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Need for Speed

Go-kart racers take to track at Stephens County Expo

DUNCAN  Taking a painful tumble is not a favorable way to start a new endeavor, but in Todd Hrncirik's case that tumble made it possible for everything to fall into place.

When the Red River Showdown go-kart races began Friday at the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center, Hrncirik was something of a blur. The promoter and organizer of the go-kart performance seemed to be in perpetual motion, making sure things were running smoothly.

Very different from nearly 18 years ago, when Hrncirik wasn't moving very quickly at all.

"Back in 2001, I broke a leg when I was racing a lawn mower," Hrncirik recalled. "While I was recuperating, me and some buddies started talking about getting a go-kart track in Seymour.

"There was a full block that was empty in Seymour, and pretty soon, there I was, hobbling around on crutches as we laid out a track downtown.

"We called it 'Seymour Speedway' and started having go-kart races there.

"After about four years, we wanted to do an indoor show, and we ended up having the first Santa Shootout in Graham, Texas.

"It worked out well. We added four more indoor races and now, with Duncan, it's up to five. Since 2005, we've held 34 big shows, like the Red River Showdown."

The Showdown continues today with competitors in 17 classes. Hrncirik hoped by the end of the weekend more than 200 cars would be on the dirt track at the main arena, with competitors from nearly a dozen states.

Racing has become a family affair over the years, although promoting and organizing kart races hasn't turned Hrncirik into a millionaire.

"I work at my real job every day," he noted. "I own a lawn care business and I work for the City of Seymour as a golf course groundskeeper. 

 "The racing is fun, though. I got interested in go-kart racing when my son, Tyler, was young. He just turned 31 and is still racing in the Outlaw division. And my grandson, Tucker, is 6 years old and he races hot wheels. So we have one racing in the highest division and another racing in the lowest division.

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