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SPOTLIGHT ON SPEED: SHANE WETTENGEL

You know you've had a successful racing career when you have trouble recalling how many times you've taken the checkered flag.

Topekan Shane Wettengel, a four-time track champion in two divisions, is in that enviable position.

"I can't count the wins,'' the 39-year-old Wettengel said. "I would imagine it's quite a few. There's a lot of trophies sitting on the shelf.''

Wettengel has won two track championships in both the Hobby Stock and Factory Stock divisions and swept both divisions in the same season.

Wettengel is off to another hot start in the Factory Stock class this spring, winning Saturday's A-main feature at HPT.com Speedway.

"I like this because we can rub every once in a while,'' said Wettengel, who drives the No. 91 car.

Wettengel would like to move up to the Modified division at some point in his career, but won't make that jump until the time is right.

"I've raced since the Topeka Raceway days, which is quite a long time ago,'' Wettengel said. "What I do in my racing, and what's able to keep me racing, is I do what I can afford. We always have higher expectations and we would like to be A-Mod, but I'm not going to burn myself out in this game. I've seen a lot of people come and go and I'm just happy to enjoy racing.''

Wettengel, a mechanic by trade, is proud of the fact that he builds what he runs.

"All the cars that I have are from the late '80s and they're all hand built, from head to toe,'' he said. "I don't buy anything from anybody other than the parts than I need to do what I need.

"It gives me more enjoyment that way.''

While Wettengel is still focused on his own career, he also spends a lot of time these days guiding the fledgling career of the his nine-year-old son, Jaylen.

"My son races two Quarter-Midgets and he's an awesome little driver, he's unbelievable,'' Wettengel said.

"He surprised the heck out of me (last week). He almost won both races, he led most of it. I'm just grinning from ear to ear.''

Shane said it's harder on his nerves to watch Jaylen than it is when he's racing his own car.

"I can't eat, I pace the floor when I'm walking out there, but I have fun,'' Wettengel said.

Shane said that the Wettengels as a whole are a racing family.

"I came into naturally and my wife, Julie, she's a wonderful woman and her grandfather won championships in the '50s,'' Wettengel said. "It's just wonderful is what it is.''

And just a few years from now it will be Jaylen's turn to drive a stock car.

"I hope he gets as much enjoyment out of it as I do,'' Wettengel said. "That way we can do it together.''

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HPT.com will feature driver profiles throughout the 2009 season. If you would like to see a profile on a dirt track, drag or road course racer send a few details and contact information to Rick Peterson at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .