116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS – Dallas Chandler may not turn 30 for another few weeks, but he’s already found his groove in life and is enjoying the ride.
“I work hard and when I get some free time I like to get out here and do some racing,” Chandler said.
With an increasingly busy schedule each week, the Atkins resident decided to walk away from weekly racing at Hawkeye Downs Speedway after five seasons and multiple track championships in the four-cylinder division.
“It was a big commitment,” Chandler said. “I started traveling more for work and wasn’t home on Friday nights to race.”
Luckily for Chandler, he has seven siblings who are routinely there for him, including Brad and Nathan who are regulars at local tracks around Eastern Iowa each week.
“I’m kind of a lone wolf out here with no wife or kids,” Dallas said. “My brothers are here all the time and if my car needed anything while I was out of town for work, they got it done so I can race when I get back.”
Even with a wacky work schedule, Dallas is able to commit to the half dozen enduro races each season that Hawkeye Downs has been hosting with increasing interests from both longtime and first-time drivers looking for something different.
“I really know the track and all of the lines, but the enduro is about being patient,” Chandler said Saturday after racing in the season-opening enduro. “There are times I think I was a couple of laps down, but I was consistent and missed the wrecks.
“It was a lot of fun in the rain, you don’t get to do that often.”
Chandler was saddled into a 2004 Acura RSX loaned to him by Bob Jones, a sponsor of Dallas and the “Under the Sea”-themed race itself.
“I try not to tear up their equipment,” said Chandler, who also races his own cars. “Bob’s the kind of guy that wants to go out there and put on a show. You have his stickers on the car and he’d like to see it up front.”
After the first caution of the day just 24 laps into the 200 lap event, Chandler wasn’t certain he would make it to the finish.
“I’m not going to lie,” Chandler said. “After the first caution it said 176 laps to go and I was kind of worn out.”
Fortunately for Chandler, the field kept shrinking as his competitors slowed to a stop and the lines he spent five years learning to drive became easier and cleaner to follow.
“Once some of the cars got off the track it was a little easier to get around,” Chandler said. “I started to enjoy the last 50 laps. That’s when I was able to set a good pace and that’s when I gained most of my spots back.”
After nearly 90 minutes, Chandler worked his way to Victory Lane with brother Nathan finishing fifth in the field of 73 cars.
“We’re all about the same,” Dallas said of his brothers. “We love working on cars and getting out to the races. We’re always together, doing things as a family.”
Next up for Dallas and the Chandler crew will be the BBQ-themed road course enduro, slated for May 23 at Hawkeye Downs.