Saturday, November 3, 2018

OF FATHERS & SONS (With Ricky Howerton)

photos from the Howertons

The Lowe's cashier looked
closely at his credit card.
'Howerton?'
Are you any relation to Jackie Howerton?
I was at the Hoosier Hundred back in '74'.
'Your dad drove one hell of a race'.
Ricky smiled and thanked the man.
That was more than forty years ago now.

On the ride home from the store,
Ricky's thoughts drifted back to that day.
They were just little kids excited to
watch their dad race.
Ricky & his brother had no idea how
lethal sprint cars can be.

Jackie Howerton said 'The last thing you want
to see is the yellow flag when you're leading
the biggest race of your life by half a lap.'
Worse yet was the Vel's-Parnelli Super Team
of Al Unser and Mario Andretti were
running second and third.
Those two won every race that season so far.
The field closed up for the restart.
Now his lead and his tires were gone.
Jackie Howerton hung it out as hard as
he could for the final few laps,
unleashing all the fury of the 900 horsepower
the turbocharger Offenhauser had to offer
to stay in the lead.
Unser attacked on the last lap by sailing up
the inside entering one. Jackie shut the door.
They bumped wheels going into turns one-two,
with Unser's right front tire hitting
Howerton's oil tank next to the cockpit.
Then hammered down the back straight
at over 160 mph on dirt.
Howerton had led every lap so far.
Jackie told me 'I would rather put my
car in the outfield then let those boys thru'.
Andretti entered the fray,
but maybe reached too far,
only managing to slow Unser's
charge in the last corners.
Howerton hung on for the win.
Jackie started that day as an unknown
but he left a hero.
It was the biggest victory of his career
in front of a sellout crowd.
That day his son Ricky stood on
the podium with his dad.


Ricky when off to school a few years later,
when asked what he wanted to be when
he grew up, he replied 'I want to be a
race car driver like my dad.'
He started racing motocross as a teen.
Then dabbled in kart racing as he went
off to college for engineering.
His dad got a sprint car for him to race
as incentive to stay in school.
Can you imagine the jump from
go-karts to sprint cars?
But Ricky got some strong results
right out of the gate and was
1990 USAC Sprint Car Rookie of the Year.
RICKY HOWERTON/DRIVER/PHOTO BY STEVE KOLETAR




His attention in life turned to race fabrication
and the desire to build a street tracker to ride
to work evolved into the bikes they race today.

Ricky at speed/Koletar photo

The Indy Fairgrounds always has been a
special place to Ricky Howerton.
He got this crazy idea when getting the race
bike ready for the 2013 Indy Mile.


His son Dillon had been playing trumpet
for a few months and was sounding good.
Why not get Dillon to perform the
National Anthem on Trumpet?
The promoter did not have anyone lined
up and like the idea, but warned that they
had seen this go really wrong before.
They asked for a sound sample and
after hearing it they agreed to it.
So Ricky stepped up Dillion's practice
and coaching for the big day.
In life and racing, there is so much that
can go wrong and rarely does it all go perfectly.
But on a hot August day 11-year-old
Dillion Howerton did a great job performing
the National Anthem. The team of
Dink Glidden, Jeff Gordon, Bo LeMastus
and Collen Howerton with Bryan Smith
at the controls did a terrific job too,
winning the heat race, dash for cash and
the main event. 


It was a clean sweep for Howerton Racing & Family.
Standing on the podium again, Ricky
couldn't believe it.  Now all these years
later and he is back on the podium with his sons.
When talking with Ricky for this article,
he admitted that his sons are now faster
in a kart then he is.  Will his sons Dillon
and Jared follow in the racing footsteps
of their dad, grandfather Jackie or
great-grandfather Angelo Howerton?
Time will tell....




 



Saturday, October 13, 2018

FULL CIRCLE WITH CHARLIE ROBERTS (part 1)

Hard to be a citizen once you 
have given your life to racing.
It all changes after the final checkered flag drops.
Are you ready for it?

By 24 years of age,
Charlie quit racing.
He had his fill of frustrations and injuries.
He started his new life in the restaurant business
but struggled with its long monotonous hours. 
There is little joy punching a clock once you have led
the life of a journeymen rider, racing for cash.
But racers live to win. 
The same drive he cultivated in racing helped
him now to be successful in business. 
With restaurants, 
you're only as good as the last meal served.
Being consistent and dealing with pressure is tough. 
Great customer service demands you be 'Up' at all times
Cocaine was a popular way of staying on your
'A' game back in the eighties. 
What started out as a little helper turned into a habit. 
Racers like to live their life full throttle.
Success grew and while everything
looked normal on the outside,
his habit grew too. 
Things came crashing down
during an undercover sting.
While waiting for sentencing, he kicks his habit
but still did a five-year run inside

  During these hard times, the thoughts of racing 
gave him reason to keep on.
A struggling racer is always dreaming of a better way.
Once out, he weighed his options and decided 
to enter the insurance business.
Being a felon made this much more difficult.
Again the persistence and patience he learned in racing paid off.
As he started to find success in the insurance world, 
'he met the woman of his dreams'.
They were married but later learned that 
they could not have children.
Yet they are blessed with two children.
Getting together with his old friends from the 
AMA Rookie Class of '79 to play golf
led to the foundation of the charity he leads today.
Their charity has blossomed into being a 
major supporter of flat track racers by
helping both professionals and amateurs alike in dark times
through the kind donations of fans and corporate sponsors alike.
Helping those in need has inspired Charlie to 
work tirelessly for the charity.
As a matter of fact, he has taken a break from 
the business world to focus on it entirely.
I'm inspired by his humble ways and hard work ethics.
Younger racers could learn from his life experiences.
It goes to show that we might get off track in life 
but that's no excuse to roll off the throttle.
Charlie's life has come in full circle thanks to flat track racing.
I'm honored to have interviewed Charlie Roberts.
(photos from Charlie/note-Charlie would like to thank
Tim & Traci Estenson for their support)
please see : http://www.amaft79.com/


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

'FAST EDDIE' - A Short Film about Lifelong Passion of Ed Fisher

ABOUT THE FILM, FAST EDDIE
At the age of 93, WW II veteran and AMA Hall of Famer Ed Fisher still rides everyday, and even continues to race as an amateur. Ed has always had a throttle in hand, since he was 16 years old. He began his racing career as a factory rider for Indian Motorcycles, before representing Triumph as one of their first East Coast riders in 1952. Ed became one of the leading national road racers throughout the 1950s, his most notable win was the 1953 Laconia 100-mile National Championship. To this day it remains the closest race in the history of the event, Ed’s victory wasn’t determined until months later as the top four riders all finished within just three seconds of each other.  The lore of his style and speed, in various racing disciplines, has without a doubt minted his status as a living racing legend. Ed continues to eat, sleep and breathe motorcycles in the rural hills of Sullivan County, Pa.

In this short documentary, we had the privilege of capturing this racing legend on film. To our knowledge [and Ed’s], it’s his only on-camera interview in over 60 years.  His lifelong passion for motoculture serves as both an inspiration and glaring symbol of living life to its fullest. Above all, Ed’s humble nature can be felt physically in this short film. He’s seen as a hero to many, including us, because of how he lives with an unwavering virtue that can be seen each time he throws his leg over a motorcycle.




******************************************************************************
Join us for a RIDE + SCREENING of FAST EDDIE in celebration of Ed Fisher:
Saturday, September 29th, 2018
Event begins @ The Chatterbox in Downtown Canton, Pa.  @ 11:00am
 Ride led by Ed Fisher starts out front of The Chatterbox @ 12:15pm
[Through scenic Bradford + Sullivan Counties ending at The Rialto Theatre]
 Screening showtime: The Rialto Theatre @ 2pm sharp , FREE ADMISSION
 Fellowship to follow at @ The Warrior Lounge
 Two wheels, Vintage vehicles preferred. All are welcome.
******************************************************************************* 
FILM CREDITS:
HEYDAY UNION presents A BRENNA ECKERSON & KYLE PAHLOW FILM
featuring the legend ED FISHER
Director of Photography KYLE PAHLOW
edited by BRYAN ROBERTS
music by PHIL COOK
sound design AARON KEANE
motion design TEAGUE HAYES
colorist MIKEY PEHANICH
produced & directed by BRENNA ECKERSON
special thanks
FRANK WATSON, SUZI FISHER, LIBERTY CAMERA CO., THE MILL-CHICAGO

ABOUT THE HEYDAY UNION
The Heyday Union is an event-based collective, founded by Brenna Eckerson & Kyle Pahlow, looking to connect old and young people--who share a unique passion. It was born out of respect, admiration and the desire to carry on the wisdom of our elders. The way we see it, it’s sharing a love for anything---from the thrill of an engine’s roar, the hitting of a home run or landing a salsa step--passion is timeless.  It’s not just about the car, game or dance--it’s about feeling alive and sharing memorable moments. Heyday Union aims to unite the past with the present, in the hope of inspiring the future.
Bestow grace + be well,
Heyday Union

ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS/FOUNDERS OF HEYDAY UNION
Brenna [DIRECTOR/PRODUCER] and Kyle [DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY] are both from the East Coast and share a love of small-town life, although they currently reside in Los Angeles, California. Kyle came across a photo of Ed in racing leathers online and Brenna tracked down one of his closest friends, Frank Watson, to learn more about the motorcycle legend.  One conversation with Frank, and they knew they had to share Ed’s story--come hell or high water. Their shared love of motoculture has carried them across the country via three-wheels on their own motorcycle, complete with a sidecar for their dog, Cinnamon.

SOCIAL MEDIA/SHARING:

Heyday Site:

Facebook Page:

***Event page: PLEASE SHARE!

Instagram:

In all posts, please use the following hashtags and tag @heydayunion.
#fasteddiefilm
#heydayunion
#cantonpa

Thank you for your support and interest in this special event.
Sincerely,
Heyday Union

#############################################
ATTACHED: 
-Heyday Union Logo
-IG POST ---PLEASE SHARE! 
-A photo of racing legend Ed Fisher & Heyday co-founder {and cinematographer of the short film, FAST EDDIE} Kyle Pahlow.
-PDF of press release

THANK YOU for your interest and support! 
-- 
Bestow grace + Be well,