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Jul 22, 2014 - 06:25 PM
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17-Year-Old Karl Weber, From A John Deere Combine To An ARCA Stock Car; Ready For Return To PoconoHis 'Favorite' Track
Posted by: newsla on Jul 22, 2014 - 06:23 PM
17-Year-Old Karl Weber, From A John Deere Combine To An ARCA Stock Car; Ready For Return To PoconoHis 'Favorite' Track

He hardly looks old enough to drive anything, let alone a 3,400-lb ARCA stock car at 200 mph. But looks are deceiving, especially for 17-year-old SCOTT Rookie contender Karl Weber, who's getting geared up again to take on the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway triangle Friday, August 1 in the ModSpace 125.


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And he's got a better jump on it this time, having competed at Pocono earlier this year. It was his first-ever race on a superspeedway, and he came out with a complete racecar and a career-best finish of 10th in Wayne Hixson's No. 3 Silveus Insurance Group Chevrolet.

"The whole team was really happy about that (finishing 10th)," Weber said.

"We had to overcome a blown engine in practice and start in the back. We came from the back to the front. It was a great stepping stone for the whole team."

It's probably no great shocker then to learn that Pocono is now Weber's favorite track.

"I love that track...because it gives you the feeling of a superspeedway, a sensation you might get at Daytona, but it also has a road course feel to it. It's really different than any track I've ever been on. Overall, it's such a fun track to drive. Yeah, I'd have to say it's my favorite now."

To make it more interesting, when he's not racing, he's typically at the controls of a John Deere 4-wheel-drive, 8-wheel tractor or a big combine tractor every fall. Weber is the fifth generation in his family to farm the same tracts of land in Indiana and Illinois.

"I love farming; it's in my blood, and I really don't want to ever give it up completely. It's just like racing, or anything you're trying to learn. It takes practice and experience to learn to do it right, and like racing, it helps to have someone teach you how to do it."

One of Weber's go-to guys to help him with learning the craft of stock car racing has been 10-time ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards champion Frank Kimmel.

"He's someone I look up to...I think everyone does in ARCA. If there's a track I've never been to, he's the first person I go to. It makes sense, when you're looking for guidance; you go to the best. Frank's been great with his time; he makes you feel really comfortable. I really like listening to him."

And right in step with the newer generations, Weber, when he's not racing and/or farming, he's online finishing up his junior year of high school.

"I go to a private Christian school...the Alpha Omega Academy; it's all online."

When asked which direction he'd like to go - being a professional racecar driver or a farmer, he answers, "That's a good question. A lot of people ask me that. It's my dream to become a really great racecar driver, but farming is a big part of who I am. It's (farming) my favorite pastime. It's something different and it helps clear my mind."

Weber also finished 10th earlier this year at Toledo Speedway, a career-best short-track finish for the Ambia, Indiana driver. He also finished 11th in his ARCA Racing Series debut at Madison Int'l Speedway in 2013.

Because Weber's only 17, he can't compete on most superspeedways - the exception being Pocono and Kentucky Speedway where he plans to compete in mid-September yet this year. Outside of ARCA's superspeedway schedule, Weber plans to compete in all the remaining short-track races in 2014, all in preparation for a full season in 2015. Weber will turn 18 this November 17th.

Raceday begins with Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 12:35 with the ModSpace 125 race event following at 5, live on FOX Sports 1. The ModSpace 125 race event also includes one practice session on Thursday, July 31 from 3 - 5. All on-track activity will be featured in live Timing & Scoring at ARCAracing.com.

The ModSpace 125 serves as the show-opener for a big weekend of racing at Pocono featuring the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Pocono Mountains 150 on Saturday followed by the grand finale - the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 on Sunday.

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