Push to Start documents Kruchka’s
push to Victory Lane
When Merrittville Speedway presents Sprint Car Specials such as tomorrow’s (April 26th) visit from the Patriot Sprint Tour – there is quite a talented pool of ‘local’ drivers always looking to upset the invaders. One such driver is Mikey Kruchka especially after missing last year’s Merrittville Event with motor issues.
In a 2009 Sprint Car Special the second generation driver was involved in one of the most dramatic finishes in the Thorold faciiity’s 63 year history. A homestretch racing incident with Chuck Hebing saw the Cobra in Victory Lane and Kruchka settling for third … crossing the finish line upside down and riding the front-stretch Jersey Barrier. Behind the wheel of a Sprint Car since 2008, Kruchka so wants to win one at Merrittville – kind of like revenge for the one that got away. Last season at his home track of Ohsweken Speedway he pulled off back to back wins in the Corr/Pak Merchandising 360 Sprint Car Division. Back in his Sprint Car Rookie Season, Mikey and his older brother Clint experimented with video and in January of this year debuted a new reality series on You Tube – Push to Start.
“It’s quite exciting video that features on track action and behind the scenes footage,” said Clint who you might know as Co-announcer here at Merrittville, Ohsweken and Race Day Director at Humberstone Speedway, “we have posted a number of webisodes over the winter and you can follow Mikey’s 2014 Season with updates.” To watch webisodes of Push to Start click on http://www.bigmooseracing.ca/videos.htm Mikey and Clint’s father is former racer Gary Kruchka.
The younger of the two, Mikey was born in June of 1979 and when the two boys were growing up – their dad’s days in the former Late Model Division were long gone. “Growing up … I had seen pictures of Dad’s cars and had been to the races as a spectator a few times,” remembers Mikey, “but we had never seen him race.” That all changed when Mikey was in Grade 9. “Dad picked Clint and I up from school … we ended up in Welland and came home with a Mod Stock,” relayed Mikey of his dad’s return to racing in the division that was part of Merrittville and Humberstone’s line up back in the day.
Mikey would crew for his Dad on that car right through High School when the time came that Gary made the move to the Sportsman Division. Mikey would begin his own racing at that time as well joining the Kart Racing Tuesday Nights that is about to launch it’s 21st Season in 2014. “Clint and I would carry it into the house through the front door between races,” revealed Kruchka, “we worked on it in the dining room … to this day I still have to say Thanks Mom!” Eventually Mikey had saved up enough money from jobs at Plazek Auto Recyclers and others to put an engine in his dad’s first Sportsman Car in 2002 after he had got a newer car for himself while crewing for Jamie Turner’s 358 Modified – a second generation driver he now races against with his Sprint Car. His Sportsman Career lasted until 2005 when he hooked up with Glenn Styres Sprint Car Team – a move that would change his racing outlook.
Early in the next season Styres’ Crew Chief Kevin Loveys accepted a job with a travelling STP World of Outlaws Sprint Car Team. Mikey would meet up with the Jeremy Campbell Team in Wisconsin and would spend the rest of that year travelling and racing across North America living in a Toterhome Mikey then knew that Sprint Car Racing was for him and began to piece together everything he would need over two years.
Meeting Dean and Brenda Richardson resulted in the formation of Big Moose Racing – a partnership between the three and Kruchka now had a Sprint Car to start the 2008 Season. Big Moose Racing could not field a Sprint Car without the help and support of so many including their 2014 Sponsors … Insta-Insulation … A-Z Expediting … Southern Smoke Truck … Metal Works Powder Coating … Bestway Bedding and Dirttrackdigest.com.
Visit bigmooseracing.ca to learn more about Mikey Krucka … the 01 and his crew Ken Mackay, Lucas Jones and Mike Pitton. Although many second and third generation drivers experienced racing watching their dads in the stands and helping out in the garage as a pre-teenager growing up – that was something that Mikey and Clint never got to experience as we learned earlier due to their Dad’s career spans. However, Mikey who will turn 35 this summer is able to live that vicariously through his niece Kensey who began her Kart Racing Career last summer.
“It was pretty cool to experience karting with her,” prided Mikey who crewed for Clint and Christine’s daughter, “we were all so proud of her first season … can’t wait to be a part of the 21st Season - that was dad’s number.” Between Ohsweken and Merrittville Speedways, Mikey Kruchka has done it all .. cleaned up after events … co-announced … crewed on karts cars and raced them.
The only thing missing from his resume … a Feature Winner Sticker from Merrittville Speedway. That time will come. Gates will open Saturday April 26th for the Seaway Mall Spring Sizzler featuring the Patriot Sprint Tour, Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modifieds and Rick’s Delivery Sportsman at 5:30 with Show Time at 7:00.
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