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.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airmen 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

Davis-Monthan Airman helps Tucsonan

One weather forecaster’s self-aid buddy care training quickly resurfaced when she witnessed a car accident outside the gates of Davis-Monthan. Senior Airman Amanda Boone, 355th Operations Support Squadron weather forecaster, ...
 
 

U.S. Air Force to kick off COOL program

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFNS) — The Community College of the Air Force officially launched the Air Force Credentialing Opportunities On-Line program March 16. Air Force COOL is a pathway for enlisted Airmen to earn industry recognized professional certifications and licenses to enhance their active-duty work and to prepare them as they transition to...
 
 

Military leads the way in equal opportunity

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. — What does it take to change a nation? What force has the power to move millions of people in their fundamental views of the world? For Christopher Daniels, a U.S. Air Force colonel, that answer is simple: leadership. In his words, “The true agent of change is true leadership.”...
 

 

Doolittle Tokyo Raiders to receive Congressional Gold Medal

(U.S. Air Force photo) On April 18, 1942, Airmen of the U.S. Army Air Forces, led by Lt. Col. James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle, carried the Battle of the Pacific to the heart of the Japanese empire with a surprising and daring raid on military targets at Tokyo, Yokohama, Yokosuka, Nagoya, and Kobe. This heroic attack...
 
 

AFAF gives all Airmen a chance to pay it forward

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — It’s Sept. 12, 2005. Senior Airman Dennis Hutchison is recovering from a hard day’s work on the flightline of Robbins Air Force Base, Georgia, when he receives a call that tragedy had struck. “I got a notification from my family that my father had passed away,” Hutchison said. “I immediately contacted...
 
 

Rocketry Club ready to take flight this weekend

TUCSON, Arizona – On March 28 and 29, hundreds of rockets will soar into the Tucson sky at Desert Heat 2015. Rocket enthusiasts from around the Southwest will gather for this annual two-day rocketry event, where there’s no cost to watch, and kids always fly free. The rockets that will be launched vary in size...
 




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