Trip to races creates spark in new
kart racer and
Two years ago, a trip to Merrittville Speedway on a night when the Tuesday Night Lucas Oil Weekly Karting Series Drivers were on display got 9 year old Nigel Pendykoski’s interest. So much that his kart was part of this year’s Race Car Shows at the Pen Centre and Seaway Mall.
“It’s kind of been a two year work in progress,” says his dad Mike, “for the longest time his mom said no but once Theresa said maybe – we took that as a yes and he can’t wait until the Kart School and the rest of the season!”
Nigel Pendykoski who is finishing up Grade 4 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School near his Niagara Falls home is the grandson of former Street Stock Champion and Sportsman racer John Pendykoski who raced from 1984 until the mid 1990’s.
“As we got closer and closer to this year … Nigel’s interest has also sparked the interest of my dad,” added Mike, “for the longest time he didn’t come to the races but now he’s asking to go … we’ve even made a trip to Mercer this season.”
With his dad and grandfather’s history in the sport – it’s no wonder that the passion has carried over to Nigel who knows even at such a young age that he wants to be a race car driver. If the passion for the sport hasn’t come from his family’s history … it may have come from current Pinty’s Delicious Foods 358 Modified Driver Tommy Flannigan who Mike grew up with.
“Tommy and his car owner Andrew Sittler both have helped kindle Nigel’s interest in racing,” added Mike who has crewed for a number of drivers before becoming a fan, “after the races we always visit … they always make him feel part of the team for sure.”
Nigel is such a fan of Flannigan that much of the racing themed décor in his room features former body panels of the second generation driver.
Away from a lifetime in the sport of racing, Mike has enjoyed considerable success in the sport of Ball Hockey – proudly wearing his 2010 World Championship Jacket. Starting out in league play, Mike would eventually join a select team that only played tournaments at venues in Tampa, FLA, Philadelphia, PA and Barrie where the popular sport was born. Eventually Mike would land on a pro team based in Toronto but gave it up to enjoy activities with his family that includes a daughter Tessa. The family may have another racer in the near future as while visiting the Seaway Mall, Tessa took a liking to Sam Pennachio’s Minions inspired Late Model and wants the same look for her kart.
“If anyone is looking to get involved in the sport – you can’t go wrong with Chris Long and RCM Racing Equipment,” said Mike, “I was looking at a couple other karts before meeting Chris and he went above and beyond making sure we were getting the right equipment for just starting out … he came up with a great deal for us.”
Helping Nigel get started as well is another familiar name in Merrittville’s soon to be 65 years of history as James Little, a Chartered Accountant at the Tony DiPaola Professional Corporation is a sponsor. “I’ve been going to the races my whole life – but last year was the first I have enjoyed the action from the VIP Suites,” said Mike, “I’ve went to the races quite a bit with James, his mom Nancy and his dad Ivan. I don’t know what I liked more … the on track action or talking racing with (L. St. Amand Enterprises Wall of Famer and former Point Champion) Ivan. His insight into the sport today combined with his memories is something else.”
Also sponsoring Nigel is Mike’s own company – Upper Level Home Restoration which can help you with all your siding, soffit, fascia, trough, roof and deck needs projects.
These days, Nigel is in race mode – counting down the days until the RCM Racing Equipment Kart School on April 17th, especially since another season of hockey in the Niagara Falls recreational league has finished. On the ice … he is # 11.
Racing for the Pendykoskis has made a lifetime of memories … they enjoyed NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week’s Finale at the Fairgrounds. At Merrittville – Mike fondly remembers his time when a Co-op Placement while at Thorold High School turned into a summer in addition to all the racing he’s seen.
With Nigel – new memories for him include their post-race walks around the track. If any racers are looking for dzus buttons or other parts … they’ve got quite a collection at home.
With the 65th Season of Saturday Nights just ahead and their new adventure in joining our Tuesday Night Kart Racing … it’s hard to determine who is more excited. Expecially when that phone call comes asking … Do you want to go the races?
For all the news on Merrittville Speedway’s 65th Consecutive Season in 2016 – visit www.merrittvillespeedway.com. Race fans and Race teams alike can follow Merrittville on Face Book (Facebook.com/Merrittville Speedway) and Twitter (Twitter.com/Merrittville
To reach Merrittville Speedway call 905-892-8266 beginning April 4th or via e mail – firstname.lastname@example.org. Merrittville Speedway is located at 2371 Merrittville Highway in Thorold Ontario.
MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY SPONSORS