Off-road trucks tackle Bark River Raceway
BARK RIVER – Cody and Kyle Kleiman of Wilson have spent the better part of their lives watching their father, Mark, race at Bark River International Raceway. For the two brothers, racing alongside Mark and in front of their local hometown, has always been a dream for them.
This weekend, a dream will become a reality as Cody and Kyle will make their TORC Series debut at Bark River International Raceway, in the Pro Light TORC Off-Road Series.
“I watched him growing up, all the time,” Cody Kleiman said about his father. “It’s just been a passion of mine to be out there with him. I always wanted to race him, but now that it’s actually happening, it’s been an unbelievable moment.”
After Mark briefly retired from the super stock division, Cody and Kyle began racing four-wheelers. As a former motocross racer, and a parent, Mark understood the dangers posed by motorcross racing.
“With taking some time off, the boys had begun some racing with the quads and did very well with it,” Mark said. “As a parent, and with racing motocross in the past, I knew what that would entail over time. With the injuries, that come with racing that stuff, I wanted to see them in a roll cage around them.”
Two years later, Mark returned to the Pro Light division. Cody and Kyle continued to race four-wheelers, up until Mark decided it was time to give his sons a chance in the same division that he races in.
“When it’s family, it makes it even better,” Kyle said about making his debut season alongside his brother and father. “When we saw we were getting another truck, it was like ‘Holy cow, dreams are coming true.'”
With two trucks, Mark races full-time, while Cody and Kyle will each race on one day of the weekend. The points that Cody and Kyle earn, all go toward the same truck and point total.
The brothers have embraced the role as supportive teammates.
“You’d think it would be difficult, because you’re always together, but we get along so good, it doesn’t matter,” Cody said about sharing time with his brother.
So far, both Cody and Kyle have displayed similar driving habits. So much so, the truck appears to consistently race the same way, regardless of whose turn it is to drive.
“Kyle might be a little bit more patient with the truck, but Cody is a charger,” Mark said about his sons’ driving styles. “I hear several times at the track, that the guys at the track don’t even know who’s in the truck-whether it’s Cody or Kyle-so their driving styles must be really close.
“They have little different things about them, but unless you have a trained eye to see it, most people don’t even notice it.”
Despite being a supportive family and team, Cody and Kyle (21st) are quick to point out that they’re currently ahead of Mark (26th) in the points’ standings, so far this year.
“They’re poking it in on me good,” Mark said about his sons giving him a hard time. “It kind of makes it a lot more fun. Last time, we joke around with ‘What’s the hold up back there?’ It makes it a lot more fun. The slow lap guy usually gets the crappiest job.”
Felch’s Chad Hord enters the weekend with the Pro 2 division points lead. Hord currently sits in first with 91 points, 10 more than second place C.J. Greaves.
Hord won the opening race of the year, but then finished second to C.J. Greaves the next three races. Greaves’ 10th place finish in the first race of the year, is the reason for the point differential between him and Hord.
Racing begins today with the Sportsmen class being featured on the evening’s lineup. The Stock Truck and Classix will begin at 3:35 p.m. (Central time). Dan Beauchamp’s Super Stock Truck division will begin at approximately 5:55 p.m.
Saturday features a full slate of racing, beginning at 10:45 a.m. with the Stock Truck and Classix, and finishes up with the Pro 4’s, which is scheduled to start at 3:15 p.m. Sunday racing begins at 10:45 a.m. with with a Sportsman Challenge race and closes out with the Pro 4 Division at 1:30 p.m. Autograph signings will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.