Sports

August 29, 2012

D-M Airman leaves other drivers in the dirt

Airman 1st Class Michael Washburn
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
(Courtesy photo)
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Christopher Olson, 355th Component Maintenance Squadron fuel systems journeyman, poses for a picture with his family and his mod lite car. Mod lite cars have a 1000cc motorcycle engine inside the car.

For most, driving is a mundane day-to-day necessity. For Senior Airman Christopher Olson, 355th Component Maintenance Squadron fuel systems journeyman, driving for him is a much more thrilling endeavor. Granted, he’s trying to win races while doing it.

Olson races dirt track cars. Although he didn’t begin racing until the age of 14, Olson’s introduction to the world of dirt racing began at a young age.

“My grandfather use to race when I was just a baby,” Olson said. “When I was less than one month old, my parents would take me to the tracks when he raced.”

Olson’s grandfather was not only the one who got him interested in racing, he was also his mentor. He recalls times back home spending lots of hours in front of the television.

“I used to watch videos of my grandfather’s races over and over again,” Olson said. “It would drive my parents crazy. But watching videos helps you learn from other people’s mistakes.”

Years later, when Olson was old enough, he began to race in his hometown. It was at a little quarter-mile dirt track on the beach of Ventura, Calif.

“I started out racing junior midget cars,” Olson said. “They’re pretty much go-carts with a roll cage. While I was racing these, my grandfather was racing dwarf cars, which use a 1,000cc motorcycle engine inside the car. When I turned 16, and he retired, I was able to race those.”

Olson raced his grandfather’s dwarf car for five years before moving on to race mod lite car. Mod lite cars also use 1000cc motorcycle engines and according to Olson, on a one fifth-mile track they can reach speeds of 100 miles per hour. He raced mod lite cars for two years before he decided to join the Air Force.

Racing was put on hold. Tires, safety harnesses, and oval tracks were replaced with marching drills, uniforms, and early morning physical training.

After being stationed at D-M, Olson discovered that Tucson had a dirt racing track of its own.

“I started to look at cars I could afford on Craigslist and I found a 1978 Toyota Corolla that I turned into a dirt car,” Olson said. “Since then, I’ve recently upgraded to a 1991 Subaru. You can find these cars for around $1,000 and they’re all ready to race. These cars are called hornets. They’re stock, four cylinder cars.”

For Olson, the draw of the hobby comes from the excitement of racing.

“I really love the competitiveness of racing,” Olson said. “I’m usually a laid back person until I get in that car, then I’m someone completely different. It’s very exciting. I’ve broken my wrist before because of a crash and didn’t feel it until the next day from the adrenaline.”

His father-in-law and wife share in the excitement as they often come out to see him as he races. Olson says that even though deployments and change of duty stations are always a possibility, they wouldn’t end his love of the track.

“I’ll always be racing,” Olson said. “I’m about to have a daughter next month and I’ve already thought about her getting a car and bringing her out to the racetrack. She’ll be like a little Danica Patrick.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(Courtesy Photo)

D-M Airman: I am an IRONMAN

On Nov. 16th, Senior Airman Daniel Hughes, 355th Contracting Squadron contract specialist, tested his fitness limits and participated in IRONMAN Arizona. IRONMAN Arizona is a triathlon consisting of a 2.4-mile swim around Tempe...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman William Blankenship)

AF women try out for basketball team

Senior Airman William J. Blankenship 42nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. — Airmen stationed around the world gathered at Maxwell Air Force Base Oct. 19 to try out for the All Air Force women’s...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Mike Libecap)

AF Marathon attracts record-breaking crowds

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFNS) — In yet another record sellout year, approximately 15,000 runners took to the streets Sept. 20, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio to participate in the U.S. Air Force M...
 

 
(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Dina A. Farmer)

Mixed Martial Airman

After nine years of intense training and preparation, Tech. Sgt. Michael Parker is getting the opportunity of a lifetime. September 26, 2014 marks the day that validates the 162nd Wing aircraft engine mechanic’s hard work and...
 
 

DoD announces U.S. military athletes for 2014 Invictus Games

WASHINGTON – Defense Department officials yesterday announced the names of almost 100 military athletes who will represent the United States at the first Invictus Games, which will be held Sept. 10-14 in the United Kingdom. The games are an international sporting event for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans and will take place...
 
 

AF Marathon sells out, race transfer program announced

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFNS) — The Air Force Marathon has officially sold out all races and organizers have announced details for the transfer program. “The transfer program is the only official way for runners to give their bib to another runner,” said Rob Aguiar, the race director. The transfer program opened on July...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin