Interview with 2017 Sport Compact Champion Tommy Ethertoneagle
By Greg Soukup
It’s been 4 months since the season ended, and with nearly 10 weeks left before Eagle Raceway kicks off its 2018 season, I wanted to help fill that empty feeling we all get this time of year. So, this week kicks off a series of interviews with last year’s champions, starting with your 2017 IMCA Sport Compact victor and winner of the Young Gun award at the Eagle Raceway banquet.
Tommy Etherton, 18, from Lincoln is in just his 3rd year ever racing. “I actually got a ride in my sister’s car (Melissa) when she had to sit out a couple of weeks due to injury. I had never raced anything before that; I started in the compact at Eagle Raceway. Then I just stayed with it ever since” related Etherton.
When asked if he was enjoying the experience, he said “Oh! I’m loving it!! It’s a lower class, and I wish that I could move up, but it’s always competitive and always a lot of fun. It’s affordable for sure, and a lot of the people in our class are a heck of a driver. But, it’s easy to afford and I think that’s why a lot of people race in the class”.
When asked what was different this season that allowed him to become the points champion he stated “We ran a lot more consistent this year. I don’t think we ever even ran outside of the top 10 this year. We maybe didn’t have a winning car each and every week, but we knew that if we were consistent and were there every week that we would be up there at the end. We didn’t get even 1 win this year, but we didn’t have any mechanical problems or anything. It ended up being a great season”.
I then asked what it was like, being the Eagle Raceway champion. He replied “It still hasn’t really sunk in yet. But, it means a lot to me for sure. A lot of those drivers out there have been doing it for so long, and it’s everybody’s ultimate goal to win at Eagle. I want to thank my parents, Kenny and Angie Johnson, and all of my friends for helping me be able to race and get this honor. They all do so much for me. I also want to thank the fans for all of the support they showed me throughout the year. Lastly, I want to thank Roger, Michelle and Racine for giving us such a great track to race at every weekend. We will definitely be back next year trying to make it 2 in a row!!”.