All photos
by Tony
Shotsky of
Ohio Sports
Erick ChristianOne of 2010s most improved racers
By:  T. J. Layne

GETAWAY, OH-Although there is not an official Most Improved Driver of the Year
Award, most people you talk to will say that Getaway, Ohios Erick Christian was the
most improved driver in 2010 at Rocky Top Raceway.  Christian, in his fourth season of
racing, had a career year with several top five finishes and a career high fifth place
points finish.  

For Erick Christian, racing in his blood.  He is the son of Late Model veteran and former
RTR Late Model track champion Rick Christian.  He has been around racing for nearly
his whole life first working on his dads crew for many years and then stepping up into
the drivers seat himself during the 2007 season in the Late Model division.

Just like every first time driver, Christian had his struggles his first few seasons as he
learned to race but he showed improvement each and every week.  All of that
culminated in 2010 as the combination of Christian gaining experience and equipment
upgrades led to him having a breakout season.

I had the opportunity recently to sit down with Erick Christian and discuss several topics
such as why he had such a strong 2010 season, starting his career off in the Late Model
division, what the toughest aspect of competing in the Late Model division at RTR is,
and what his goals are for 2011.  Lets take you to the interview and introduce you to
one of 2010s most improved racers, Erick Christian.

T. J. Layne:  As many people know, you are a second generation racer. Your dad Rick
is a former RTR Late Model track champion. How much has family influenced your
racing career?
Erick Christian:  Without a doubt family is the single largest influence in my racing
career and everything I do. Racing is something that my entire family enjoys and it is
one of those ties that bind us together. Most every memory I have with my family
involves racing in one form or another. Its just what we do.

 You spent several years crewing on your dads car before getting behind the
wheel yourself. How much did that experience of spending all of those years crewing
help you when you began your career as a driver in the year 2007?
Christian:  Being around the cars and working on them I believe you are bound to pick
up things by osmosis if nothing else so I would say it was definitely a big help when I
was first starting out.

Layne:  You took kind of a non-traditional route and started driving in the Late Model
division from the get go. Looking back, are you glad that you started in the Late Model
class or do you think it would of been better to of started in one of the lower divisions?
Christian:  If I were to do things over again I would probably give more consideration to
running a Limited Late Model to start out with. However, the rules for that class were
different at the time and from an economics stand point it just wasnt feasible to do so at
the time.

Layne:  2010 was a breakout season for you. You were in contention for many heat
race wins and had several top five feature finishes. What were some of the things you
attribute the breakout season to?
Christian:  Prior to the beginning of the 2010 season we made some pretty major
improvements to our engine package and tire and shock packages. That coupled with
having additional laps under my belt were key factors in the improvements we had this

Layne:  What was your favorite moment from the 2010 season?
Christian:  I would have to say my favorite moment of the season was getting to lead a
few laps of a heat race before cutting down a right rear tire.

 You have been around racing your whole life and follow the sport extensively. Is
there any driver out there that you try to pattern your driving style after?
Christian:  I would honestly have to say I try to pattern myself after how my dad drives.
He has always been one of those guys that can go out and be super consistent and he
never seems to tear up his equipment.

 What are some changes you would like to see made in dirt track racing across
the board?
Christian:  Personally I would like to see the costs across the board reined in.

Layne:  This is a question I like to ask drivers as it is interesting to hear the various
responses. Do you prefer racing on a wet/tacky track surface or a dry/slick track
Christian:  To me wet/tacky and dry/slick really arent as critical as being able to move
around on the track. Id rather race on a slick track where you can run everywhere over a
hooked up track with a single dominant groove. Im not sure if that answers your
question or not.

Layne:  What would you consider to be the most challenging thing about racing at RTR?
Christian:  The level of competition  would have to be one of the more challenging
aspects of RTR. From week to week you never know who will roll in the gates.

Layne:  2010 was without a doubt your best season yet. As we look towards 2011,
what are your goals heading into the 2011 season?
Christian:  Simply put our goal this coming season is to win. We are working every day
to better our program and are looking forward to the start of the 2011 season

Christian added, I would like to thank our 2010 sponsors: Top Gunn Graphics, The
Performance Connection, Dave Poskes Performance Parts, Hoosier Tire Ohio Valley,
Gary Winger Performance, Genesis Race Cars, and Tim Logan Racing for their help
during the 2010 season.