For Lowellville clan, drag-racing is a family affair
By TIM CLEVELAND
For the Getsy family of Lowellville, drag racing has been a family affair.
George, the patriarch of the family, is the owner of the team’s 1964 Corvette, and his son Jim is the driver. In addition, George’s sons Bob and Jeff also compete.
For the past three seasons, the team has competed in the Renegade Racing Association, winning the 890 class championship the past two seasons.
In the 2013 season, Jim competed in seven races (there was an additional race that was rained out), won twice and finished with 66 points, five clear of the runner up.
“It’s an honor to be running with those guys because they’re top-notch racers,” Jim said. “Everyone’s a great racer. They’re a close-knit family. Winning the championship again is definitely something that’s outstanding to win twice in a row.
“We’ve been drag racing our whole lives. In this heads-up racing you want to get off the start line quicker than other guy. It’s not like a regular race where one guy gets off to a head start.”
“It was great,” George said. “We won the very first event at the beginning of the season and we hung onto first place almost all year.
“It was very amazing. It’s hard to win one championship, let alone win back to back. Cars race (in the series) from Michigan and New York.”
There are five classes in the Renegade Racing Association, 890, 990, 1050, outlaw unlimited street class and (starting next season) 1150.
Races are held at Thompson Raceway Park in Thompson and Norwalk’s Summit Raceway Park.
Cars race head-to-head down a straightaway measuring a quarter-mile long. They are not allowed to run the distance any faster than their class limit.
For instance, cars cannot run faster than 8.90 seconds in the 890 class, which is 154 mph.
Both drivers want to get as close to 8.90 seconds as possible, but if neither does, the driver closest to the mark wins.
“I like the rush of it,” Jim said. “To go that fast from a dead start to a quarter mile is like being on a roller coaster but better.”
George said it’s not just the family members who have contributed to the team’s success. He named the companies who have helped along the way: Rossler Transmissions in Girard, Pine Hollow Bottling Water, Conti Corp, Entertech, Kerrs Automotive, Molfi Plumbing, Davanzo Auto Body, “and Bill Smith, our No. 1 pit crew member.”
Jim said while the series has a family atmosphere, he and his team plan on being at the top of the points standings for years to come.
“It’s a great experience,” he said. “It’s like a family event. One racer will help another racer out. It’s so much fun; the bonus is winning. Even if they were not offering any cash or prizes, it is so much fun.
“We want to keep on winning and do best I can.”