For Steamboat Springs resident Andrew George, racing cars wasn’t always a way of life.
“A couple of years ago, I just heard of the track here in Hayden,” George said. “I started racing with absolutely no knowledge of what I should be doing.”
After a few races, George said that being out on the track was the best way to understand the sport.
“Every time I race, I learn more and more,” he said. “Whenever there is a race, the driver has to know the limits of the track and in turn, the limits of the car.”
Hayden Speedway hosted the IMCA Modified Showdown on Friday and Saturday. The races included three classes — Street Stock, Super Street and Modified.
After a disappointing turn of events Friday, George said the way he was able to drive his car Saturday in the Street Stock was “perfect.”
“In the (Street Stock) main event, I just drove as fast as I could,” he said. “I had no slipping and no problems.”
During Friday’s Street Stock race, George said he blew a tire on his car and couldn’t recover.
After making adjustments to his car, George was able to take the early lead Saturday and stay there.
“It is a really fast track,” he said. “I didn’t overdrive the car and luckily I didn’t spin out.”
In the Modified class, Porter Smith, who traveled from Aztec, N.M., took control early in the race Saturday and never relinquished it.
“I was going out there and driving as fast and as hard as I could,” Smith said. “The track was really fast and a lot of fun to race on.”
Smith took home the $2,000 prize, which was part of the reason he said he made the long trip.
“I have never been in this area of the country before,” Smith said. “I heard there was a great payout, and I figured I could get some traveling in as well.”
In the Super Street races, Josh Smith, of Myton, Utah, said he was able to win the class on both nights thanks to his father, Don Smith.
“My father has full of knowledge about racing,” he said. “He helped me build the car and put the engine together.”
After six years of coming to the speedway in the No. 7 Super Street car, Josh said he is making the move up to Modified class in a few weeks.
“The modified cars go a lot faster,” he said. “I’m ready for some new competition and a new car.”