Interview with SportMod Champion Trent Rotheagle
By Greg Soukup
When I originally tried to arrange my interview with the 2017 Eagle Raceway IMCA Sport Modified points champion, I was advised that he was going to be busy getting ready for a science competition where he was going to be a moderator. That may not sound like your typical dirt track racer’s down-time activity, but this young man isn’t typical.
The 20-year old from Columbus, Nebraska began racing go-karts at the age of 7. He stayed in them until he was 11. After a couple of years off, he started again in the IMCA Sport Modified class after reaching the minimum IMCA age of 14. In just his fifth year he managed a class championship; something many drivers with decades of experience have yet to achieve.
I asked what he thought of his points victory. “I’m really enjoying it! There’s a lot of heavy hitters at Eagle Raceway. They used to race other classes and they’re kind of dropping down. They aren’t ready to get out of the sport, and they’re still really hard to beat. Then there’s those other guys who are just getting into the sport. They’re really fast as well”.
Trent comes from a racing family with a rich and deep background in the sport. “I’m a fourth generation racer. My great-grandpa Dale started racing, then grandpa Reggie ran Late Models until about 2000 or 2002. My Dad raced Late Models from the mid-90’s until my brother Anthony who runs IMCA Modifieds and I started to race”.
Trent and his brother pretty much do all of the work on both of their cars. “Anthony and I do most of it. Dad will come and check up on us; making sure that the set-up sheet looks good and that’s about all. I couldn’t do this without my dad and my crew chief Kenny though. Kenny comes and checks all of the bolts and helps out throughout the week”.
Asked about competing at Eagle, Trent said “Eagle is a great atmosphere. The fans are fantastic! There’s nowhere else that I’ve raced that is even comparable to the atmosphere at Eagle. The track is really racy; I’ve got to thank Roger for that, and everyone else at Eagle”.
“I want to thank my brother Anthony, my family, my friends, the fans and everyone else who helps to make it possible for me to do this. My sponsors of course. Race season is right around the corner and I can’t wait to get 2018 going strong!!”.