Wheatland, Missouri (February 8th, 2022) – Dylan Hoover is like many aspiring young racers across the county, a true grass roots racer from the start who has dreams of reaching the big time. The 28-year old driver realizes turning that dream into reality is easier said than done, but in 2022 he will get the long awaited opportunity to showcase his talents behind the wheel when he competes full time with the Lucas Oil MLRA in hopes of becoming the next Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Year.
Racing has always been a family affair for the third generation driver, as he follows in the footsteps of his father and grandfather who was a long time car owner. The start for Dylan came in the modified ranks for a number of years before making the progression into the limited and now open late model ranks.
“Late models were their thing, so that’s why we decided to get back into late models,” noted Hoover of his families racing background. “A good friend of mine Dave Miller offered me an opportunity to drive his late model and I did that for a year and we won a couple of races. From there we just decided if we were going to run his we might as well get our own late model.”
“We started off with one and ended up getting a second, so we had a limited and a super and always just focused on the limited late model to get ready for the super late model side of things. Last year was our first full year of just nothing but super late model racing and we learned a lot. So now I feel like we’ve got the new car coming, we finally have the bigger horsepower, and the best equipment to be able to do this. We have just never had the equipment like we do now to be able to do this.”
Using the ULMA (United Late Model Association) series as his entry into late model racing seemed like a natural progression for Hoover, but one that he acknowledges still left a big learning curve for their eventual move to open late models. “It’s a huge transition just from the shear horsepower of the cars and the competition that you’re racing against. The driving and set-up, hard tires vs. soft tires, there is just so much. It was good for us to run ULMA to be able to get back in with the late models and make this next step.”
In 2021 Hoover and team proved to be a quick study, as he picked up four open late model wins at the Randolph County Raceway in Moberly, MO. “I would say that ULMA was a good stepping stone for us but it really wasn’t enough, we just really had to get out there and just do it with the super and race it. Now after last year, our knowledge on the shocks and the set-up is just so much better and it’s there now where it wasn’t before.”
The Columbia, Missouri product may have high expectations and goals for the season ahead but he knows he needs to make the best of the opportunity presented in order to have a chance at making it on a higher level. “I want to be there in some of the bigger races. I’m not saying I necessarily want to win them, but I want people to know that I was there. Just like making the Show-Me 100 and running good in the Show-Me. Some of these bigger races where there are a lot of eyes on you, I’m ready to leave my mark either by winning the race or going out with a bang trying.”
“I feel like I’m just one of them hidden jems just like everybody else. All over the country there are tons of us guys that are bad ass race car drivers that just don’t have the funding like some of the other people do so we don’t get to go race every weekend. I’m not really looking into this as my rookie year, coming in saying hey I want to run top five or top ten, it’s all or nothing.”
Chasing points is not something Hoover is accustomed to and it’s a new trait he admits may be difficult to adjust to. “It’s weird for me to do a rookie of the year deal because I’m not a points racer, it’s just not typically how we race or how we operate. I won’t go ride around in the back to just try and get points it’s just not in my DNA,” he exclaims. “It might be something that we adjust to this year, but I don’t see that happening, we want to win races.”
Hoover joins already committed drivers Trevor Gundaker & Daniel Hilsabeck, as early entries for the MLRA’s Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Year award. The rookie class will be competing for a share of$4,000 in cash and six drums of racing fuel from Sunoco, along with a new pair of Fox Racing Shocks valued at $5,300.
With the start of the MLRA season just over two months away, Hoover and team are preparing to pick up a new 2022 XR-1 Rocket chassis this week that will be powered by a Creason Racing Engine for the upcoming MLRA season. “My grandpa has put a lot on the line for me, he is a huge part of this. He lined up all the horsepower I need and with my dad’s support and all our sponsors that are helping us to get this new car, I’m just very thankful for the opportunity and can’t wait for it to start. I‘m ready to race with the big dogs, it’s what I grew up wanting to do and its finally time.”
DHR–Dylan Hoover Racing Partners: Hoover Rental Properties, Timbrook Motorsports Productions, Asphalt Sealcoating & Striping, Jeff Miller Farms, Jones Abrasive Waterjet Services, Wulff Pumps, Fast Lane Tire & Auto, Bee Seen Signs LLC, Ron Klick Performance-RKP, Randy Korte Consulting, Lucas Oil, Creason Racing Engines, Rocket Chassis, Lone Wolf Motorsports.
Special Thanks: Mike Hoover, Roger Hoover, Ashley Klick, & Kemp Lamm