Short-Track Top Five: Ricky Weeks
Welcome to this week’s edition of the Short-Track Top Five. Every week NSSN will talk to a different short-track driver and get his or her thoughts and opinions on a series of five questions.
This week National Speed Sport News talks to veteran dirt-late-model driver Ricky Weeks. Nicknamed the Rutherfordton Rocket, the 51-year-old North Carolina native has been racing for more than 25 years.
He is a five-time Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series champion and seven-time late-model track champion at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, S.C. He plans to contest the full Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series schedule again in 2011.
NSSN: What influenced you to become a race car driver?
WEEKS: My dad always had cars when I was a kid. He didn’t drive but he built them and run them. That was all I could think about my whole life, when I got old enough I wanted to drive. When I got old enough to drive he quit [building cars]. He started helping me again later, but that is what influenced me to race.
NSSN: If you had the chance to race in the Daytona 500 or the Indianapolis 500, which would it be and why?
WEEKS: I don’t know if could choose between those two. I’ve been to the Daytona 500 and loved that, but I’ve never gotten to see the Indianapolis 500 or be at that facility. I guess I would have to choose the Daytona 500.
NSSN: How healthy is short-track racing in the United States?
WEEKS: I think that short-track racing is hurting and it all goes back to the economy. The exploding prices and everything being so high [aren’t helping]. Especially super-late-model racing, I know it is really hurting. If it weren’t for the series you wouldn’t have anywhere to run a super-late-model. It just all falls back to the economy. You can see at the first of the year there will be plenty of cars and by the end of the year you are just getting by with cars and fans. I think it all goes back to the economy.
NSSN: What is the wildest race you’ve ever been a part of?
WEEKS: Oh lord, that is a hard question. There are so many of them it is hard to really put a finger on them. One that stands out in my mind, I don’t even remember [when it was] because it has been years and years and years ago, but me and Freddy Smith were racing at Cherokee. We ran just about side-by-side for 70 laps in a 100-lap race. It was one of the dangedest things you’ve ever seen. It wasn’t for the lead or anything, but it was in the top five or something like that. It was just fun racing.
NSSN: At the end of your career, what do you hope people will remember about you?
WEEKS: I hope that people remember me as an “it ain’t over till its over” racer. I never give up no matter where I’m at until the checkered flag falls.