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In the Driver's Seat

d-tilbury-tsr

Lives in: Edgewood, New Mexico
Car number: 71

Dustin Tilbury is going a long way to avoid taking the easy way out.

d-tilbury-inaDustin Tilbury is going a long way to avoid taking the easy way out.

The 17-year-old high school junior and his father, Korry, could stay home and do all their racing at Motiva Speedway, where Tilbury was the X-Mod class champion as a rookie last year. Instead, about once a month they load their Circle Burner Chevrolet onto a trailer and head west from Edgewood, New Mexico, to compete in the Lucas Oil Modified Series presented by LoanMart.

"It's a really great series," Tilbury said. "The money's great, the tracks are great, everything about it is great."

The competition is great, too. Tilbury said "there's a lot more things you can learn out of this series" and that's why they decided to join it. But learning can exact its own price mentally and monetarily.

"We're enjoying it," said Tilbury, who entered the final two races last season and has been at all three this year, but has started just one main event.

"The hard thing for us, though, is going from always being on top, being the number one driver, to now you can be anywhere with this skill set of drivers. That's the hard thing we're trying to do now. We're just trying to make it into the show and we were always in the show at home.

"It gets frustrating. But it keeps you on your toes as far as making adjustments on the car. You're constantly back and forth trying to see what everyone else is doing versus what you're doing. You look at things you try to work on. Back home there's nothing really to work on, you've just got to make sure your car's fast, whereas out here you've got to be 100 percent each lap. That's what makes it hard."

It doesn't help, either, that Tilbury's experience in fast, full-sized race cars is limited. He said he started racing at 5 or 6 in a Quarter Midget and for the next six years moved through the various levels of that type of racing. He was out of racing for about a year, tried Bandoleros and won a championship, then raced a Legends car for a couple of years before moving into a Modified.

Tilbury has some sponsorship from two Albuquerque, New Mexico, companies – PG Enterprises and Flashcraft – but he and his father do all the prep work on the car. That occasionally becomes a chore because of time limitations, which makes the Lucas Oil Modified Series once a month schedule a perfect fit for them.

"It's been a good father and son thing," Tilbury said. "It's always fun to hang out with the family and do something you love doing at the same time. The traveling is what's making it fun.

"We get along pretty good all the time. If we didn't get along and it wasn't fun we really wouldn't be racing. That's what we still try to keep in our heads: if you're not having fun then why are you doing it?"

DUSTIN TILBURY AT A GLANCE

Age: 17 (17 August 1996)

Lives in: Edgewood, New Mexico

Marital status: Single

Occupation: Student

Car number: 71

Type of chassis: Circle Burner Race Cars

Engine: Chevrolet

Crew Chief: Korry Tilbury

Sponsors: PG Enterprises, Flashcraft

Years in racing: 12

Divisions raced: Bandoleros, Legends Cars, Unlimited Modifieds, Lucas Oil Modifieds

Titles and awards: Unlimited Modified champion, Napa Speedway, Albuquerque, 2013

Series point standings: T47 (2013)

Tracks

Havasu 95 SpeedwayHavasu 95 Speedway
Irwindale Event CenterIrwindale Event Center
Las Vegas Motor SpeedwayLas Vegas Motor Speedway
Madera SpeedwayMadera Speedway
Rocky Mountain RacewayRocky Mountain Raceway
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In the Driver's Seat

MICHAEL MITCHELL

Michael Mitchell

Lives in: Loomis, California
Car number: 77

Mike Mitchell got interested in racing when he was a boy. His dad owned race cars that others drove for him and to Mitchell it looked like something he’d like to try when he got old enough. By that time, however, his father had quit racing, so Mitchell turned to other things in his life.

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