erenninger

erenninger

Tuesday, 25 November 2014 23:48

Parts for Sale

Arts Expansion Tank - $95.00

artstank

Wilson 2bbl Manfiold $75.00

IMG 0137

IMG 0138

 

16" Seat with Bicknell Plate and Kirkey Cusions $65.00

IMG 0135

IMG 0136

 

Tuesday, 30 September 2014 01:42

Final Points at Grandview Speedway: 9th

Well our goal this year was to finish races and place in the top 10 in points, although I was really gunning for 5th, I guess we can call it mission accomplished.

I still somehow feel we left a lot on the table, I blinked and the season was over. 

This was a year that was earned, starting 6th on back in the heats was quite an effort this year to get into the feature, it wasn't something that was automatic and a couple times...nail bitting. 

Many times in the feature I would be starting 20 something and finish up 10th or 11th.erikrace

As far as finishing races, up until the last two races I had finished every lap of every race. The past two races had me miss 8 laps due to a black flag and an over aggressive driver who tore apart my rear suspension, I still drove both times back to the pits. 

Not one time on the hook this year, that is what needs to happen, finish the race bring the car back make it better and not rush around fixing things, and this year we were able to do just that.

I went down a few different path this year that didn't work out and I ended up back where I was a year ago, I hate to say this Ive done this before. 

I now KNOW that I have finally learned that I know what I'm doing and I know what the car and I need to be competitive. Sometimes you go searching for things that are just not there. 

I'm having a hard time calling this season a success because I don't feel like it really was one. Yet, as I mentioned during the course of this year I have passed more cars (earned passes) this year than my entire past 7 years of racing. We have also taken great care of our equipment and our engine program did not miss a beat, but did take a decent amount of attention, attention that kept it all together. 

I suppose these are the successes, in past season we have missed weeks with getting engines fixed or going to a back up chassis. The past two years I have missed at least 5 races per season, this season 8 laps. 

I know we needed to first be able to finish a season like this to have a shot at one day winning a championship. That goal is at the end of the tunnel for sure, at least this current tunnel I'm looking down. 

I'm sure someone would say championship, ha good luck with that but I say why not me. I feel were not to far out, I just need to stay on the right path and continue in that direction and have focus. 

This off season we will be building a new car, mainly a new chassis and I'm still debating on what I will do with this years car, either keep it as a backup or part it out.

As of now I'm going to do two more races, this Friday night at Grandview and Bridgeport in a few weeks for the Friends of Mike race. 

I would like to thank my Dad for everything he does to keep me going, without him I would never be this far along and may have packed it up a few times already. 

Also my crew at the track and at the shop who without I would never get to the track or be able to pull off a season like this with being at every single race and almost every single lap. 

And last and surely not least I would thank the fans. You hear that so often but what does that really mean:

It means I thank people like Whippy for simply existing 
I thank the people that have come up to me in the pits and asked questions, or simply came to check out the car
I thank the photographers that take pictures and videos of me and my car to which there never can be enough of
I thank the people who write about my team and help tell the story 
I thank people that come to my facebook page and like something
I thank the people that write to me on facebook, twitter, or youtube 
I thank the guy who takes time out his day to help me 
I thank the fellow racer who lends me a tool or part, helps change a tire, or just helps me out
I thank anyone who simply takes an interest because at times with this sport you feel in your own world and sometimes a simple gestures goes a long way.

And now...I thank my beautiful wife Andrea who simply puts up with this Sh!T...ha ha! and lets not kid anyone she surely helps me along the way here in so many ways.

Thursday, 05 June 2014 02:18

2014 Meet and Greet

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Sunday, 06 April 2014 00:00

Results April 5th 2014

Results: Season Opener April 5th 2014 Heat 7th Feature 15th

Well considering I pretty much conceded that I would miss opening day, the fact that we were there was good enough for me. 

When we got to the track we were still finishing up the car, down to the last couple of buttons and jam nuts. 

I knew I wasn't to dialed in but wanted to shake the car down and very happy that we did make it to the track because we found an issue with the carburetor. We tried to sort that out before the feature and did get it better but it still wasn't right.

Also add to the fact the big ditch in turn 3 I had no plans of going hard and was pretty much ready to take a few laps and pull off, but as usual nothing goes at planned. Before I made it to the start line when the green dropped I was into a spinning car and jacked up from behind. Not quite what I had in mind for opening day.

No real damage to the car but the body was a little torn up so with the body christened I figured no time like the present and finished up the race. 

All off season I tried to do everything possible to be ready well in advance but that was not in the cards this year and we were pretty much behind the 8 ball till today. I would look at this race pretty much like a practice session and looking forward to the next few weeks and see how well we can get our car dialed in. So far the little bit I felt with things, It should be a great season.

Thursday, 17 April 2014 01:12

Results April 12th 2014

Results April 12th 2014 Grandview Speedway – Heat 2nd Feature 9th

A new year, a few new things, and a new hope and into the first heat race of the night we went. I started in the 4th spot and quickly jumped into third on the first lap adjusting to the new feel of things. After clicking off a few more laps I took over the 2nd place position and by the end was challenging for the lead only to fall a car length short. 

After the heat race I felt pretty good as if things had all come together finally.

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My heat performance would set me 4th in the feature line up and I had my hands full with a tight car to start off and fell back to the 6th position by the time the first caution came out. 

On the first restart the car in front of me had an issue and stalled out right in front of me and we tangled up a bit as the entire field when by us. I assumed the yellow would come out as we both tapped the wall but that never happened and back to the throttle I went. 

I had some serious ground to make up to catch the tail end of the field but nonetheless I was back in it. 

I had made some adjustments prior to the restart and they worked because within a few laps I was making my way through the field, a bit of a new situation for me as usually I am trying to hang on to a top spot.

Things were just working finally, each lap I kept gaining a position or two and ended up the night in 9th place. You would think we won a race in the pits afterwards because it felt pretty dam good to come back like that. 

I know we have something this year; we only touched the surface of what we can accomplish. For now, like always, its one small step at a time.

Friday, 21 February 2014 22:55

History

Racing started at an early age for the Renninger men. With Wayne, his first experience was at Dorney Park, at the age of six. Wayne went to watch his uncle at Dorney Park who was the head mechanic on his cousins Wally Smith's #44 coupe. Wally was running in the Sportsman Division at the time.

From that night on Wayne was hooked on racing 

Throughout his adolescence Wayne spoke highly of racing recalling his earliest memories at Dorney Park in Allentown, PA. One memory was a rainy day in 1973 when Wayne finally got into a racecar for the very first time. 

Wayne had helped out on his cousins team (Dave Miller) for a few seasons who was running the former Freddy Adams 36 Chevy Sedan (the brown 48).  One night after the rain had subsided Wayne took the car out onto the track for a few laps to help dry the track.  “What a rush” being strapped in and seeing the fans so close at the bull ring, Wayne said feeling like Star.

Wayne’s first night out was historic too as the throttle got jammed open, resulting in flipped the car upside down. After the team flipped the car  right side up Wayne fired the car back up and tried to drive back into the lineup.    The official had a different plan for Wayne as they directed him back to the pits shouting “you’re not going anywhere, you’re done for the night."

The next 5 years turned out to be the best and most memorable of Wayne’s career.  Heat wins, top 10 finishes, lots of broken parts, always 2nd to the best, but unfortunately no feature wins.

Years later, Wayne decided to move into dirt track racing. This move called for the replacement of his out classed sedan that had been competitive at Dorney.

Wayne bought the former champion’s, Don Loder, car from Art Keiser. This brought out  the first taste of methanol and drag tires.  Wayne moved on to purchase the  former 606 from Francis Hardener. From there his racing career continued with trips to Nazareth, Susquehanna, Big Diamond, Bridgeport, and Reading Small Blocks.

 As Wayne moved into the Krits Pinto he reunited with Wally’s (#44) son Boop going to Penn National.  Dave Kelly drove this car with the small blocks at Reading.   In 1986 Wayne bought his cousins Dave’s pinto, a former Thomas bros modified built for Pocono Raceway. 

From 1973 thru 1986 Wayne primarily raced on dirt.  Wayne owned his own cars the whole time, racing some of the last races ever at Dorney Park.

In 1981 Wayne purchase a quarter midget for his son Erik at the age of 5 to race at the Lehigh Valley Quarter Midget club. Erik enjoyed a two year run with the club capturing a handful of feature wins. While racing both Wayne’s modified and Erik’s quarter midget new sports like baseball and football began to take Erik’s interest. Costing a lot less then racing, the sports had taken over, for now.

At a time when life priorities had shifted, racing would come to an end for Erik and Wayne.

As racing was over….Dorney, Mahoning, Evergreen, Nazareth, Flemington, Reading, all gone as Wayne had know them as time passed.


 It would be 17 years before Wayne would get into a racecar again.  In 1999 Wayne was entering into his 50’s and he purchased a 1997 Bicknell from Mike Kelly.  This brought Wayne’s racing passion back to life; however, things had changed radically over the time spent away from racing.  Starting in the back, not qualifying, crashing took a toll on his spirit. 

Determined not to let go of racing Wayne said "my sons will drive my car". 

Chad (Waynes youngest son) was the first to get in the car at Grandview, feeling what strapping into a dirt modified was all about.  Chad was able to get around the track very well and kept it together.  During one of the heat races the leaders were dicing by and managed to send Chad into the infield and closed out his first night.

Next it would be Erik’s turn to strap in.  Erik turned to his younger brother Chad for advice on getting through the first day.  Chad was essential for getting Erik mentally prepared for the upcoming day.  Near the end of the racing season in 2000 Erik would finally get his first experience in the dirt modified.  Erik jumped at the chance to buckle up and see what racing was all about at the modified level. Erik and Wayne went to Susquehanna for their first run together as grown men.

 The first day brought many lessons, starting the car, practicing getting the car into 2nd gear, getting a feel for the steering and braking.  

 Erik’s first green flag turned out to be one of the biggest rushes of his life, surpassing  all other moments in sports (wrestling and rugby) played over the years.  After, his first heat Erik had returned to the pits to report that the steering wheel may have been a little close to the dashboard, and his bloody knuckles supported this.  Erik qualified for the feature.   

In the feature Wayne told Erik to just take the green and we would work together later to  get the car better set up for you.  Erik took the green and kept saying “one more lap” “one more lap” in his head.  Unfortunately, Erik only completed three laps in the feature when the engine quit, thus bringing the night to an early close.

 A number of years would pass until the Renninger men got their second shot.  Erik was working in NYC and Wayne was looking for ways to get the engine back together on a very low budget.  Erik and Wayne tried to get a new engine for their re-introduction in to the racing arena, and were successful near the end of the 2007 racing season. 

 Erik, was thrown into the fire early by racing a number of heavy competitors in the modified division at Grandview and Big Diamond.  With an older (1997) car and little knowledge of the technology of racing frustration set in for the team. 

 Fortunately as history repeats itself Erik did get bit by the “Bug” just as his father had. 

 One defining moment was at an open competition night at Grandview Speedway in 2007.  Erik was running in the consolation race and the leaders were approaching fast on his tail.  Erik raced as close to the infield as possible when a leading car launched itself off Erik’s back wheel and into the wall.  

 Erik was instructed by the official to turn off his car as it was a red flag.  As Erik glumly turned off his car, he was fully introduced to a booing crowd and an official’s verbal lecture.

 On top of hearing his name being yelled out loud with comments about getting off the track and being called a “bum” (two of the cleanest comments), Erik’s sprits about continuing were defiantly in question.

 This was not easy for Erik to shake off and it showed on the restart as Erik was caught by the leaders in no time.  Erik pulled into the pits to see an offical running over to his car, assuing the worst was yet to happen.   Thankfully an official came charging over to the car who was in the turn of the accident and said “hey kid, don’t beat yourself up it wasn't’t your fault, you were as close to the rail as possible”.  A much needed simple gesture secured Erik’s racing career.

 Wayne wasted no time and made Erik get back in the car to sit on the track as the provisional in  the feature. From this day on Renninger Racing became bigger, the Renninger’s became students of the sport taking on every piece of information and experience as learning opportunities to  improve,  The Renninger men declared  2008 as their official Rookie year.


 The Renninger Racing Team bought a 2005 Bicknell in an attempt to find the right track to run  on. This brought the team to the Rookie class at Bridgeport Speedway in NJ, where they could start from the beginning to learn the fundamentals of the new technology of racing.  In this time Erik moved to central Jersey where he hopes to build his future racing team with the addition of his new 4 car garage and close proximity to racetracks such as Bridgeport, New Egypt, Big Diamond and Yes Grandview…(I will be back he says)

The torch has been passed as Wayne would say and he is looking forward to wrenching Erik to an exciting successful career.

Eriks first year came with a feature win.  Most of the season was spent on getting familier with the car and componets, but racing weekly proved to be a major benifit to what was learned throughout the year. 

 The path is long and unknown but as Randy Kane would say "Renninger knows where he's headed".


 In 2009 Erik would contiune at Bridgeport speedway in the Crate 1 division, still learning Eriks best finish of the year was 6th place in a feature.

 As time when on during the year Erik began to make a number of contacts within racing and started expanding his knowledge and equipment. With the team now able to make ajustments to the car to stay with changing track conditions Erik became more competitive during the year and more comfortable in the car.

2010 would be a transitional year with moving to New Egypt Speedway, it was time to give a new track a shot.

Starting out in the Crate 1 division at New Egypt never really got off the ground. The team did finish well in the heats and got a top 10 in a feature but the crate engine would finally give and lead to the 358 Sportsman engine to finish out the season, the engine the team had originally started with 5 years ago.

 Under powered Erik was not able to qualify, but got plenty of seat time with the sportsman division and had an opportunity to upgrade equipment during the rest of the season.

 In the off season Renninger Racing teamed up with Atlantic Crankshaft to build a sportsman engine and continued to upgrade equipment. In 2011 the team started in the Sportsman division at New Egypt speedway and ran some additional shows at Big Diamond, Grandview, and Bridgeport.

 
Out of the Gates in 2011there was a big change in power, the engine was crisp and mean. The first race of the season Erik was passing cars and headed to the top 10 in the feature when an issue with the steering happened. 

Erik ended up heading straight into the wall in turn 1 with no steering and tore up the front end on day one. The team ended up going to the back up car for the second race and had to take a week off.

 At this time the team looked for more crew help and teamed up with Tom and Carmella Ditmars who were instrumental in getting the back up car ready and on the track.

 Erik had a busy schedule in 2011 with the birth of his son Jake and could not have made the full season without the help of Tom and Carmella.

 The rest of the season had a number of ups and downs, qualifying through the heats with an 11th place in the feature being the best results at New Egypt.

 This being the 4th year and first year in the sportsman class was a trying time. The team was good enough to qualify and good enough to get into trouble, and trouble took some toll on the equipment in 2011.

The team did well in the consolations with a couple of 2nd place finishes, but seemed to be a magnet for spining cars and spining ourselves in the features.

Throughout the season the team continually imoproved that car setup, sometimes taking a few steps back to go a few forward. Every race they continue to learn something new and most of the work now needed to be focused on Eriks driving.

 Near the end of the year the team ran a Big Block show at Bridgeport and pulled off a 2nd in the Heat with no laps of practice on their 1/4 mile and also attened a Thunder on the HIll show at grandview with the car dialed in.

 The finishes did not fully show the progress made over the year but confidence is high for 2012. There were many highlight moments during the year but also as many not so great moments.


 In January of 2012 Grandview Speedway announced they will be running the sportsman division, opening the door to get back to Grandview.

From the first time the team pulled into the gates at Grandview it was know this was going to be a different kind of year. 

Erik "felt right at home" from day one at NASCARs Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, PA.  

At this point Im changing over to writing the history section from my point of view directly. 

After finishing the 2011 season at Grandview and hitting the wall in turn 2 on the first lap created a very eager winter.  

I had, for the first time, flat footed the Sportsman car all the way around the track in the warm ups that night and got a little aggressive on the start of the feature but I knew I had it dialed in.   

When I found out Grandview decided to run the Sportsman for their 50th anniversary I immediately thought things were going to line up this year.  

For the first time I felt like we were in a great racing environment, there was just a feeling about the place that gave you some sort of a smirk, but you continue on like its no big deal.   We even went to the practice session this year and tested out a number of things. 

I also installed in car camera that tuned out to be a big help.   I finished 10th in the fist race and parked the car on the trailer pretty much untouched, and that was my only goal for that night.

For the next couple of races we would tune the car in for the heats and feature.  I wanted to make one change per week and take the season if needed to find out everything I needed to about Grandview and the changed we needed to make on the car.  

There are a lot of people who physically help me and another set who help me mentally.  This year was set with the mentality of finishing races and bringing home the car to work on the car rather than getting into a wreck and having to fix the car.  I feel I accomplished that goal with only 2 DNFs for the year.  Once was a broken rotor, and the second was a drag link that had we known to have a pry bar and bend it back I could have finished that race too.   In the end we did miss 6 races due to engine issues.   

The issues with the engine were a blessing in disguise as prior to blowing a head gasket I didn't feel to comfortable taking the bolts off the valve covers.   Well crash course in engine building from a network of people including my engine builder, pit crew, parts guy, other racers, old racers, retired racers, gear heads, YouTube, and some message boards.  

In the end it took us 3 weeks to get the heads back together with the right parts.  I was sceptical about the work but it sure was nice to go out and win my first heat the fist week back and then the feature a few weeks later after all the work we did to the engine.  

The night I won was a great accomplishment that took me 5 years to do.   I went out in the heat and won but still knew the car wasn't 100% right.   Prior to the feature that night I was deciding on what tires to use and at the very last second we made the call and when the green dropped I knew I had something.   The car just went forward and I had control of it, I switched lanes about 10 laps in and pretty much checked out from that point on.  It was a night to remember but something I will have to do again as my Dad happened to be on a cruise that night and wasn't there.

It was a major relief to get a win and I was very surprised by the amount of congratulations I received not only that night but the week after with numerous phone calls from pretty much everyone Ive ever come in contact with in racing.   It felt awesome, and people seem genuinely happy for me.  Most of all it was validation that I made the right move this year.

There were a number of weeks I went 2 steps backward and then added one more move backwards.I was "hellbent"  on finding a setup for the heats that I could be fast and also give me the ability to move around.  It took me all year to find it, and as I did win a number of heats I was never satisfied with it.   
It wasn't till my last race of the season where I put all of the little tweaks into one setup and I won the heat by a straightaway and unfortunately dropped a valve half way though the race or I know I would have pulled even more.  In all I finished 12th in points won 3 heat races and learned a ton.  I'm now rebuilding for next year at Grandview Speedway. 

Onto 2013 and Ill have to say I didn't write this section till 2014, thinking back I immediately remember a few weeks into the season when water started pouring out of one of the cylinders while I was doing a proactive compression check, basically checking out the health of the engine 4 weeks into the season.    

Why did it happen?  I'm still not sure, maybe some leftover damage from the damage we did at the end of the 2012 season when a vlave broke and tore up a cylinder and part of the head. 

Well I resorted to any method that could work and I used a block sealer and no joke it worked.  I was impressed myself, but that would not be the end of the engine issues, we would have to send it back to the builder to get a few things worked out when we were about 8 races into the season.  

The engine was never quite the same, and I was constantly complaining about it, meanwhile pulling off heat wins, 5 of them, during the season.  My best finish was a 4th place finish, I recall being very frustrated because I would start on the pole for the heat and the feature and it seemed as if I was always trying to hang on to a position. 

By the end of the season I had almost 0 compression in one cylinder, basically running on 7 cylinders.   I had no choice but to drive as mistake free as possible and maximize the setup as much as possible. There was no particular highlight of the year that I remember, and I now had to go back to my facebook page to remember about all the issues I had in 2013.   Broken distributors, 3 of them, the engine issues, being put into the wall resulting in a wreck chassis and having to rebuild the entire car because someone put me in the wall.  

I've seem to conveniently forget those issues and remember having a season of losing self confidence and going out to search for it and ending up in all the wrong places.

In the end I would finish up 19th in points with a season that I was so ready to get behind me that it took me till the end of 2014 to write about it. 

The 2014 offseason was another handful, I know I wanted to upgrade my equipment and build a solid engine, actually two of them.  I started very early in trying to get everything lined up for 2014 and after another set of twists and turns and ending up in all the wrong places I found my self tightening the final bolts of what I had managed to get together about ten minutes before the first race of the 2014 racing season. 

All the plans I had worked out never happened, the engine builder, the chassis, a few other things, all out the window. 

But none the less by the 2nd race of the season, the first one I actually had the car setup for, I was challenging for the lead in the first heat race and for the first time inside the car I felt acomplished.   I seriosly got a bit choked up in the car as I almost passed the leader on the final lap.  I knew I had put something togther, and I knew it was going to be a good year.

Sadly, well very sadly it took me most of the year to get back to that point.   I had many highlights of the season, basically finishishing the entire season with only missing about 10 laps.  The key to a championship is to finish races something I accomplished very well. 

Something I failed to accomplish very well this season was listening to myself.  A trait I did finally develop near the end of the season.  In the mean time I had a hell of a season trying to qualify and finish in the top ten.   This fact becasue of how well I started off the season, sitting in 5th place in points for a few weeks had me starting further back in the heat races and providing quite a challenge.   This brings about a a significant stat that puts some some things into perspective for the season.  In this season alone I have passed more cars than I have passed in all previous years combind. 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, 01 March 2014 16:30

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITY

     Our proposal includes many options that are covered in greater detail throughout this document; our goal is to have an opportunity to meet with you or a member of your organization to discuss a potential partnership.

sponsorSponsorship Proposal

Our program offers an opportunity to enter into a marketing and sponsorship partnership with Renninger Racing that will help expand your companies marketing strategy, offer additional brand exposure, and provide additional venues to further showcase your company's products, services, and image. 

Grandview Speedway
Grandview Speedway

If you are interested please contact Erik directly at 201 323 4411 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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