Susquehanna Speedway’s Donny Groff shares secret to racing minivans

Susquehanna Speedway
Susquehanna Speedway

We may aspire to be Formula 1 drivers in their streak of lightning cars and fancy clothes, but there’s an economic meltdown and people need to be realistic. Donny Groff is a serial champion of minivan racing at the Susquehanna Speedway in Pennsylvania, and says you could be a winner too with some practice.

Metro: How seriously do you and other drivers take this?

Groff: It’s for fun but there is a points system and winners get paid so it gets serious and it is an actual race.

What’s the appeal?

It’s an inexpensive way to race and while it’s not easy, it is accessible. People get into it for different reasons but mainly for the excitement and novelty factor.

You do better than most – what’s your secret?

Lots of practice, this is my third season and I wasn’t so good at first. I would tell people the more they ride the better they get. You have to work with so many variables like weather and surface – red clay and humidity are such different challenges to cold days.

How bad are the crashes?

It’s mostly pretty safe. Guys roll sometimes but no serious accidents since 2006.

Do you pimp your rides?

They have regulations: no upgrades to the motor but you can upgrade suspension to lower the car a few inches. With factory level suspension there’s a greater chance of rolling.

Would you like to be the sport’s ambassador?

I think it’s getting publicity and it should. There are millions of minivans out there, although for some of the old models it might be tough. If people ask me I’ll keep promoting it.


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