Name: Tom Egner
Hobby: Racing his 2005 Chevrolet Monte Carlo at Oglethorpe Speedway Park in Pooler on Friday nights.
Family: Tom and his wife Kathrin have two children, Phillip and Emily.
How did you get into racing? “I went with a friend of mine who was buying a car at Savannah Toyota. This guy we met up there said he raced and he’d give me his extra car. It already had a cage in it, so all I had to do was find a motor, and I did. That was in 1998.”
Egner said his father also used to race.
How long have you been racing at OSP? “Since 1998. It was enduro class back then and it was run every six weeks.”
Do you work on your car yourself? “I do, but this year is the first year I’ve got a crew chief. Ever since ’98, I’ve been by myself. Of course, I had help from friends, but this year’s my first with my chief, Mike Ysbrand.”
Other members of Egner’s crew are Mike Peavy, Jeff Spencer and Phillip Egner.
Where do you do the work? “A friend of mine, we kind of work out of his shop. He’s more the motor guy and fixes the big things on the car. He’s up in Bloomingdale.”
Do you have any sponsors? “I have one sponsor on the car, which is Pooler Tire and Auto. That guy, Tommy Long, he’s a lifesaver. I bought the car two years ago and poured a lot of money into it. After I did that, the motor fell apart. We had to rebuild it and Tommy Long from Pooler Tire and Auto footed the bill.”
Egner races in the street stocks class at OSP, which is sponsored by Love’s Seafood in Richmond Hill.
Have you ever won the season championship? “No. We don’t have the funds to run every single Friday. It’s an expensive hobby, so I go when I can. One year, I’d like to run the full season, but that’s a lot of money and time.”
How often do you have to replace a race car? “You try not to. If you can fix it, you fix it. Last year, we bent the front end up and we replaced the frame from the fire wall forward. You avoid replacing it if you can. I’ve had at least eight cars over the years, though.”
Have you ever been injured in a wreck? “No, I’ve never been hurt. I was in a wreck two years ago. It was a bad wreck and it rolled the car down the front stretch off turn one. Totally destroyed the car. We couldn’t save anything.”
How fast can you go on the dirt track? “I’m not exactly sure how fast. On average, 80-90 mph. That’s not for sure, though.”