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Racing . . . a Family Tradition for the Reiningers


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Contact: Debbie Williams, debbie@sa-speedway.com, 210-685-0400 (cell)


Racing . . . a Family Tradition for the Reiningers


SAN ANTONIO, TX (October 15, 2013) - San Antonio Speedway will be hosting the 12th Annual OctoberFAST this weekend (Friday, October 18, and Saturday, October 19). Almost 75 racers have pre-entered this event that promises to showcase some very tight racing action on the half-mile, asphalt oval track.


Among the racers entered so far are the three entries from the Reininger family.




Mike Reininger, 51, from San Antonio, TX, will be driving the black #3 Pro Late Model that looks very similar to the car that was run by one of the most famous names in stock car racing, the late Dale Earnhardt, Sr.


According to Mike, the Reininger racing family tradition dates back quite a long time ago. Mike's dad, Harold, raced at the original Pan American Speedway before Mike was born. Years later, Buddy Reininger (Mike's brother) also raced at Pan American Speedway before he was inducted into the Army.


Mike began his racing career several years ago at San Antonio Speedway and has been racing Late Models for quite a while. His pit crew currently includes Buddy (Reininger) and Mike's two daughters, Michelle Reininger (22) and Kelly Reininger (20).




Mike has a lot of confidence in both girls' abilities to work on his car.


"I absolutely trust both of them with my car," added Mike. "They learn more and more each week, and I know that their knowledge will help them become better drivers."


Mike's youngest daughter, Kelly, is currently a junior at UTSA, and she's in charge of Mike's tires.


"I've always told Kelly that she needs to be involved with the racing if she wants to come out to the track with me," said Mike. "Now she knows how to change tires and monitor the tire temperatures and tire pressures. She has even learned how to change gears."


Kelly is also Mike's spotter, which means that she's responsible for radio communication with him during his races.


"Being my spotter is a huge responsibility," said Mike. "Kelly becomes my eyes during a race, and it's important that she keeps information coming to me throughout the race."


For this weekend's race, both Michelle and Kelly have decided to give stock car racing a try. Michelle will be piloting the blue #5 Mini Stock, while Kelly will be racing the black #12 Mini Stock.


Michelle, who graduated from Texas State in December, said she had never really thought about racing. And then another racer, Greg Rohmer, offered her a car. She felt she just couldn't pass up the opportunity to race.


"I thought it would be really fun to race against my sister," said Michelle. "Of course, we'll both want to beat each other on the track."


Mike is excited about both of his daughters making a decision to race at San Antonio Speedway this weekend.


"Michelle hadn't really been thinking about racing, but then an opportunity came up with another car," commented Mike. "Now all she wants to do is 'drive fast' and compete against her younger sister. I'm so excited that both of my daughters will be racing this weekend. It means more to me than racing my own car."


All three of the Reiningers were at the track this past Saturday to turn some practice laps. After unloading all three cars, Mike decided to lead his daughters around the track for a few laps to introduce them to the driving side of racing.


"Dad went out on the track ahead of us to show us the line and help us get a good feel for the track for a few laps," said Kelly. "It means so much to all of us to finally be driving on the same track. I know we were all a little 'teary-eyed' when we got out of our cars afterwards."


Although Kelly is very familiar with racing, she said was a bit anxious as she took her race car out on the track the first time.


"When we first drove up to the track on Saturday and I realized I would actually be driving on it, I got really nervous," commented Kelly. "But I didn't want to admit it to my dad!"


Kelly is also looking forward to competing against her older sister.


"It will be a blast to race with Michelle," commented Kelly. "But during the race, she'll be just another driver. I don't plan to race her any differently from anyone else. I also think it's so cool that we'll be competing against a lot of guys."


Michelle also felt the same excitement after taking a few practice laps.


"The first time around the track, I was so scared of the wall," said Michelle. "And then I thought to myself, 'I can do this.' It was such an emotional feeling to realize that I was actually driving on a race track, just like my dad."


Unfortunately, during some practice laps later in the day, the starter and transmission broke on Mike's car. He and his pit crew will be working long hours this week to get the car ready for this weekend's event.


Seven classes will be featured during the OctoberFAST event, including the Pro Late Models, Modifieds, North Park Toyota Trucks, Street Stocks, Tator Plumbing Chargers, Grand Stocks and Mini Stocks.


The OctoberFAST event will begin with heat races and qualifying on Friday night (October 18), starting at 7P. Saturday's feature races will start at 6P. Grandstand gates will open at 3P on both days.


The OctoberFAST event is being called "The Final Race" by the current track owners. An announcement was made a few weeks ago about the track's closure following the OctoberFAST race.



San Antonio Speedway is a 1/2-mile, high-banked asphalt oval track that's located at 14901 State Highway 16 South, San Antonio, TX 78264. Information on San Antonio Speedway may be found on the track website at www.sa-speedway.com or on its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/sanantonio.speedway.

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Thanks, y'all. It was actually a fun story to put together. I had so many notes from their interviews - could have made it ten pages long! lol They are an amazing family. When Mike thought he wouldn't be able to get his car back together, the girls let him know real quickly that missing this race was not an option!


I'm really glad to hear the Speed 51 used the story. Thanks for letting me know, Larry.

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