Interview with SSN Champion Adam Gullion
By Greg Soukup
This week, I spoke to your 2017 Sprint Series of Nebraska champion, Adam Gullion. The 32-year old pilot from Lincoln, Nebraska began racing at a very early age.
“I started racing when I was 11. My Dad bought me a mini-sprint when I was 10, but it sat for a year because he owned a modified down at Beatrice. A family friend was going to buy it, but they couldn’t get the deal done. So, my Dad ended up buying a Chevy dually pickup from him, and in the deal also got the mini-sprint with it. I began racing it at Greenwood Speedway, and then moved up to a 600 restricted for about 7 or 8 races. We were competitive, but we kind of struggled. After those races were over we’d take the restrictors out and go race. The increased horsepower and speed seemed to help me out. You had to be 14 at the time in order to race the open class, but we were able to get me grandfathered in. That let us run the rest of the year in the open class. We actually picked up a feature win at the end of the year. The following 2 years we won the championship both years, along with rookie of the year the first year. I kind of progressed through the ranks, from micros to 360 sprints and now the Racesaver sprints. It’s been a fun time”.
When asked about his time in the Racesaver class, Adam said “I ran the first Racesaver Nationals held at Eagle Raceway. I had just gotten married that summer. My wife and I had pretty much put everything we had into my 360 operation, spending just an astronomical amount of money on it; but all it did was blow up!! We honestly got tired of it, and I was on the verge of selling out. But, my crew chief got together with a couple of people and rented an Assasin Racing Racesaver engine from Roger Hadan just to run that first Racesaver Nationals, and I think we finished third or fourth! We had a really, really good time that weekend. So, that winter they talked me into getting rid of my 360 stuff. I sold my 360 engine for a complete Racesaver sprint; motor and all. That’s all I’ve been racing ever since for the past 4 years. Don’t get me wrong, every class of racing has its own challenges. The Racesavers have their challenges with the lower horsepower and torque, but it’s a level playing field. Honestly, this class makes me appreciate championships and feature wins even more. Because now it doesn’t come down to the best motor, but it’s about the set-up and the driver. It makes winning harder, but it also makes it more important. Now, if you can win a race or a championship, overall it means that you had the best team and best driver for that season”.
Having created the Sprint Series of Nebraska to allow the local drivers more opportunities to race and accumulate points for the national IMCA championship pace, Roger Hadan has decided to not schedule races for the series this year due to 2 additional tracks in the area competing. This gives area competitors 2 additional nights to race.
I asked Adam if he would miss the chase. “Yeah, I will. I’m older now and I have a little boy with another child on the way. Racing for my family is the same way it is for most families I would think. It’s very family oriented! We’ve always made sure that the whole family is included. My mother-in-law goes, my parents go, and of course my wife and son. All of the people involved we spend a lot of time with; we do Christmases together. It’s all family oriented. Travelling for me is a time that you get to set in the back of the toter home, watch movies, tell stories and laugh with each other. I really enjoyed that part of the Sprint Series of Nebraska. Racing at different venues gives you new challenges and chances to learn new things. That part was fun, but I’m going to miss travelling with my families and friends. I’d really like to see Roger bring the series back some time, but if not we’ll try to do some travelling anyway. We’ll still be at Eagle Raceway weekly, but we’ll go somewhere when we’re not at Eagle. My nephew is going to start racing a micro-sprint on Fridays. He’s going to run in the restrictor class and I’m going to run in the non-winged class. My racing has always been family oriented, so if we’re going to race it’s going to be as a family; that’s one of the biggest reasons that I enjoy racing”.
He concluded the interview by relating “I want to thank everyone for all of their help and support. Races are won in the shop, and championships are won because of the dedication of multiple people. The driver gets all of the accolades, but it shouldn’t be that way. It’s definitely the pit crew who makes it possible. I wouldn’t be able to even race if it wasn’t for them and all of my sponsors”.