THE MOORE FAMILY (FROM LEFT, DAUGHTER
EMILY, DAN, WIFE PHYLLIS AND SON DANIEL)
ARE BIG INTO RACING AND SPONSORSHIP
AT HICKORY MOTOR SPEEDWAY.
(PHOTO BY NICK AND SHERRI STEARNS)
at Hickory Motor Speedway
Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2013 11:34 pm | Updated: 11:35 pm, Thu Apr 11, 2013.
HICKORY, N.C. -- Dan Moore might be one of the most involved people at Hickory Motor Speedway.
Moore, a Conover resident, has raced in the Street Stock and Limited Late Model divisions in the past, and now he’s racing in the Late Model division. His children — Emily and Daniel — are racing Renegades on a part-time basis, and his business — WrenchRags — is sponsoring the Renegades division.
It’s like he’s trying to do everything after a long, long wait.
Moore grew up in Thomasville and graduated from Thomasville High, but he waited until his 50s to go racing.
“It (racing) was always a life-long dream,” Moore said. “A guy said, ‘Why not buy a car and go racing?’ Our company was having an outing at the racetrack, and we bought a Mustang dirt car, a 4-cylinder.”
He raced a year and a half on dirt at Antioch and Cleveland County speedways. Dirt was fun, he says, but he got tired of the mud and dirt, and he hated bringing home a torn-up dirt car. So he got an asphalt car and ran Renegades for a season at Hudson’s Tri-County Motor Speedway.
Then he moved to Street Stocks at Hickory two years ago.
“My biggest accomplishment was two years ago when I ran Bristol (Motor Speedway) in a Street Stock race and finished second,” he said. The race was a preliminary for another show.
Last season, he raced Limited Late Models.
This year, Moore finished 15th in each of the first two Late Model races, in 21- and 19-car fields, respectively. He ran 11th last Saturday in a 21-car field.
Moore says his children raced two or three races each last year.
“It’s truly become a family sport for us,” he said.
But he added that he worries about Emily, 30, and Daniel, soon to be 26.
“I was a nervous wreck, but I was not worried about them,” he said. “I worry about them wrecking each other. If they wreck each other, they’re on their own. They’re super competitive, and there’s a sibling rivalry there.
“Both decided they want to try it. We started with one car, and they were going to share it. They’d take turns racing. The first race was my son’s turn, and in practice she wrecked and totaled the car. So sharing didn’t last.”
Moore says he doesn’t expect them to race more than “six or eight times” this year.
On March 22, Daniel Moore finished fifth in a five-car Renegades race. Emily says that race was mostly a practice for Daniel, since he hadn’t planned to race. They ran over to the shop to get their car, since they didn’t want to see a four-car Renegades race.
“I enjoy seeing them run, but not at the same time, but they’re both adults,” Moore said. “For me, racing is a passion. For them, it’s fun.”
Emily, a 2001 graduate of Newton-Conover High, says she’s waiting for her car to be ready.
“I think it’s a lot of fun,” she said. “It’s stressful. When I’m behind a car, it can be nerve-wracking. I love the competitiveness of it, (and) I look forward to getting back out there.”
Moore says he didn’t race until his 50s because of his business and having to raise children.
“I didn’t have the opportunity when I was younger,” he said.
Now, he says, racing gives him a break.
“It’s hard for me to get away from work as a business owner, but that’s my solitude,” he said. “It’s hard to say it’s relaxing. In a lot of ways, it’s kinda like being a kid.
“When you’re a kid, you build model cars and roll them down a hill and crash them. It’s the same now, just a bigger car. Half of the fun is building the car.”
Emily says she learned about Moore’s racing bug on a family vacation.
“We were watching TV at the beach, and (Moore) turned to me and said, ‘Did I mention that I bought a race car?’ That’s how I found out about it,” she said.
Moore’s wife Phyllis doesn’t race, but she helps out.
“Without her support, we wouldn’t be doing this,” he said. “And on her NASCAR license, she is listed as car owner.”
“She’s a huge support out there,” Emily added. “She goes out there every Saturday and has the hauler stocked with food and beverages, and she’s always running errands.
“And she likes to remind (Moore) that it’s her car.”
Moore says the racing Moores keep kidding Phyllis about trying her hand at racing.
“She says she isn't ready, but we have a car ready if she wants to try it,” Moore said.
Incidentally, there’s another Dan Moore who races Late Models in North Carolina; in fact, he’s already won twice at Caraway Speedway in Sophia.
“People who know me say they saw where I won,” Moore said. “I guess I need to go down there (Caraway) and run. That would confuse them.”
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