Brian Carroll and his brother-in-law Billy Burke are having fun together every Friday night.
The Manchester duo shares the driving in the street stock division at Trail-Way Speedway in Hanover, Pa.
Carroll, 30, is a familiar name in local racing. In his second year of competition, he won the 1990 track championship at Trail-Way in the four-cylinder division. He finished third in points in his first season.
Two years ago he switched to the less expensive enduro type division which has been renamed street stocks.
"The car we ran, a Dodge Challenger, was done. We had run it for two years. It was a little beaten, so we had to get another car." said Carroll.
Since the street stocks were less expensive, Carroll decided to switch to that division.
"It is cheaper to run," said Carroll. "You can be on the track for $400 in the street stocks compared to $4,000 for the four-cylinders."
The street stock division is for drivers who don't have -- or don't want to spend -- a lot of money for racing. The cars are strictly stock and no modifications are allowed except for safety.
Carroll does not cut corners when it comes to safety. He installs more safety features than the rules requires, but he feels it is worth it. The rules call for a roll bar, but Carroll has a full roll cage in his car.
L "If you get hurt having fun, it isn't fun anymore," he said.
The street stocks are powered by eight-cylinders, but are not as fast or expensive as the regular eight cylinder class at Trail-Way and other area tracks. Switching divisions required some track time so Carroll could become acclimated to the heavier car.
"It was a little hard to get used too," he said about the change. "I think there is a little more beating and banging, but when you only have $400 in the cars, I expected that.
"But it is fun. It is better to have a little fun than no fun at all."
This year, his brother-in-law Billy Burke started driving. The two share the driving, each taking turns behind the wheel every other race. Although they would both like to drive every week, having ** one car to maintain and cuts the expense in half.
"Burke does all the mechanical work on the car and we got the car from his sister," said Carroll. "He always wanted to drive so it was only right to let him drive."
Carroll is pleased with Burke's progress. The 21-year old finished eighth in his first race after starting in the rear of a 17-car field.
"It takes time," added Carroll. "It's like everything else. You have to build confidence to do well."
Carroll got his start in racing working with his brothers Barry and Mike. Barry did all the mechanical work and Mike drove in the eight-cylinder class. Barry had a spare car and when Brian said he would race anything, his brothers built him a car. Brian's brothers have just built new homes for their families and have left the racing to him.
But Carroll still has a lot of support. In addition to his brother-in- law, his wife Donna and their four children -- Brian Jr (12), Bruce (9), Brad (1 1/2 ) and Brittany (7 months) -- attend the races every week. Carroll and Burke also gets a lot of help from their engine man, Earl Miller of Manchester.
Sponsor help comes from Glen Renfro's Hilltop Service near Manchester.
Two weeks ago, Carroll and Burke began building another car. Burke totaled the 1972 Chevrolet Impala they were driving when he got sandwiched between several cars. Nothing was left of the car. They are working to get the new car, a 1976 Chevrolet Malibu, ready for this weekend.
A bricklayer for O'Meara Construction in Towson, Carroll would love to move up to the eight-cylinder or thundercar class. But it takes more money.
Regardless, Carroll loves racing so much he'll continue to race, in what ever class he can.