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.


 
 

 

Technical sergeant promotion release delayed

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Technical sergeant promotion selection results, originally scheduled for release May 28, will be delayed to enable the Air Force to continue to validate extensive system changes to the Weighted Airman Promotion System (WAPS), officials announced. The 2015 technical sergeant promotion cycle is the first to incorporate recent changes in the enlisted evaluation...
 
 

CAA: Informing, developing the force

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — Life is full of decisions. Whether making the Air Force a career or using experience drawn from service to springboard into a civilian profession, always looking one or two steps ahead can be a good way to keep options open and set oneself up for success. In the journey...
 
 
museum02

Program Offers Museum Visits to Service Members, Families

WASHINGTON – From Memorial Day through Labor Day, service members and their families can visit more than 2,000 museums in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and American Samoa courtesy of collaboration among the Blue Star Museums, th...
 

 

2015 Chiefs vs Eagles Softball Game

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey) The Chiefs, made up of chief master sergeants, and the Eagles, made up of colonels, pose for a photo after a charity softball game in which the Chiefs won 23-12 at Thunderbolt Field, Davis-Monthan, Ariz., May 21. The two teams will collectively donate $355 to...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Adam Grant)

That others may live: AFSOUTH heads to Brazil for Search and Rescue SMEE

Campo Grande — U.S. Airmen traveled to Brazil to participate in a week-long subject matter expert exchange with members of the Brazilian air force, from May 11-15, focusing on Search and Rescue capabilities. The Airmen ...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dylan Nuckolls)

D-M A-10s, Airmen complete training in Slovakia as part of TSP

SLIAC AIR BASE, Slovakia — Approximately 40 Airmen and four A-10 Thunderbolt IIs from the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, deployed from Davis-Monthan AFB, completed a micro deployment to Sliac Air Base, Slovakia, ...
 




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