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Annual race car show about more than just racing

Published: Mar. 7, 2021 at 11:28 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - About 64 racing vehicles, from go-carts to full-body cars, were lined up in Grand Central Mall on Sunday.

From a car dating back to the early 60′s to cars built this past winter, this racecar show had a variety, not only in cars, but in racers.

Zach is only 13.

“I’ve been racing for about seven years now. I got my car when I was five and then I ran my first race when I was seven,” he said.

Zach is a part of a four generation long racing family.

Mike Martin, an older generation racer, started out at five as well. Through his many years of racing pink cars, he’s even earned himself a nickname.

“In 27 years of racing, everyone knows me as The Pink Panther,” he said.

Martin’s childhood weekends were booked Friday through Sunday at the track. So far, he’s built about eight racecars on top of racing them.

It’s a love that goes beyond the rush of winning.

He said, “My grandkids helped me put the panels on this car this year and that’s what we’ve done for the last few years to make the mall show.”

For show organizer Ashley Ness, racing provides a family in and of itself.

He said, “Racing is about a racing family. I am probably closer to some of the racers than I am most of my family members because of the fact that it’s a close knit group.”

For some, the racecar show may have been a fun weekend stop, but for Ness, it was a family reunion.

“I go back to the family of racers again. This is an event where they can come out and stand around and tell stories and talk about the racing families,” he said.

Whether they’re on or off the track, it looks like these racers will always have their crew.

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