Driver Profile - MIKE KEKICH

Mike gets some bite at Sharon Speedway

Name: Mike Kekich
Birthdate: December 16th, 1962
Hometown: Hermitage, PA
Marital Status: Married
Family: Wife Shelly, Daughter Lindsey, Son Adam
Occupation: Operating Engineer
How did you choose your car number? My daughter Lindsey came up with 5 when I asked her to pick one, and we added the K when another 5 started running our home track at the time.
Chassis: J&J Auto Racing
Engine Builder: Kriner's Racing Engines
Crew: Keith Gilliland, Jamie Hutchinson, Mark Barner, Johhny Laird, Adam Kekich
Sponsors: Sunburst Environmental Services, Tight Seal Glass Block, L&M Tire, All-American Wheels, Ralph's RV, Agway of Hermitage, and Buckeye Hone.
Favorite Track: Sharon Speedway
Years Racing: 5 years in go carts, 4 Years in micro sprints, 8 years in 410 sprints
Wins: I've had a few over the years.
Championships: 1995 Hickory Speedway, 2002 Sharon Speedway
Regular Tracks/Series : Sharon Speedway in the 410 Sprints
Hobbies: Hunting
Favorite TV show: Fox 1762 Race of the Week
Favorite Music: Classic Rock
Favorite Band: Stone Pony
Favorite Food: Burgers
Favorite Beverage: Pepsi
Favorite Restaurant: All American Wheels Bar & Grill
Favorite Driver: Steve Kinser

When and how did you get started in racing?

My dad got me started racing go carts in high school.

Who had the biggest impact on your racing career and why?

Without a doubt my Father, Putzy Kekich. I grew up watching him race, and hanging around the track. To this day he has a huge impact on my teams effort. I remember him letting my hot lap his sprint one time. I thought I was moving out pretty good, and Brad Doty went by me so fast I thought it was going to take my helmet off.

What would you be doing if you weren't racing?

That is tough to imagine. I guess I would be trying to figure out what was missing.

What is your favorite aspect of racing?

The spirit of competition. There are some pretty good teams around here, and it is an honor to be on the track racing them.

What is your greatest accomplishment/best memory?

My first 410 sprint win has to be my best memory. It had been a lifelong dream to race a sprint car, and that first win was pretty special.

What is the worst thing that has happened to you in racing, or your worst season?

I have had a couple pretty violent crashes, but have been really fortunate not to have been badly hurt. I would say the worse thing to happen is going to be the day I have to quit racing.

In your own words, describe your 2004 season:

2004 was a pretty frustrating year. On paper, it was a pretty decent year. We finished 2nd in points by just 15 markers, and we were top 5 in finished most of the season. The frustrating thing was the rain outs. Just a little bad luck is all that kept us from our second Sharon Speedway sprint division championship.

What are your plans for the 2005 season?

We are pretty excited about 2005. We will run for the Championship again this year at Sharon Speedway, and hit any big events in the region that we can. We would like to run Ohio Speedweeks, and are actively looking for a marketing partner to run it with us. We will also be running a go-cart at Slippery Rock with my son Adam at the wheel.

Where do you see Sprint Car racing five years from now?

I like the direction the WOO are heading, and I think sprint car popularity will grow. The new Green Flag division that Sharon has developed will allow racers to work their way into 410's. The future is so bright, I gotta wear shades!

What is your ultimate goal in racing?

I would like to take a shot at a full season with the All-Stars. I really feel like I could be a contender for the title in the right situation. If all went well there, on to the Outlaws!

Anything else you would like to add?

Just a special thanks to all of my supporters and fans. I couldn't do this without my sponsors, family, friends, and of course the fans. The folks that spend their money each week to watch us race are just the greatest people. Be sure and check out our website at