From Jacob Seelman
ANDERSON, Ind. (May 3, 2019) – Fourteen-year-old Brenden Torok will step onto the biggest stage of his young racing career during this weekend’s Must See Racing Sprint Car Series season opener at Anderson Speedway.
After a year’s worth of serving as a crew member for veteran owner John Reiser and working on Charlie Schultz’s machine, Torok will take the steering wheel in his own right for his series debut with the 410ci winged asphalt sprint car series during Saturday’s Must See Racing 50.
Torok will pilot the No. 99 for Koyan Racing, under the guidance of car owner Dave Koyan as well as Reiser as he embarks on his maiden voyage at the quarter-mile, high-banked bullring.
“I’m really excited for this weekend and I know it’s going to be a really cool experience,” Torok said in advance of the race weekend. “I know we have a 605 crate (engine) compared to the typical 410s, but what definitely helps us is that this is a small track where the power doesn’t matter quite as much on the straightaways as it does on some of the bigger tracks.
“This weekend is exciting because a lot of the sprint cars from my home track (Lorain County Speedway) are coming up as well to compete, so there will be a lot of familiar faces,” he added. “Hopefully we’ll be able to put on a show racing one another, as well as all the Must See veterans I’ve gotten to know over the past year of being at the race track on a regular basis.”
Though the prospect of his first Must See Racing event is admittedly, a little intimidating, that factor hasn’t stopped Torok from preparing as much as he can to be as ready as possible on Saturday.
However, that preparation came with a bit of a funny snag along the way.
“I’ve watched a lot of video to help prepare myself for this weekend,” explained Torok. “It’s actually a funny story. I was on YouTube … and apparently there’s two tracks named Anderson – there’s also one in South Carolina – and for a while I was watching the wrong track! I finally texted Charlie (Schultz) a photo of the video I was watching, and he told me I didn’t have the right one.
“I felt a little dumb after that, but we had a good laugh about it.”
Though Torok knows he’s a bit down on power compared to the top stars of the Must See Racing ranks, he knows that his primary goal is to go to school every time he hits the race track.
“I think at the beginning we’ll have a good race going on, but for sure if the race goes into long runs, the 410s will start to gap us some,” Torok admitted. “This weekend, for me, is all about getting experience and gaining respect from the veterans as much as I can. It’s exciting to have this opportunity, especially at just 14 years old. I would have never thought I’d be here back in my quarter midget days.
“I want to get my name out there, and this weekend will be a big start to that process.”
To that end, Torok doesn’t have a specific finishing position in mind that he’d like to achieve. Completing laps and not damaging his race car are the main objectives come race time.
“I just want to have some decent luck and not crash the car,” said Torok of his weekend mission. “I want to roll the thing back in the trailer in one piece and just have fun in the process. I know it’s going to be a new experience, so I just hope to learn as much as I can and soak it all in along the way.”
While Torok won’t make a full run for rookie-of-the-year honors, he did say that he and Koyan Racing plan to make additional selected starts this season, beyond just Saturday’s season opener at Anderson.
As he transitions from crew member to driver in the Must See Racing pit area, Torok was quick to note and look back on what it means to have come as far as he has in so short of a time period.
“The whole weekend is going to be awesome. To be racing with Charlie and Adam (Biltz) and all the people I’ve been helping all this time is pretty special to me,” noted Torok. “I can’t wait to get started.”
Friday evening will see an open practice and cookout for the Must See Racing sprint car teams at Anderson, followed by Saturday’s full racing program.
Pit gates will open at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, with rotating practice beginning at 5 p.m. Qualifying will start at 6:30 p.m. and racing will begin at 8 p.m., immediately following opening ceremonies.
The full night of racing will be broadcast live via pay-per-view on SpeedShiftTV.com, as well as recorded for tape-delay broadcast on MAVTV through the award-winning SPEED SPORT television series. USAC infield reporter Georgia Henneberry will be the pit reporter for the SPEED SPORT telecast.
In addition to the Must See Racing sprint cars, the Mel Kenyon Midget Series, late models, Legend cars and the Midwest Champ Carts will also be on the racing card for the May 4 program.
For more information on Must See Racing, visit the series on the web at www.mustseeracing.com.