Tuesday January 28, 2014
HIGH HOPES FOR 2014 BIG BLOCK MODIFIED ROOKIE KYLE HIEBERYou've heard the phrase “Experience is everything.” Well, that is just what a 21-year-old, more than anxious driver from Langhorne, PA is seeking these days....Experience. Come late March, young Kyle Hieber will be making the tow to his home track of Bridgeport Speedway just like he has been the last two years. However, this time he'll be strapping himself into a 467 cubic inch Big Block modified for the first time ever. Yes, yet another young, up and coming talent is growing up right before our eyes. Just like many before him, he hopes to become successful in his transition to the modified ranks.
By day, Kyle Hieber works as a mechanic at a local automotive, body repair, and paint shop. After that, it's all about 'racing' for this second-generation driver. Many fans will remember Gary Hieber, tossing his USAC Silver Crown Sprint sideways through the turns over the past 30 years. Well, you guessed it… that would be Kyle's father. There are actually two pairs of Hieber brothers in the racing game - Gary and his brother Danny and then Kyle and his brother Gary Jr. It's safe to say that 'racing' is in this family's blood.
Kyle got his start in racing when he was 7 years old in the ¼ midget ranks at Oaklane Speedway. He raced for a couple of years, then took a break for about two years before returning to the ¼ midgets. When he turned 14, Hieber decided to give the (Tobias) Slingshots a try. The team started at Borgers Speedway, eventually moving their home track to the Lindas Raceway.
The next season found Hieber running the Weikel Slingshot Tour, and then the following year, (when he was just 16 years old) he was crowned the Tour Champion! In 2009, Hieber expanded his racing resume by running the newly formed Speedstr division. He continued to run his slingshot while toying with the Speedstr. In fact, Kyle nailed down the 2009 Linda's track championship. In 2010 he finished second in the championship race to his older brother Gary Jr.. Also in 2010, Kyle stood tall in the bright lights of Atlantic City, while capturing the Herr's Snack Bowl 25 (Gary Jr. was the victor in last year's A.C. Slingshot event).
2011 was a break out year for the now high school graduate. In only his second full year behind the wheel of the Speedstr, Kyle brought home the championship along with three checkered flags. Meanwhile, 2012 was yet another transition year for Hieber. “We started the year running the Speedstr. I'd say we ran about half a dozen races before we made the switch to a full-sized car,” Hieber offered. It was at Bridgeport, where both Hieber brothers got their first taste of 'big car' action in the Crate-Sportsman division. Kyle was able to secure a best finish of second in his rookie campaign. 2013 mirrored 2012 as the team made their debut a quarter of the way into the season, while placing in the top 5 on several occasions.
With the 2014 racing season just around the corner, you can bet this youngster is just itching to get out there. “Before we get going in the modified, we do have a race next weekend in Atlantic City. I'll be behind the wheel of an '06 Hyper 600 micro sprint.
After that, we'll be focused on the Big Block you can bet,” revealed the excited Hieber.
‘What's the reason for the big jump?’ one might ask. “Honestly, I just love to race and I want all the experience that I can get. I mean, what better guys can you run with and get that kind of experience week in and week out, than Jimmy Horton, Ryan Watt, Richie Pratt, and Rick Laubach. I'm sure there will be a ton of learning curves up ahead but, I'm certainly up for that challenge. I'm like all the other young guys, I want to get my name out there. I'm up for racing anything if someone wants to put me in it.”
When asked what his goals were heading into this new venture, Kyle was quick to respond. “I just want to run as many races as I can. A whole year under my belt would do me good. I just want to race clean and learn the ins and outs of big block racing. I'd love to travel to other speedways and learn the different tracks, surfaces, and sizes but, realistically running Bridgeport will be more than enough for 2014.” You can bet both Dad and uncle Danny will provide safe and sound knowledge to the aspiring modified rookie.
Gary Jr. is content where he is, as he will once again be steering his No. 56 Crate-Sportsman while looking for his first win. As for Gary Sr., he's not quite retired just yet. After touring the country for the better part of 30 years, he still has two Silver Crown cars in his stable. A pavement car that is ready to go (which Kyle is dying to give a try), and a dirt mount that could possibly see some action now that Super Dirt Week has a scheduled race in October.
So when you see a brand new No. 66-2014 Troyer with an H&G Big Block under the hood at the 5/8 mile South Jersey oval this spring, you're going to know that it is in fact Kyle Hieber. Some of the sponsors that make Kyle's dream of racing become a reality are: Buck County International Truck, Scrappy's Auto Service, Langhorne Motorsports, Amsoil, Bowen Lettering, and B.C.I. Ideal Lease. The young man out of Langhorne, PA who owns 25 career feature wins between Slingshots and Speedstrs, will be on a mission this season to capture his first ever victory in a modified. We wish him luck!!