for Short Track Warriors www.shorttrackwarriors.com
By Joe Dunn
Chris Croinex of Crossville grew up watching dirt racing all over the area. A few years ago he helped his dad Dave build a Front Wheel Drive car to race at Atomic Speedway and the real bug finally got him.
He went home one day and started building a Cruiser car to race at the Tennessee Motor Speedway in Baxter. Racing the cruiser Chris won twice at Baxter and decided to move up, so he started building a Street Stock. In the interim, of course Baxter closed, so he started changing the car to meet the Atomic rules. Before he had a chance to race it at Atomic, that track closed, so it was back to rebuilding the car and this time he had it finished to race at Crossville.
In 2007 Chris won 3 features at Crossville and finished third in the points with his yellow #11 Monte Carlo sponsored by Butler Trucking, The Truss Shop and Advance Termite and Pest Control. He’s joined in the pits with his brother Tim and friend Tim Roach who act as his Pit Crew. Most race nights you will see the yellow #11 in the pits next to the red 11c front wheel drive of his Dad’s. Racing is truly a family experience for the Croinex family with Chris’s Mom, Wife and four kids along for support.
Racing for the Croinex family really is a labor of love, but as Chris said, “The hardest part of racing is that time is against you. Family is important and I need to spend time with my wife and kids and so racing gets what’s left over. So we just do the best we can to have the car ready and come out on race night to have some fun.”
Chris does, like most drivers, have aspirations to move up, but his thought are not dreams of Nascar, they are right here on the local dirt tracks. He is hopeful that within the next few years he may be able to move up to the Open Wheel Modifieds. That move will take some time and the hopes that the local tracks can keep the racing going. Chris sees the future of the local dirt tracks tied to an initiative to draw in more ‘new’ drivers to the sport. He feels that the tracks need to promote more to the kids out there rather than trying to get drivers to move from track to track. When asked what one change he would like to see in local dirt racing, he responded that they need a better separation in the classes. “Today, a young guy can start out cheap with a FWD for a few hundred dollars, but they need a class that they move into for $2500-3000 and there just isn’t one like that anymore.”
Watch for Chris this spring in his yellow #11 at Crossville Raceway, he’s sure to be running up front.