By Dan Stillwell
Register-Herald Sports Writer
It was tough for Midway’s Shane Greco to give up racing his go-kart.
But something had to give.
“Dad bought it for me when I was seven years old and I raced it until I was 17,” Greco said. “I got too big for it, being 6-foot-6.”
Fortunately, his family bought him a full-sized racer, a Crate model, and it’s working out fine for the recent Independence High School graduate.
After taking his lumps for a year, Greco is making his name known at local dirt tracks.
He has four wins this season, three at Thunder Mountain Speedway and another at his home track, Beckley Motorsports Park.
Experience, and knowing the car better, has made a huge difference.
“It’s seat time, mostly,” Greco said. “We had a couple of things we didn’t know about the car last year, and it messed me up. But we got it straightened out and have started off good.”
His father worked many years with Joe Meadows, and the veteran Crab Orchard racer has been a big help with Greco. He sponsored the go-kart car, and offers advice for racing with the big boys.
“Joe knows anything you ask him,” Greco said. “He can tell about the car by just looking at it. I’m really glad he’s helped me along the way.”
It’s been an exciting season for Greco, with a memorable first win at Thunder Mountain.
He led early, then got hit by another car.
“I dropped down to third and had to work my way back up to the lead,” Greco said. “The caution came out, and I led the last five laps. I had it hooked up pretty good that night.”
Best of all was the June 21 win at Beckley Motorsports Park.
“That win beats the other three,” he said. “You’ve got all your sponsors and friends that come out. Everybody knows you around Beckley. It was just awesome to win.”
Greco tells his friends that dirt track racing is harder than it looks because of the behind-the-scenes maintenance, and getting the car set up.
He also says Friday and Saturday nights on a dirt track is “a whole lot more exciting than NASCAR. It’s not just ‘follow the leader.’”
Greco is probably better known as a three-year player for the Independence basketball team.
He’s had an offer to play this winter for Bluefield State College, but he plans to offer his services to UC-Beckley for at least one year.
“I’ll have to cut back on racing a little bit, but it won’t be too bad since racing ends in October, when basketball starts up,” he said.
Greco is currently sponsored by Barkers Junk Company in Mabscott and Dr. Michael Smith Dentistry in Crab Orchard. He’d like to get more help.
Anyone interested can contact him at 304-890-5510.