Auto Racing

American Iron Racing Series in Iowa features 'just a bunch of old guys' in old cars

Scott Moffit owns the 1957 Ford Fairlane that won the A.I.R.S. class feature at Benton County Speedway on Sunday night.
Scott Moffit owns the 1957 Ford Fairlane that won the A.I.R.S. class feature at Benton County Speedway on Sunday night. His buddy, Scott Fridley, drives the car. Both live in or around Mechanicsville. (Justin Webster/The Gazette)

VINTON — The American Iron Racing Series, which travels Eastern Iowa and southern Wisconsin each summer, could easily borrow Mark Twain’s quote on age.

“Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been,” could be its slogan.

“We’re just a bunch of old guys who think we’ve got one more left in us,” said Scott Moffit of Mechanicsville, owner of a 1957 Ford Fairlane that won the A.I.R.S. feature at Benton County Speedway on Sunday night.

Moffit didn’t pay anything for the car. It had just been sitting in his “yard of junk” for years.

“It would have been run as an old Hobby Stock in the 1970s and ’80s,” Moffit said. “We put the old body on it with just a little small block Ford (engine), 331 cubic inch with a two-barrel carburetor and a steel head.”

The driver of the yellow and white No. 51 car is Moffit’s buddy Scott Fridley, who lives halfway between Mechanicsville and Tipton.

“The attraction of this series is for a lot of the older people in the stands, the middle-aged crowd like myself,” Fridley said. “They like to see cars that they had in their teenage years and childhood that they can point at and say ‘I know what that is.’ I think that’s what makes it neat and popular.”

There are very few rules in the A.I.R.S. class with each car predating 1980.

“We all get $50 whether we win or go home broken,” Fridley said. “It doesn’t change the competition level because everyone still wants to win, but you’re not out their intentionally wiping someone out for $50.

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“It brings a little civility to it and we’re all friends and talk before and after. It’s a good time.”

While Fridley has teenagers in sports and a supportive wife who would “still prefer camping over racing,” Moffit doesn’t ever see a stop sign in his racing future.

“I’ve been doing this for 35 years,” Moffit said with a rolling chuckle. “It’s a sickness.”

Comments: justin.webster@thegazette.com

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