8-Year-Old Races in Grandfather’s Honor
Photo: Sheridan Speedway
This weekend, 8-year-old Zach Flint will enter his first race at the Sheridan Speedway in honor of his grandfather, who passed away two years ago.
Molly Flint’s father, Jim Barker, used to race stock cars in the 60s and 70s. After his first child was born, he realized it would be too expensive to do both, and he chose family. Molly said he never talked about racing.
Molly and Zach were driving down Coffeen Avenue this Easter, when some old-timey looking quarter midget stock cars in front of Plains Tire caught their eye.
Quarter midget cars are just like a regular midget stock car, only one-quarter the size. Zach showed a lot of interest, and one of his grandfather’s good friends, Pat Burke, decided to sponsor a car for him, using his grandfather’s number, 51.
“I wish my dad was around to see it all,” Molly said. “It’s bittersweet, because his passion was building fast cars.”
Zach’s first race was scheduled for May, on the second anniversary of his grandfather’s passing, but the event was postponed due to weather. Molly admits she had misgivings about the date and didn’t mind the delay giving the team more time to prepare.
Another of Barker’s old friends, Steve “Shooter” Benth, is still painting the number and the pinstripes on the panels, with one special ingredient.
“Dad’s ashes are in the paint on the car,” Molly said. “It’s a way get him going around the dirt track again.”
Zach will be racing at the Sheridan Speedway on Friday, June 14, at 7 p.m., weather permitting.