This week, 2018 NASCAR Cup Series champion and Middletown native, Joey Logano, paid a visit to the track where he first got his start racing: Silver City Quarter Midget Club in Meriden.
He and dozens of other donors helped the track with some much needed renovations during the off season and the club could finally wave the green flag.
“This track was never going anywhere,” said the track’s board of directors secretary, Mary Trapp. “There's always going to be kids down here racing, but this was enormous.”
Trapp said the paving for the track was done when she raced there in the 70s. That was one of the renovations. They invited Logano ahead of his NASCAR race this weekend at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He took dozens of photos and signed even more autographs, but for everything that the next generation of racers took away, Logano might have gotten the most out of the evening.
“That's what it’s about at this level, right? It's about having fun,” said Logano as he spoke to the crowd of kids and parents. “It's about being with your family, creating those memories.”
When Logano said those words, he didn't know he was about to do just that with his own family.
“As soon as he saw other kids on the race track he goes 'I want to try!'.” Logano’s three-year-old son Hudson was finally ready to rev the engine of his own quarter midget car. He’d sat in the car and been pushed around without an engine, but never wanted to give it a try.
“I remember being in that pole barn waiting to go start my race,” said Logano. “You know you're in there, you're strapped in and your dad pushes you off onto the racetrack. All those memories come flying back to you.”
In fact, those memories flying right in front of him: he was buckling his son into the very car he drove when he was a kid.
“You see your car, your kid in there, your feelings are, I’m really nervous,” said Logano. “Gosh I just don't want him to hit something.”
You can call it another lesson learned at Silver City for Logano. He may have watched the track from a new perspective, but still with the same heart.
“That car’s been sitting for 20 something years,” said Logano. “And all we had to do was get the breaks working, put a set of tires on it and let her rip.”