedway in Hanover, Pa., a close friend, Jeff Rill, told Feeser he could take his car out to race the consolation. Feeser not only went out to race without any practice laps, he went out into actual competition in his very first time behind the wheel. Feeser finished the race without wrecking. He drove about five more races that season and has been racing ever since.
"It's great," said Feeser. "A lot of people think I am nuts. But I love it. It's a lot safer than being out on the highway."
Despite his lack of experience, the youngster caught on right away. His brother turned his car over to him last year and he drove it to ninth in points at Lincoln Speedway in Hanover.
Now in his second full year, Feeser is trying to dial in a new car that he built over the winter.
"Me and my dad worked on the car for a couple of hours almost every night from the time we brought it in November to the middle of April," said Feeser. "This is the first time I had my own car."
The father-and-son team did all the work on the car, a 1979 Chevrolet Malibu. They built it from the ground up. The car is powered by a 355-cubic-inch Chevrolet V-8. Feeser, under the watchful eye of his father, assembled the motor himself after having machine work done by Morris Automotive in Manchester.
"Without my dad I wouldn't be able to do it," said the younger Feeser. Feeser's father is no newcomer when it comes to racing. He raced regularly at Lincoln in the 1960s.
In addition to his dad, Feeser gets help from his Uncle Atlee, his brother Larry and brother-in-law Roy Wareheim, a late-model owner and driver.
Feeser is still working the bugs out of his new car. He plans on running both Trail-Way and Lincoln as much as he can. The North Carroll High graduate enjoys racing in the thundercar and eight-cylinder division. He has no plans for moving up to the semilate or late-model divisions unless a big sponsor comes along.
Regardless of the division, sponsors play a vital part in racing. Feeser's sponsors include York Street Cuttery of Manchester, Eikenberg Printing Co. of Millers, his brother Tim Feeser and Westminster Auto Glass Co.
During the week, Feeser works for Martin T. Hill Landscaping of Melrose.
Feeser keeps everything in perspective. He enjoys racing. If things don't go right, he doesn't let it get to him. He is always in high spirits.
"Racing to me is fun," he said. "I like to win. But if I don't, I just come home and get ready for next week."