After 16-year break, Glover sprints back into racing


March 17, 1998|By Stan Dillon | Stan Dillon,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

One of the tough central Pennsylvania sprint car circuit's new drivers is Manchester's Randy Glover. Super sprint racing isn't new for Glover, but it has been 16 years since he last raced. A lot of changes have taken place in that time, and Glover admits he has a lot of catching up to do.

"The cars as so much lighter and faster," said the life-long Carroll Countian. "They have bigger motors and wings and go about 20- to 30-mph faster."

Glover knew what he was in for. He has watched the sprint cars evolve but still felt like he could be competitive.

"I quit when I started a family," said Glover. "All the kids are through college now, and it's time for me to go racing. I am 40 now and feel that I have 10 years of racing ahead of me."

Glover has been racing since the first green flag fell at Lincoln in February. He has been at every sprint race at Lincoln, Hagerstown and Williams Grove speedways and has made progress.

"I am feeling better each week," said Glover, who has raced in all five sprint races to date. "I am feeling more comfortable with the speeds on the straightaways. Now, I have to pick up my speed in the turns."

While most drivers concentrate on one track when they start, Glover has hit them all. He feels the more he races, the sooner he'll return to form.

"I am more comfortable on the bigger tracks like Williams Grove and Hagerstown," said Glover. "Hagerstown was so smooth when they opened, I really liked it there. I am comfortable with the speeds on the bigger tracks. It's not as bad as being busy, like you are at Lincoln. You don't have time to make adjustments to your wing or anything at Lincoln."

While Glover loves racing, it comes second to his religion. Glover is very active at the Hampstead Baptist Church and uses his racing as a way of spreading the ministry. With racing on Sunday afternoons early in the season, Glover still makes time for church.

Glover started racing go-karts as a kid. All he wanted to do was race a sprint car. The first summer after he graduated from high school, he was in one. He raced from 1977 until 1982, three nights a weekend, at every local track that he could.

When Glover quit racing, he kept in touch with the sport, attending races regularly as a spectator. Four years ago, he began working for Biglerville Tire and Auto in Pennsylvania. Two years ago, he purchased the business. Last year, feeling that he was about ready to return to racing, he became more involved by sponsoring Dan Dietrich, a former Lincoln Speedway champion.

"I got to know Dan because his shop is only a couple of miles from my business," said Glover. "He began racing when I quit. We became good friends, and I decided to help him. I didn't work on his cars, but I spent time in the pits each race just to get my feet wet, knowing that I wanted to get back into racing."

After a season with Dietrich, Glover purchased a new chassis that Dietrich put together over the winter, and Glover is back hoping to pick up where he left off.

"I am pleased so far with how we done. My goal is to make the shows in the beginning and by the end of the season run consistently in the top 10," said Glover. "I think it is a reasonable goal."

In addition to his own company, which has nine full-time employees, Glover receives support from American Car Care Centers and Duralene Grease and Oil of Baltimore.

Racing a 1,700-pound open-cockpit sprinter powered by a 700-horsepower, 410-cubic inch engine at speeds over 100 mph is not the easiest thing to come back to after 16 years, but it looks like Glover is back on track.

Weekend results

At Lincoln Speedway March 7 and 8, Upperco's Jeff Shepard finished third in the super sprint feature, followed by Woodbine's Cris Eash in fourth. Shepard had two second-place finishes the week before at Williams Grove and Lincoln Speedways.

In two thunder-car features last week, Mount Airy's Bill Brown was eighth in one and Hampstead's Fred Cullum was sixth.

Pub Date: 3/17/98

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