Mitch Manternach, a 25-year-old Maquoketa Valley alum from Earlville, took a very direct route to becoming a racecar driver.
“My dad is a gear head and got me a go kart when I was in first or second grade,” said Manternach, who won a heat race Wednesday night as 300 Raceway in Farley opened.
Manternach, finance director at Victory Ford in Dyersville during the day, raced into his high school days, including capturing a national title his freshman year, before other extracurricular activities took over.
Now Team Manternach has a new goal in his sixth season of racing full-size cars, his first in the IMCA late models class.
“We want to win national rookie of the year,” Manternach said. “We want to accomplish something we haven’t ever accomplished while supporting as many local tracks as we can.”
Manternach, like every driver, relies on friends and family to double as his crew.
“My father, Todd, is a huge help,” Manternach said. “He does everything from get it ready, to going to the track with me.”
Mitch’s mother, Melissa, is a huge supporter from the stands, as well, along with his fiancé Michelle.
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“I’m just chasing my dream,” Manternach said. “You walk in the pits and you always see the families at the trailers preparing the cars and supporting their drivers. It’s a huge family-oriented sport and I think that’s what makes it so special, the community is very strong.”