116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Rob Aimers’ roots at Hawkeye Downs run deep.
His father, Rodney, raced a Modified in the 1980s that Merv Chandler, father to current local racers Dallas, Nathan and Brad, helped build.
With Aimers’ time focused on bowling seven days a week, nine months a year as manager of Revolutions Pro Shop inside Cedar Rapids Bowling Center, racing season is his "three-month vacation."
"In the summer I don't touch a ball," Aimers said. "I work part-time and racing is my focus. I know it sounds cliche, but when you strap into the car and get out there, nothing else matters besides the car in front and beside you."
Born in Las Vegas, when Aimers was two months old his father got custody of him and his mother “got everything else.”
When Rob was 2 years old, Rodney moved them back to Cedar Rapids to be closer to his parents in Marion.
Aimers grew up romping around on quads and dirt bikes until he started racing Go-Karts at Hawkeye Downs when he was 9.
When his own son was old enough, Rob traded in a Go-Kart for a 4-cylinder that the duo raced in the Hornet division.
After taking time off in 2018 and 2019, Aimers called his sponsors and told them, "I'm ready!"
Now he has a 2016 Harris chassis Sports Mod that he races Sundays at Vinton and lets his bowling buddy, Noah Meader, race Fridays at Hawkeye Downs.
"I can't do this on my own and he agreed to help me," Aimers said. "It works for both of us."
For Meader, it's an opportunity to get a little more exhilaration than his previous enduro cars could provide.
"It's fun because it has a lot of power and I like power," Meader said. "I'm not trying to win or get a season championship, just more seat time."
So each weekend Aimers and Meader swap duties on Fridays and Sundays between driver and helper.
Both get something out of the deal, especially Aimers.
"I'm happy to be able to have a decent night of racing, load my car onto the trailer and get to see a bunch of my friends," said the 44-year-old Jefferson grad. "I have my bowling and my racing friends and I consider all of those people family."