Stock Car Racing: Racing for the rush
Stock car racer Seth Kramer talks his life in racing
BARROWS — Seth Kramer loves the rush.
The self-diagnosed adrenaline junkie is in his 14th season of racing. A farmer by trade, Kramer picks his spots working on his car during the week, with the ultimate goal of maximum speed, something that he may not just focus on with his car.
“It’s hit or miss, whenever I get a moment,” Kramer said about his shop time. “It’s usually Saturday mornings that I do the most of my work. Rainy days and whenever I can get to the shop. I have lots of friends that help me out and without them I couldn’t do it.
“I just got done overhauling a motor this spring for my 7810 (tractor) so we turned that one up a little bit. You always have to give it a little bit more than what it had. That is just the way it goes.”
Kramer did not have a passion for the dirt track during his teenage years, but he did get seat time doing some drag racing from time to time. He did have one skill that is crucial for a dirt track racer, but needed to find a way to harness it inside a dirt oval.
“I definitely had a lead foot ever since I started driving, but I really didn’t get to dirt track racing until later in life,” Kramer said. “I did do some drag racing out of high school for a little bit, just playing around a little bit, but never dirt track racing. But I was driving sideways on the dirt roads when I was younger.”
He caught the dirt track racing bug when asked to help transport Tim Johnson’s car to the race track. He was hooked.
“The next year I bought a car in pieces and we slammed it back together and went racing,” he said.
He got his start in a Super Stock before switching to the Modified car. He also tried out a B-Mod and also got in Jerry Esler’s Mod 4 car once, along with an experience in a limited Late Model car at Cedar Lake.
He has not driven a full season in the last five seasons and his last win came in a Super Stock ride back in 2019. However, Kramer’s car can be seen in the middle to the front of the pack when he races.
In 2022, he ran in seven out of 10 features with two top-five finishes. He drove just five times in 2020 and 2021 combined.
“I am definitely hard on my motor,” Kramer said. “I try to build all my own stuff, especially later on now. I liked to ring every last ounce of horse power that I can out of the car.”
He also gives credit to his circle of friends who help him with the car.
“Without them I wouldn’t be able to do this,” he said.
While he doesn’t drive every week, Kramer knows that he needs the adrenaline rush of being in the car and it isn’t something he is willing to part with anytime soon.
“I kind of have to pick my battles now. I don’t think I can ever get rid of it. Cars are always for sale. I got another project in line tomorrow and I don’t think it will go away,” he said. “It’s too much fun and I am too much of an adrenaline junkie to quit. I don’t care if I win or not. That really doesn’t matter to me. It’s a blast out there.
“It keeps me out of trouble. You spend it all Saturday evening and you can’t get into a whole lot more trouble during the week.”