Getting Up To Speed With…Shane Kerrigan
By Ben Deatherage
Our next guest is with Cut Rate Auto Parts Street Stock driver Shane Kerrigan. Shane, from the coastal city of Aberdeen, began his racing career in the late 1980’s and ran a few years before devoting his time to his young family. As the years went by Kerrigan would come back and would be competing against his own son Austin.
Driver: Shane Kerrigan
Home Track: Grays Harbor Raceway
Hometown: Aberdeen, Washington
Occupation: Chip Truck Driver
Years Racing: 6
Classification: Cut Rate Auto Parts Street Stocks
Car: #43 Ford Mustang
BD: Shane how did this whole racing endeavor begin?
SK: Actually when I was in my late twenties I got a negligent driving ticket. When I told my landlord that I wouldn’t have all the money for rent he suggested I go watch him race at the track in Elma. His name was Don Warren and I went to watch him and he ended up winning that night. I ended up buying his race car when he moved up to Sprint Cars. I did that for a few years but I ended up stopping because I had started a family.
BD: How competitive would you say the Cut Rate Auto Parts Street Stocks are this year?
SK: Well I haven’t had the chance to really race this year. I’ve had engine problems in the first few races. The first race I had a valve get stuck and the last race my backup motor I believe had a hole in the piston. Speaking for last year though, it was extremely competitive. There were four guys that could win and another five guys battling for fifth through tenth. It was fun because it was a race within a race.
BD: How fun is it to compete against your son Austin on a regular basis?
SK: I don’t think there is anything more fulfilling than to share that experience with my son. There was a race towards the end of last season when he was complaining about his brakes. I told him to run the top and that he didn’t need brakes. Later on we found out that when we put his body on the vacuum booster broke.
About lap eight in the main I noticed he got in a tangle with a guy. As the race went on I was running fourth on the bottom and I heard a sound change from the top. The noise kept getting louder and louder. I looked over and it was Austin. He had restarted from the back and was trying to pass me. It was euphoric to run side by side with him. He ended up getting past me and would finish fourth and I think I got sixth. He told me afterwards with a smile “I’ve been trying to pass you all year.”
BD: For someone that has never been to the Aberdeen area what are some of the must see sites?
SK: I’m not sure, we don’t have too many sites and I’ve been here for 48 years. For me going to Ocean Shores or Westport there is a lot of fun things to do. In southern Aberdeen there is a bridge that has these fifty foot giant oars that are wind activated and swing on a pendulum.
BD: What is your racing career feature looking like?
SK: Well I tell everyone that I’m going race until I’m either worn out or run out of money to stay competitive. I can’t say how long that will be. I know around the summer of 2011 I sat down with my family and I told them we could get some water toys, sand toys, or go racing. My wife wanted to know if we could do a little bit of everything. I told her racing would take all I got and I all I can hock.
Grays Harbor Raceway will be in action for two nights of racing for the Spring Challenge. Racing will be on Saturday May 25th and Sunday the 26th and will feature the American Sprint Car Series-Northwest Region, Shipwreck Beads IMCA Modifieds, and Cut Rate Auto Parts Street Stocks. For more information log on to www.graysharborraceway.com or call the new Northwest Tracks Hotline at (360)-699-RACE.