Local auto racing: D.J. Weltmeyer looks to win for Mom
By RYAN HASKELL Post-Tribune correspondent May 10, 2013 8:48PM
Updated: June 13, 2013 7:05PM
D.J. Weltmeyer took a big step forward last year, winning two super late model feature races and placing second in the division behind “Fast” Eddie Hoffman.
He’s hoping to keep that momentum going with a win at the Mother’s Day race at Illiana Motor Speedway on Saturday night.
The son of former Illiana racing champion Dave Weltmeyer is currently sixth in the division with 222 points, but is hoping to turn the corner this weekend. Jeff Cannon leads the division with 243 points.
“I was just in the garage trying to get it ready,” said Weltmeyer, who finished sixth on opening night and seventh last Saturday. “We were trying something new the first night and it wasn’t where we wanted it to be. It was a stressful ride that night. So we tried fixing it but we still ended up real tight in last week’s race.”
The 2011 Lake Central graduate would love to notch a win for his mom on this Mother’s Day weekend.
“My mom is probably my biggest fan out there,” he said. “She helps us at the track and does the lap times. It’s great having her out there and she loves the sport. She tells me all the time she loves the sport; she has to, (being) married to a man who did it for 35 years and now having a son do it.
“It’s a different mentality to be a racer’s wife. I give her major props. I know she worries about injuries but she knows my love for the sport and it overpowers that and she’s in full support of it.”
Dad would love to see him finish first for the first time since September 2012, too.
“My dad has taught me a lot,” he said. “We’ve been trying to research to see what works best for me so I can keep getting better on the track. Everybody drives different. The key is getting more correlated to what I like and to get a better feel for the car.”
Gates open at 4 p.m. on Saturday. The first 200 mothers through the gate will receive a gift bag. Qualifying races start at 5:30 p.m. and the first green flag is set to drop around 7 p.m.
Weltmeyer, who just completed his sophomore year at Purdue Calumet, will be ready when the heats start.
“Everybody races pretty fast the first two weeks but tires begin to wear and tear,” he said. “So we’ll keep our eyes on things and take it from there. We’ve always got goals and we’re always aiming to get high finishing positions.”
Adult tickets are $12; kids ages 8-12 are $5; 7-and-under are free.