As we near the beginning of the 2018 season, many drivers and teams from across the country are anxiously waiting for the cold and snow to give way to sunshine and green grass. One driver who is itching to get to the track is rookie Asphalt Modified driver Kreig Heroth.
Heroth, a 31-year-old school teacher from Fort Plain, NY, started his career racing go-karts in the Capitol Region of New York in the mid 90’s, moving up through the Dwarf car ranks and the Cup Lite series into the mid 2000’s. From there, he ventured to the famed Oswego Speedway, competing in the Small Block Supermodified division, collecting six total wins and the 2012 track championship. In addition, he ran select Supermodified races in 2016, claiming Rookie of the Year honors. Although he’s found success in everything he stepped into, Heroth’s real dream has been to compete in a Tour-type Modified.
“Running a Tour-style Modified has been my goal my whole career. I started racing go-karts when I was seven years old saying, ‘Holy cow, I love asphalt Modifieds and I would love to someday race a full-blown Modified,’” Heroth told Speed51.com. “Making this step has been really exciting for me because that has ultimately been my goal as a driver, you know, this is the level I have wanted to be at since I have been racing.”
The plan for Heroth is to make an all-out assault on the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour in 2018, with hopes of running some other series events as well, including possible MRS and Tri-Track Open Modified Series races. Living in the eastern part of New York makes him more centralized to many of the Modified tracks in the Northeast, making it the same distance to most Race of Champions events as those in the New England region. With the move up, track time for his team is going to be key.
“We are going to maybe do some testing, so go to any possible practice days,” Heroth said. “Hopefully we can get at least two or three practice sessions in before the first couple (races) to try to get up to speed and to make sure that we are rolling okay.”
One thing that will be in his favor is that he has run laps at most of the Race of Champions venues.
“Other than Jukasa (Canada), I believe we have been everywhere else. When we ran the Cup Lite, we would run Lancaster two or three times a year and we would run Holland. I really kinda think we are decently comfortable with going to those places.”
Heroth will be moving up with the help of long-time car owner Dick Myers. Myers has owned cars since the 1980’s, with dirt drivers such as Andy Romano and Pat Ward piloting his machines. This is the fourth year that Kreig’s father, Dwayne, and Myers have partnered to form CR2 Motorsports.
An added twist to this season, Heroth will change from his traditional No. 04 to No. 28, in honor of the number Myers used to have on his Dirt Modifieds. He also has help from long-time sponsors Ontario Orchards and Finger Lakes Performance for the 2018 season, but is always willing to accept more backing.
One supporter Heroth has for the 2018 season is the addition of SPAFCO Chassis. SPAFCO, with the ownership of Ken Barry, will be an asset to Heroth, since he will be one of the few racers on the Race of Champions circuit to run one of their cars. The company based out of Preston, CT is helping the team with manufacture backing for the rookie driver. For Heroth, the position is exactly what they were looking for.
“We had kinda looked around and wanted some manufacture support,” Heroth said. “SPAFCO seemed to have the most parts if we needed something. We went with Ken Barry; he’s helping us tremendously with getting stuff set up. We are getting a lot of manufacture support. It seems to be that even though there aren’t any this way, I really feel comfortable and feel like we are going to get some support. We told Ken, ‘Listen, we’ll do it if you can really promise us you can give us some help,’ so I’m really going to lean on those guys to try to figure that out.”
Heroth also expressed that he is getting help from other people in the Modified community.
“I am eager and willing to lean on existing SPAFCO customers,” Heroth exclaimed with a laugh, not letting on too much.
Although a schedule hasn’t been finalized, Heroth’s rookie season will kick off at the Syracuse Motorsports Expo in March at the New York State Fairgrounds. Follow along with Speed51.com throughout the season to keep up with the Race of Champions Modified Tour and to see how Kreig Heroth’s dream season unfolds.
-By Evan Canfield, Speed51.com Northeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com / MoJo Photos