James Trethewey: Mini-stock champion | TheUnion.com

James Trethewey: Mini-stock champion

At 19, James Trethewey can call himself “champion”. This Bear River High School graduate has a growing collection of trophies earned through his “hobby” of auto racing.

Trethewey finished the 2006 season at Roseville’s All-American Speedway as the top mini-stock driver, taking home the championship trophy. You might say racing is a Trethewey family thing.

“My dad (Richard Trethewey) has raced cars for awhile and I grew up watching him, and then he had plans to build another car. He let me take a few hot laps (practice laps at full speed) and I really liked that. I enjoyed racing, and that’s how I got hooked,” Trethewey said. He started racing three years ago, running mini-stock practice sessions just after he obtained his driver’s license. Midway through last season, Trethewey began racing mini-stock cars on a regular basis, completing a full season in Roseville this year.

Although the All-American Speedway is the closest racetrack to the Threthewey’s south county home, they also race in Lakeport, California. “I can hold my own at Lakeport,” Trethewey says. “I’m not used to that track and that’s half the thing right there, it’s so different. You’re never really letting off the throttle, you have to drive very differently than you do at Roseville.”

Trethewey chose to race mini-stock cars primarily because his car had already been built by his father. But Trethewey has his eye on a different prize. “I have plans to build a street stock from a Monte Carlo (Chevrolet) frame,” Trethewey said, a car he also hopes to race in Roseville.

Although he says he still has a lot to learn, Trethewey increased his knowledge of driving techniques this year, particularly the advantages of ‘drafting’* with another race car. “The speeds that I was racing at before, they were faster than most of the pack, and then another faster car came out and just in following him, I was able to drop my lap times faster than what I was already going, just from following someone else.”

Right now Trethewey calls his racing a hobby, not a profession. But if the right opportunity came along, he would certainly consider pursuing racing as a career. His dad says James has enough talent to make it in the big leagues of racing. “As many laps as I have driven my car, he’s faster right out of the box than I ever was,” says Richard, “and he seems to have a natural ability to know what it is the car needs to go faster. He also knows when to take care of it and when not to put himself or his car in jeopardy.”

For young people thinking about racing as a hobby or career, Trethewey has this advice: “If anyone has any interest or aspiration to want to race, there’s plenty of people out there that would help. You just have to do a little research and figure out what tracks are open and available, what divisions there are, what the rules are.” Trethewey recommends All-American Speedway as a good place to start because “there’s a lot of nice people there and a lot of people will help you out.”

With his dad employed as the service manager at Weaver Auto and Truck Center, it seems only natural that James would follow his footsteps into the field of auto mechanics. He is currently a journeyman technician learning the ropes in Weaver’s service center and wouldn’t mind making auto mechanics his profession. “I want to stay closely related to cars because that’s what I like to do. I like cars,” Trethewey said.

*Definition of Drafting: When a car travels through the air, it leaves a gap behind it. Another car driving in this gap doesn’t have as much air resistance pushing on it’s nose and can then travel faster or use less fuel to travel the same speed. Watch a NASCAR race at Daytona or Talladega to see drafting in action.

Nuts and bolts: The 2006 racing season is officially over at the All American Speedway, but plans are already in the works for improvements to the track for both competitors and spectators by the time the next season opens on April 7, 2007. More information is available at HYPERLINK “http://www.allamercanspeedway.com” http://www.allamercanspeedway.com or by calling 916-786-2025.

NASCAR update: The race at Martinsville shook up the points lead in the Nextel Cup Chase For The Championship. An engine failure dropped last week’s leader, Jeff Burton, to 5th place, 48 points behind new leader, Matt Kenseth. With four more races to go, the championship is up for grabs. Next race is the 1 ? mile oval at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Georgia on Sunday.

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