In the Driver's Seat

William Guevara

Lives in: Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Car number: 55

William Guevara said that what first drew him to the Lucas Oil Modified Series presented by MAVTV the Motorsports Network was its reputation.

“People were saying it was the toughest series on the West Coast,” Guevara said. “We were seeing how long everyone had been in the series, and some were running up front and some were not, so we knew it would be a tough series.”

Four and a half seasons later Guevara still feels that way.

“It’s been fun and frustrating,” the Lake Havasu City, Arizona, resident said of his progress in the series he joined on April 19, 2014, for a race at Lucas Oil I-10 Speedway in Blythe, California.

“You have to learn all you can, and since there’s only one race every month or so that’s been a little harder for us. Most of the other tracks have their own modified series, but we don’t (at Havasu 95 Speedway). I run the Street Stocks here. The Modified helps me in the Street Stocks, to be more aggressive and run up front and win and learn more. But the speed in the cars is where the difference comes in.”

It has been the speed – of the cars and the series – that has been the biggest obstacle for Guevara, who will be 23 on August 12. He has won two Factory Stock championships at Havasu 95 Speedway but had limited experience when he joined the series, and he’s spent four-plus seasons trying to catch up.

Guevara, who will run his 45th race with the series in round two of the SpillVak Triple Crown at Irwindale, California, August 18, said that while he hasn’t become an overnight sensation, he hasn’t thought about doing something else, either.

“No, not yet at least,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of faith and I’m not a quitter, I never have been. I’m going to keep going until there’s no more to do. Sometimes I just take more time than everyone else, that’s how it’s always been, in school and sports and everything.

“This year is better. I’ve gotten used to a lot of the speed, little by little. It’s taken some time dealing with the speed and trying to keep up with the top guys, learning how hard everybody races and how hard you have to race all the time. You can see the difference with the top guys. They’re never falling back, they’re always pushing it. But the learning part is the fun part.”

Guevara, who is taking classes at Mohave Community College in pursuit of a business degree, said one thing he is sure of is his improvement as a driver.

“Yeah, much better with pressure,” he said. “You get used to pressure and driving aggressively, you get used to the way the car handles, and the speeds and the size of the tracks. You start having a little more fun, just getting involved more.”

There’ll be another layer of fun at Irwindale, too, because after trying to work with outside help the team has been streamlined to William, his father Jose and mother Flora, whose business Flowers Assisted Living is the primary sponsor for the No. 55 Race Car Factory Chevrolet.

“It’s a little more fun and less complicated with just us doing it and not having to rely on somebody else or impress somebody else,” said Guevara, who does get help between races from friends at home. “It’s better that way. We might have some tough times, but we’ll always end up figuring it out.

“You just keep trying and trying and hoping, that’s all you can do. It takes time, but I’m not worried about time. I’ve got a lot of that.”


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In the Driver's Seat

Ryan Schartau

Ryan Schartau

Age: 16 (2 October 2002)
Lives in: Chino, California
Marital status: Single
Occupation: Student; sophomore at Ontario Christian High School
Car number: 7r
Type of chassis: RBK-STR
Engine: Chevrolet
Crew Chief: Dean Kuhn
Sponsors: Scott Brothers Dairy; SpillVak; Team RBK Years in racing: 11 years Divisions raced: Go-karts, Trophy Karts, Legends Cars, Late Models, Lucas Oil Modifieds
Series point standings: First year

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