Herring gets his excitement on the racetrack | CraigDailyPress.com

Herring gets his excitement on the racetrack

Ben Bulkeley

Driver Loren Herring will be the first to say he’s a nice guy.

If his night driving in the Super Street class at the Hayden Speedway is cut short, he’ll spend his time helping his fellow drivers.

If something can be pulled from his car and transplanted to another still in the running, he’s ready with a willing wrench.

On Saturday, everyone was delayed at the Hayden Speedway because of rain, but when the cars hit the dirt, time was made up quickly.

With humid, heavy air, the cars seemed to have more zip around the track, resulting in fast races on a slippery surface.

That was fine with Herring, who won despite the mud and the mist.

It was his third win out of four races this summer.

It’s not always that easy, though, and it’s been through hardship that Herring has earned his nice guy reputation.

On June 13, Herring bust a flat tire, and he was out of the race without a caution flag.

Knowing he wasn’t going to be able to win, he helped the eventual winner, Kurt Ashley take care of his car.

“Pretty much, I am always there to help,” he said. “I’m not one to just stand and watch.”

On Saturday, nothing went wrong with Herring’s ride, though, and it was smooth driving for the Craig resident as he clinched the win.

It was a good feeling. Through the years, his rough patches haven’t been solely limited to the track.

Herring said he has had his share of trials through the years, including time spent in Correctional Alternative Placement Services in Craig.

But now, after two years of clean living, Herring has found a new rush – a white mid-1970s Pontiac Trans Am with a 350-cubic-inch V8 and a big number 33 painted on the side.

And the Speedway’s roaring crowd.

“This is awesome,” he said. “I went through CAPS, and I’m better for it. Now, I get to come out here, have fun. I like all the guys out here. We’re all trying to do the best we can.”

Herring said he watched others navigate the same car he now drives through Hayden’s dirt track before he climbed in last summer.

“I love it. I’ve always wanted to be in this car,” he said. “This motor is phenomenal. It was built by Elwood Eisenhauer at Ike’s Transmissions, and it’s definitely fast enough.”

This is Herring’s second summer in the car, and each time out he said he becomes a better driver.

“I learn something new every time,” he said. “Everything is a learning experience.”

Last year, despite a late start to the season, Herring finished with a series of top-three finishes to catapult him into the conversation for the Super Street division’s driver of the year award.

The award is given to the driver with the most points after the last race of the season.

This year, he’s trying to take it right from the start.

With three No. 1 finishes in four races, he’s poised to continue the rush.

“There is nothing like this sensation,” he said. “I’ve got this chance now to drive, and have fun, and there is just nothing like it.”

Adding to Herring’s joy are the other racers.

“Every time it’s a different mix,” he said. “But no one here wants to talk badly about each other or fight. It’s always a good mix.”

Herring said his new pastime provided much more joy than his old lifestyle.

“I’ve had enough hard times,” he said. “It’s time to start the good times.”

Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or bbulkeley@craigdailypress.com.

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