By no means way too outdated to begin racing vehicles

Ferden commenced driving at Hawkeye Downs at 57, and nevertheless is discovering at 61 John Ferden of Swisher (9) prepares to head on to the keep track of in his Legend Sequence car for incredibly hot laps at Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Cliff […]

Ferden commenced driving at Hawkeye Downs at 57, and nevertheless is discovering at 61

Never too old to start racing cars

John Ferden of Swisher (9) prepares to head on to the keep track of in his Legend Sequence car for incredibly hot laps at Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Cliff Jette/Freelance for The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — John Ferden is proof that it is never ever too late to are living your goals.

A indigenous of the Mason Town space, Ferden started out aiding other drivers again house when he was 15. A several several years ago, at the time his youngest 3 daughters — who are at this time aged 20, 19 and 16 — have been “aged plenty of,” he commenced assisting a close friend with his SportMod at Independence.

That lifted a query from his spouse of 27 several years, Gina, who wondered out loud why he wasn’t driving his very own car?

“I instructed her I’m 57 a long time aged,” Ferden claimed. “She reported I wasn’t much too outdated. (My spouse) was the most important affect.”

So the couple drove to Kalona and the salesman permit Ferden try out it initial to make positive he actually wanted to drive it.

“I did!” Ferden stated. “Then, I purchased a car.”

Now, Ferden races weekly in the Legends division at Hawkeye Downs and is slowly and gradually getting the practical experience wanted to make his self confidence in the automobile.

“My initial warmth race I believed, ‘I’ll just go (the car in front of me)'” Ferden explained. “I punched it and spun out correct absent and ended up from the wall.”

Then the day prior to the derecho, Ferden strike the wall in Vinton and needed support from Dave McCalla to set his trip back with each other, yet again. The camaraderie amongst all of the drivers is vital to Ferden, who failed to expand up at Hawkeye Downs like a lot of of his youthful peers have.

“Everyone is out to assistance a single a different,” Ferden stated. “Even although we want to beat you on the monitor, if we wreck a car or tear a little something up, they are the 1st types to assistance you place it again together. It is a unique detail.”

One more exclusive thing is the assistance Ferden has from his spouse Gina, who advised him to get into the vehicle in the very first position.

“You truly have to have their assistance, simply because it usually takes so a lot time,“ Ferden claimed. “I’ve questioned if we should not promote the automobile and set our resources in other places, but my wife says ‘No, we’re not executing that.’”

Even though you can come across Ferden residing his lifelong desire every single Friday evening at Hawkeye Downs, you is not going to locate the 61-year-outdated (his birthday was Thursday) seeking to relive his youth as a result of racing.

(from remaining) Legends Series drivers Austin Slabaugh of Kalona (6) and John Ferden of Swisher (9) chat n the pits about Slabaughs vehicle as they wait around for the Legends Series scorching laps at Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Cliff Jette/Freelance for The Gazette)

“The more youthful fellas acquire more likelihood than us older fellas,“ Ferden mentioned. “I’m joyful to load it in just one piece. I’m not essentially likely to earn, but if I can end respectable, maybe in the leading 10, I am content with that.“

Jacquelin Burkhammer

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