Hagerty Race Team: Slingshot dragster meets Reckow’s need for speed
Davin Reckow didn’t grow up around cars, but his car-loving uncle planted the seed early. “He passed away when I was young, but I remember sitting on his lap and steering his 1955 Chevy. I think it all began there. I’ve always been fascinated by the way things work and how pieces fit together.”
Reckow got into drag racing after restoring a 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle SS. “Once upon a time I was an avid circle-track racer, but drag racing grabbed hold of me the first time I lined up the Chevelle and buried the gas pedal in a timed quarter-mile run.”
As Reckow’s need for speed increased, he began looking for more horsepower. A front-engine dragster filled the bill. It took two years to build his Slingshot racer, but the sometimes-tedious work paid off the first time he experienced 160 mph. “Drag racing — any racing — is like that. You work countless hours to create the fastest car possible so you can spend as little time on the track as possible.”
THE DRAG RACER
Driver: Davin Reckow, 46; Kingsley, Mich.
Position at Hagerty: Automotive Content and Parts Supply Specialist
Race car: Slingshot dragster
Family: This is really a family thing. My wife, Tanya, and daughter, Grace, serve as my crew, and Grace races, too. My son, Anders, is still a little too young, but he’ll definitely be part of it. He loves it like the rest of us.
Events per year: I get to as many events as my schedule allows, usually about eight a year. That’s down from about 20 per year during my circle-track days.
Favorite track: I love Beech Bend in Bowling Green, Ky. There’s such an old school vibe there. The stands are covered and the seats are the flip-up kind you’d see at an old ballpark. It’s what nostalgic racing is all about.
Most memorable moment in racing: About 10 years ago in a modified race at Merritt Speedway (in Lake City, Mich.), I was running second in a heat race when I lost a contact lens heading into the last lap. I was basically trying to see with one eye. My depth perception was all messed up and I spun out on the last lap. So instead of immediately advancing I had to race in the B Main. Midway through that race I was caught up in an accident and was sent to the back, but I fought all the way back and took second to advance to the A Main. I started 21st of 22 cars in a 50-lap feature, and I climbed all the way up to fifth with 10 laps to go when my crankshaft’s snout broke off. Oh, man, that car just wanted to win no matter how much I screwed up. My greatest moment and my worst moment on the same day.
What about racing keeps you coming back? For me it’s just the accomplishment of getting out there. No matter how well I do, in a sense I’ve already won. I could be the guy watching from the stands or the guy who didn’t show up to race, but I went out there and competed and had a blast doing it. But I’ll tell you, racing can consume you, that’s for sure. The car is always on my mind. How can I make it better? How can I make it faster? I imagine the feeling I get from racing isn’t much different than other addictions. You’re always looking for that next rush. I’ve spent a lot of long nights in the garage trying to make that happen.
What’s it like to race on a team? I’ve raced as part of a team at the 24 Hours of LeMons and in the Great Race for many years, and when you’re part of a team there’s constant pressure to not let your teammates down. Being part of Team Hagerty is a little different in that we don’t race together or even compete in the same events.
How does Hagerty fuel your passion for cars and racing? Hagerty is like a support group for caroholics. Everybody feels it, everybody get it. When it comes to racing, we understand winning and losing, and all the work required off the track. We’ve all spent nights in our garage working on our cars. We think a lot alike and go through the same stuff.