Humenay: He's off to an early career in racing
Saturday, October 6, 2012
By Tyler Kolesar Staff Writer
ALLPORT - While many 12-year-olds spend their summer thinking of playing on the baseball diamond, Dariek Humenay spends his time thinking of something else: go-kart racing. This season was the first for Humenay, as he competed in the Rookie Blue Plate division (for 10- to 12-year-olds) at the 1/5-mile Flat Run Speedway in Allport.
Humenay said when he was younger he remembers watching NASCAR races and rooting for guys like Rusty Wallace and Dale Jarrett, but never really thought anything of it. That is until Humenay said a couple of his stepfather, Pat Hubler's, friends said he should try out go-kart racing. This April, Humenay started out running his yellow No. 21, which has an Ultramax chassis and a Clone motor. As a rookie in the Blue, Humenay said a restrictor plate is placed in the carburetor, thus cutting down horsepower and overall speed.
Humenay's mother, Lori Lytle, said Humenay got started with help from Hubler, who used to race Micro Sprints himself, and pit crewmembers Randy Perrin, George Bowling, Bernie Picard, and Jason Hepfer. Humenay also had sponsorship from Cutting Edge Bullets of Drifting, which helped with costs of the kart.
Humenay said it was a good start to a career, as races were ran each Saturday night from April until September. In Humenay's races, there were usually about five drivers a race, sometimes more, sometimes less. During his inaugural season, Humenay finished second in points, racking up a hot laps victory, two heat race wins, and one feature win. His feature win was the final race of the season on Sept. 15.
Humenay said he's "real glad" he got into racing.
"I have a lot of fun with it," said Humenay, who also said he enjoys spending time working on his kart before and after races. This year, Humenay only stuck to Flat Run Speedway, and sees himself running at the track next year too, albeit in the Gold division.
"It's a really nice track," said Humenay.
Humenay now has officially caught the "racing bug" and looks forward to moving up well beyond go-karts. Humenay has attended races at legendary Pennsylvania dirt tracks such as Williams Grove and Port Royal. Those two tracks have seen drivers such as NASCAR's Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne and Dave Blaney, as well as World of Outlaws legends Steve Kinser, Sammy Swindell and Stevie Smith. One day, Humenay would like to add his name to the list of drivers who have raced at these speedways. However, he realizes this dream isn't attainable overnight, as one has to work their way up in the ranks.
Next on the docket for Humenay is the Gold division. Once he accomplishes goals in the Gold Plate division, Humenay said he would probably be in an open motor division, such as the Lites division. After that, he said he would like to be in Sprint cars by the time he's 15 or 16 years old.
Humenay said he enjoys the challenge racing gives.
"It's very fun and very challenging," said Humenay.
Humenay said racing isn't as easy as some people think, as the sport in general has had a negative perception with many who say it doesn't take much to "go around in circles."
"It takes a lot," Humenay said in order to be competitive. "I had someone else go out in my car and they were older and thought it wasn't that hard. But they said after it, ‘I can't believe you do this.'"
Humenay said he wouldn't be racing at all if it weren't for his crew of Hubler, Perrin, Bowling, Picard, Hepfer and others who help from week to week. He also encouraged other kids who are thinking of getting into racing to give it a shot. But he warned you just can't step in and win races.
"Make sure you're ready to practice," said Humenay. "I was nowhere (in terms of results) whenever I didn't practice. I thought practice was for losers, but you have to practice."
It's that practice that paid off for Humenay, as his final race last season resulted in victory. And with that practice and determination, Humenay hopes it will carry him on to bigger and better things in the upcoming seasons.