By: Jordan Kuehne
LOVES PARK, IL (Tuesday, April 7, 2009) – Kyle Shear doesn’t shy away from speaking up or saying what he believes should be said, so when asked recently about the upcoming racing season he didn’t back down. “I want to win, both races and a championship.” Shear who will be attempting to qualify for both feature events during the 32nd annual Spring Classic at Rockford Speedway on Sunday afternoon April 19, is a proven winner.
The 21-year-old Roscoe native brought home the Mid-American Stock Car Series 2007 Rookie of the Year award and recorded career wins two through six last season. Two of those wins came in Mid-American Stock Car Series features and the other four were in Big 8 and weekly late model heat races.
“Last year I got my feet wet, this year I want to go out and run for the championship,” Kyle said. “There’s a lot of guys though, (Michael) Bilderback, (Jeremy) Miller, (Ross) Kenseth, and I have to be fast every week, but I know I can run with them and be competitive. It all comes down to consistency and winning races.”
Shear will have double the chances in 2009 to win races as well as two shots at a championship. He will be competing in both the BRP Big 8 Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet and the Mid-American Stock Car Series. Shear is cautiously optimistic about his chances this year. “There’s going to be a lot of competition in Mid-Am this year, as well as obviously Big 8, and I have to bring my ‘A game’ every week to be up front and compete for wins and maybe, if we’re consistent, get a championship for my dad.”
Kyle’s racing career got jumpstarted thanks to his ‘A game’. Second cousin to the legendary Joe Shear, Kyle had been involved in racing his whole life thanks to his dad Troy, who owned a shop and was a former Mid-American Stock Car Series front runner. As soon as he entered high school, Kyle started asking if he could race and while his dad didn’t have a problem with it, his mom did. Shear’s mom wouldn’t let him race unless he brought back straight A’s on his high school report card. “I had a Mid-Am car sitting in the shop for me, it was senior year, and I wanted to race so I brought back a great report card,” Shear recalled.
Once he’d earned a Mid-American car, Kyle and his brother Troy, who also races in the Mid-American Stock Car Series, began tearing apart the car and getting it into race shape. Shear made his racing debut in 2006 at Lake Geneva Raceway’s final event. In 2007, he brought home Rookie of the Year honors for the Mid-American Stock Car Series and a win at Dells Raceway Park while finishing 7th in points. Last year, Kyle managed a feature win at Wisconsin International Raceway as well as a 2nd place finish in points to James Swan.
He also began racing in the BRP Big 8 Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet, courtesy of his boss, Steve Strasburg at Race Car Help, who was leaving cockpit and had a car for Kyle to drive. Shear won his first heat race in that car, and ended up taking home a total of four heat wins in six races. He was leading the Big 8 feature at Wisconsin International Raceway when he hit some oil out of turn 4 causing him to spin and sent him to the back of the field. Perhaps more impressive was his charge to the front in the #36 Joe Shear tribute car during Rockford’s National Short Track Championships last fall before engine complications dropped the promising star to a 19th place finish.
Shear’s season will have a hectic start as he will be pulling double duty at the Rockford Spring Classic. “I’m excited to race at Rockford,” Shear noted. “It’s a fun track, it’s bumpy, it’s rough, it has a whole lot of character to it and I know I’ll have a lot of eyes watching me because of my name. I look forward to running there whenever I can and you’re definitely on edge every single lap at Rockford.”
A lot of his success will be based upon his adjusting to the two cars as well as the stamina of his crew. “The biggest challenge is jumping back and forth from car to car,” Shear said. “There’s no rest, and communication with the crew will be key.
They’re a great crew that does a great job and they’re really going to be working their tails off all day. It’s definitely going to put a lot of strain on them. And as for me, adjustments will be the key to my success, both on the cars as well as mentally. Each car is different and I’ll have to get in the right mindset to race well.”
While it will certainly be a long day for Shear and his crew, they’ve done it before. “We did it last year at the Fall Classic (at Madison) so hopefully that experience will help us out at Rockford,” Shear stated. “It’s a fun day, for us and everyone else involved. I just hope we put on a good show for the fans and they get their money’s worth because without the fans, we’d just be out there racing in circles by ourselves.”
Someone who knows a lot about fans, Joe Shear’s daughter Kari Shear-Carlson, thinks Kyle shares a striking resemblance with her legendary father. “Over the past year, Kyle has told me about the many fans who have shared how watching him race reminds them of my dad, and I have to agree,” Shear-Carlson stated. “Kyle shares the same desire and has the utmost respect for everyone involved, including his competitors, just like my dad did. I know that I speak for my entire family when I say that we are honored to have the opportunity to watch Kyle behind the wheel of the legendary #36, proudly carrying on the Shear tradition."
Kyle Shear will be just one of many rising stars battling the host of Champions represented at Rockford Speedway during the 32nd annual Spring Classic on Sunday afternoon April 19. Racing will include the BRP Big 8 Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet in the SPYDER 108 and the Mid-American Stock Car Series taking on the high-banked quarter-mile for a 50 lap bout.
For tickets, a complete schedule of events, rules, as well as additional information please visit www.rockfordspeedway.com or call the Speedway Box Office at (815)633-1500. For more information on the BRP Big 8 Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet, please visit their site at www.big8series.com.
This article was posted to the website on April 7th, 2009
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