After nearly a year hiatus from racing, Caleb Adrian got back behind the wheel last weekend at Hawkeye Downs Speedway (IA). Despite not competing in 11 months, the Walcott, Iowa driver had no problem dusting off the rust as he pulled his No. 29 machine into Victory Lane.
“It was so crazy, my goal was just to get back in and knock the rust off and hope for a top five, but we unloaded and the car was amazing and it came back to me like riding a bike,” Adrian told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I had a lot of family there so it was awesome to get a win for them.”
In 2015 Adrian traveled throughout the Midwest, hitting up races in the ARCA Midwest Tour, TUNDRA Series and Big 8 Series. He also ran over a half a dozen times at his home track of Hawkeye Downs Speedway, picking up four wins. The now 20-year-old racer capped off the year by traveling to Pensacola, Florida for the Snowball Derby. However, after such an action-packed year, prior to Friday night, Adrian’s last races stood as the 2015 Snowball Derby and one Big 8 race in 2016.
“I was fortunate enough to have a great family who would do whatever it took to put me in good equipment and spend the time and money to let me live my dream, but I took it for granted,” Adrian admitted. “I just didn’t have my head on straight at the time. I can’t thank them enough for everything they have done over the years for me. I’m just happy to be back even if it’s not me racing as much as I did in 2015.”
But Adrian is back, and with his head in the game. Despite his absence from the seat, his performance last weekend made it appear the young driver never missed a beat. He was able to hold off another Iowa driver, Griffin McGrath, to take the checkers in his first race there in over a year.
“I was nervous, I really thought I was going to struggle, taking that much time off isn’t good for anyone. I thought I was going to be super rusty and make mistakes but the night went really smooth,” Adrian stated. “I never really think that while leading, it always seems to come back and bite you in the butt when you think things like that. I was just focusing on hitting my marks and pulling away from Griffin Mcgrath who was in second.”
Adrian’s plans for this year are to run the full season at Hawkeye Downs Speedway and a few Big 8 races. He does still have his Super Late Model, but says he would need some sponsorship to get that part of the program up and running.
“I want to thank my parents (Gary and Liz Adrian) and Liz Girl Logistics and for everything they have done for me over the years,” Adrian said. “I’m so excited to be racing again and looking forward to a successful year.”
-By Jana Wimmer, Speed51.com Midwest Editor – Photo credit: Caleb Adrian Facebook