By day, Nick Igdalsky can be found at the Mattioli family business, running the Pocono Raceway as senior vice president.
But Igdalsky's passion extends from managing a racetrack to driving on one—and his resume this year includes a full-time ride in the ARCA Racing Series.
Igdalsky is running on the track for Andy Belmont Racing. His title sponsor is ModSpace, a provider of modular buildings and storage spaces.
Racing on the track and running a track seem to be the perfect combination for Igdalsky.
"I think it helps my perspective as a track operator to see things from the competitor side and incorporate this back home," Igdalsky said.
"Racing full time in the ARCA Racing Series offers a unique perspective from the driver's side—whether it be driver comfort, safety, or whatever it may be," Igdalsky continued. "It's all very valuable to be able to see these things and incorporate them on the other side.
"It's not just fun, although there is a lot of that."
Igdalsky knows he is fortunate that he can enjoy the best of both worlds—running one of the few family-owned racetracks left in the country and enjoying his gig behind the wheel.
"I'm very fortunate," Igdalsky said. "I'm in a position to have the freedom to go race."
Igdalsky did not feel so fortunate after his first ARCA race last weekend on the high banks of the Daytona. He had to settle for a 20th-position finish at the ARCA Daytona race after a miscue in the pits and a late-race accident that sent him careening off the track, cutting a tire, and going one lap down.
“We had a top-five car tonight,” said Andy Belmont, Igdalsky's car owner. “Unfortunately, we made a mistake on the early race pit stop, and then a mistake by another competitor cost us at least a top-10 finish.
“However, I found out that I have a driver that can win with Nick Igdalsky in our ModSpace car," Belmont continued. "We will win this season.”
Although confident, Igdalsky was even more disappointed in his Daytona finish than his car owner.
“I don’t even consider it a finish when I am not on the lead lap when the checkered flag falls," Igdalsky said. "We had a strong car, and if it had not been for the pit miscue, I feel we would have been running with the leaders.
"And to make such a strong run in the closing laps and end up being pinched into the wall with two laps to go was a huge disappointment.”
Igdalsky is, however, ready to put the Daytona finish behind him and get to a track where his comfort level is high. The track owner and driver has an affinity for the next stop on the circuit: the Palm Beach International Raceway road course.
"I feel good about heading to a road course," Igdalsky said. "They've changed the configuration since I was there last—shortened the overall track and lengthened the backstretch—so it will make for a very interesting race.
"One small mistake, and you will be off the track and in trouble."
Igdalsky not only has experience on the Palm Beach track, but he has also won there.
"I raced there quite a bit in the Formula 2000 open-wheel cars," Igdalsky said. "We won quite a few races there.
"When ARCA announced that it was going to Palm Beach, it couldn't have been better news to me."
Igdalsky will have a bit of added pressure, as his current sponsor, ModSpace, is also the presenting sponsor of the race.
"ModSpace will have a large number of guests on hand for the race," Igdalsky said. "We want to be able to impress them."
Another abiding tradition for Igdalsky is to donate any race winnings to his favorite charity. He has agreed again to donate any prize money earned by the team to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
Igdalsky will next compete in the Kingdom Tire 150 presented by ModSpace at Palm Beach International Raceway on Saturday, Feb. 27. The race will be featured in live streaming audio at ARCAracing.com.