Tom Mayberry & Son TJ Back In The Saddle; Will Campaign SpeedSTRs In 2016Action Track USA
The USAC All Pro SpeedSTR division is known for its diversity; drivers from just about every other class of local motorsports get together and battle one another in the spec, open wheel SpeedSTRs designed and built by Rich Tobias and his Speedway Entertainment operation.
The STRs (stands for Short Track Racer) also boast a couple of well known racing dads who compete against their sons, namely Billy Pauch Sr. and Billy Jr., along with Kenny and Brad Brightbill. Kenny has also found the class as a great way to extend his illustrious career, and he’s been very successful behind the wheel of his No. 19 SpeedSTR.
A pair of newcomers will add to the diversity, father/son combos, and career extension offered by the highly competitive SpeedSTR division as the 2016 season gets set for its initial green flag.
Tom and TJ Mayberry of Sellersville, PA, will team with Ralph Rehrig to form RMR Motorsports as they take on the talented roster of STR competitors at the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA on the Kutztown Fairgrounds and in the five race miniseries to be held at Linda’s Speedway in Jonestown, PA. The duo also plan to make a few trips to Felton, Delaware and the brand new Silo Speedway.
Tom Mayberry was a fixture on the old Tri-Track Small Block Modified circuit in Pennsylvania for many years, winning numerous features at Big Diamond, Grandview, and Penn National Speedways. He also earned point titles at Grandview and Penn National. Mayberry also hooked up with Rehrig and drove Ralph’s Legend Cars for a number of years.
TJ Mayberry, who recently turned 23, began his racing career in the Slingshots, another class created by Tobias. After a couple seasons of Slinger activity, TJ joined his dad as part of the Rehrig Legend Car team, then got himself a Late Model for action at the Grandview Speedway. When the expense of running the Late Model got to be too much for the family run team, TJ sold his equipment and has been on the sidelines for the past four seasons.
Now the Mayberrys are back, in a division that will be completely new to them, thanks in part to another well known racing dad whose sons were SpeedSTR regulars for two or three seasons.
“Fred Rahmer and I are good friends,” explained Tom. “Rich Tobias was trying to convince me to get a SpeedSTR from the time he started the class, but I just wasn’t sold on them. Then Fred, who had his kids running them, kept telling me what a great class it was…very cost effective and lots of fun.”
Last fall, when Rehrig approached him about teaming up once again, Mayberry talked to Rahmer a bit more before deciding that he and TJ would enter the SpeedSTR wars with Rehrig as the car owner.
“We bought a couple of used cars, one from Larry Solomon and the other from Wayne Weaver. Over the winter, we stripped them both, powder coated the frames, and put all new body panels on them,” noted Tom. “We’re ready for the practice session at Linda’s on March 25.”
“For the money, this is probably the most cost effective class in racing,” he added. “Figuring the initial cost and what you spend to race during the season, compared to the purses they offer, this is an affordable and economical division. And they’re racey and competitive.”
TJ is understandably excited about buckling into a racecar again. “It’ll be my first time in a true open wheel car, and I know there will be a learning curve because of that and because of the caliber of drivers who race in the SpeedSTR division.”
“I’m just really anxious to race again and the SpeedSTRs look like a lot of fun,” said TJ. “And it’s really cool to race in front of big crowds like they get at Kutztown. I ran against my dad in the Legend Cars and now I’ll have a chance to do that again. We’re both very competitive and want to beat each other pretty badly, so that will be fun, too.”
Both Tom and TJ will have backing from Glick Fire Equipment and Pierce Fire Apparatus, along with A&T Chevrolet (where they are employed) and JGK Motorsports. Tom will steer the No. 17R, while TJ will mash the gas in the No. 7R.
After the March 25 shake-down session at Linda’s, father and son Mayberry will make their official SpeedSTR debut back at the Jonestown quarter-mile on Thursday, April 21.
The team will update its plans and results on a social media site, at Facebook.com/RMR Motorsports.
by BARRY ANGSTADT