ROCK CAVE — At the young age of 15, Luke Hyre of Rock Cave, delivered quite the performance for taking on his first year in the Crate Late model car track races. Not only did Hyre break ground by claiming victory in his first feature win in the Pro Late Model Race on Saturday September 21 at Elkins Speedway, but he was also awarded the 2019 FASTRAK Future Star Cup.
The FASTRAK Future Star Cup is awarded to the teenage driver who racks up the most points throughout the season. Hyre received this award on top of placing first at his debut in the Elkins race. Starting the year off with a 602 engine, Hyre later switched to a 604 engine, illustrating progress with defining results by the end of the season. “We made the feature both nights during the FASTRAK Racing Series for the weekend of the Hillbilly Hundred at Tyler County Speedway,” Hyre stated. I was just excited I had made the show with the others, and we ran fourth for our heat – that got me a starting position,” said Hyre.
Hyre started racing when he was just 11 years old. “It’s been four years now racing, but I started off with the smaller cars in the Mini Wedge races in 2015,” Hyre mentioned. The Mini Wedge Association offers a safe racing program for young drivers ages 6-14 implementing skill, sportsmanship, and fair play at an early age. In 2016 at the age of 12, Hyre won Senior Mini Mod Track Champion at Elkins Speedway. That same year, he also triumphed as the Mini Wedge Racing Association (MWRA) 2016 Mini Wedge National Champion. He had another rewarding year in 2018, being named the Tyler County Speedway Senior Division Mini Wedge Track Champion. Hyre also became MK Speedways Mini Wedge Track Champion at the race held in Anmoore, WV. He also placed second in points at Elkins Raceway and claimed another title as MWRA 2018 Mini Wedge National.
Hyre started his path out early, becoming a star driver at a young age and claiming his first feature race win by transitioning to the Crate Late Model cars. In this style of racing, the cars are larger and are built for tracks or series that hold Crate Late Models, where all cars are on a level playing field in terms of horsepower. There is a long list of terms and conditions for drivers to qualify before even being able to race.
Hyre’s mother, Annette, shared an interesting story behind choosing Hyre’s racing number. “Both Luke’s father and grandfather were in the water well drilling services. His dad still works with drilling water wells and he has continued that for the last 20 years and his grandfather had been in the business for 30 years. I had a say in the making of the number and we decided to use “H2O”, relating to the family’s history of water drilling services,” she stated.
Hyre’s father, Jason, and friend, Tim Hissam, help him with maintenance, putting in a lot of time and work to make sure the car is in proper racing condition for each race. Hyre has appreciated all the support from sponsors, who helped make it possible for his first year in the crate car races. His sponsors include Mid-State Chevrolet in Flatwoods, Cogar Trucking, LLC in Rock Cave, and Hyre’s Well and Pump Service, to name a few. Hyre said he couldn’t ask for a better support team of friends, family and sponsors, who share his experiences making a remarkable beginning for his racing career.