Kory Rabenold is set to take the track in Springfield, Illinois for the Allen Crowe 100 in the ARCA RE/MAX Series this weekend. This race will take the young driver one step closer to making his dream, racing in the premiere series in NASCAR, a reality.
Rabenold's dream started over 16 years ago when he began racing quarter midgets at the age of five.
"I started racing quarter midgets at a track about five minutes from my house," said Rabenold, who is from Slatington, Pennsylvania, just 45 minutes from Pocono Raceway. "Then I gradually started moving up."
By age 13, Rabenold was racing a Pro Four Four-Cylinder at Mahoning Speedway in Pennsylvania. In his first year in this league, he received Rookie of the Year honors and finished tenth in points.
Rabenold continued his progres inthe series, finishing third in points and earning Most Improved Driver accolades the next year.
"In 2004, I won the championship," confided Rabenold proudly. "I won that championship when I was 15. It was cool."
Rabenold then continued to march up the racing ladder by stepping into an asphalt modified in 2005. The next year, he ran the Race of Champions modified tour, again taking Rookie of the Year honors and finishing sixth in points.
In a real leap of faith, Rabenold and his father took a major risk the following year. "In 2007, we sold everything we had and went ARCA racing with Andy Hillenberg," Rabenold said.
Rabenold competed at his home track at Pocono Raceway and the first time out, the young racer finished 12th in front of his hometown crowd.
"I definitely like that track," confided Rabenold. "That's my favorite track. I think it takes a good car but also a lot of talent to get around that place."
Rabenold returned to Pocono Raceway in the ARCA RE/MAX Series for the second race and finished in the 16th spot.
In 2008, Rabenold ran a handful of races. As Rabenold tells it, "We ran as much as we could afford."
Recently, however, Rabenold's luck has changed. He was running an asphalt modified at Mahoning Speedway when Andy Belmont called him.
"I guess you can say that's when my season took a step up," said Rabenold with a smile. Andy Belmont Racing is well-known for its driver development program, racing in various series, including the ARCA series.
"He called me about running the No. 14 car for the rest of the year," Rabenold said. The young driver intends to finish out the final seven ARCA series with ABR.
"We're trying to get some money and work on something for 2010. With Andy's equipment, we can work together to try to make something happen for next year."
Rabenold is currently living in Belmont's house. But his biggest fan, his dad, joins him for every race.
Rabenold's father is also a racer, which is where Kory "got the racing deal."
"My mom told him when I was born, he had to quit racing," Rabenold shared. So, his father's dreams have now become this young racer's own.
"He is one of the best fathers anyone could ever have. He's always there for me."
Rabenold's father owns Buzzy's Body Shop, which often serves as Kory's de facto sponsor. His entire family is not only behind him, but they attend every one of his races.
In addition to spending time with his most supportive family, Rabenold enjoys all sports, including fishing, football, and basketball. But nowadays, Rabenold is totally focused on racing.
Rabenold advises that his racing idol is Dale Earnhardt. "He had to work his way up. His dad also helped him along so I can relate to the whole deal."
Rabenold is intent on fulfilling his ARCA racing dreams for the remainder of this season and next year. He also hopes to run a few NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races in 2010.
For more information about Kory Rabenold or to find out more about helping to make his racing dreams a reality, visit his website at www.rabenoldracing.com.