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home : sports : sports December 17, 2014

10/10/2013 1:29:00 PM
Hector family's blood runs faster
Hector’s No. 68 Monte Carlo has brought him some recent success. Courtesy photo.
Hector’s No. 68 Monte Carlo has brought him some recent success. Courtesy photo.
Erik Pague

Throughout his whole life, Bart Hector Jr. has been immersed in the racing lifestyle. For almost 30 years, a member of the Hector family has been involved in some way with the local racing scene since Hector's father, Bart Sr., raced for his first time as a 16-year-old in 1977.
Hector Jr. got started in it even younger, at 14 years old when he raced in the Youth Hornets class at Ephrata Raceway Park and went on to win the championship that season. Now 19, he said he loves being the latest to join the family tradition and plans to stick with it.
"It's been a passion of mine my whole life since my family's done it, so it made me want to pursue it," Hector Jr. said. "Everybody in my family has at least raced (once), but currently, my brother Eric, my dad, me and two of my cousins have raced."
Hector Jr. remembers watching NASCAR with his family before becoming old enough to race himself and also worked on other family member's cars from a young age. He said racing is in his family's blood for good and the focus and time the family members put into it has translated into success. His first major success came in his first year where he came from behind on the points leaderboard essentially overnight to become the champion.
"I was 70 points out of the lead and then in the last night, some stuff happened with the other racers and it shot me up to first place and I won," he said. "Now, I'm the youngest champion in history for that class."
Now that he's a little older, Hector Jr. has made upgrades in both horsepower and the competition he's facing. His car of choice is a late model Chevrolet Monte Carlo, but he also races a 1974 Camaro. This past season, he raced in the street stocks class at Ephrata but also races at places like the Hermiston Speedway in Oregon and other spots in and around the state. After missing a few early races, Hector Jr. rallied from behind once again, this time settling for a second place overall finish 13 points behind the leader.
"If I had done one more race, then I would have won," he said. "It was really close, but I'm glad since I got a three-foot trophy out of it."
After another fun season, Hector Jr. is still thankful for his family's support and the expenses they go through to help him and other family members keep up with their favorite pastime. He hasn't won a whole lot of prize money, he guesses he's won almost $2,000 in his career, but that hasn't stopped him from continuing to pursue a racing career.
"It's not about the money for us, it's just about having fun," he said.
Hector Jr. looks forward to continuing to compete well in various events locally and around the state and hopes he'll continue to make people recognize his talent.
"(I plan on) hitting bigger races around here, getting my name noticed and maybe one day, moving up to the lower NASCAR ranks, hopefully," he said. "That would be really cool. It's a long road though."


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