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Driver and Crew Interviews

Chip Havemann is Back!

June 01, 2010 by Chad Houghton
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Chip Havemann

Through the years racers come and go, some never to return.  Some get the itch and have to come back, it's in their blood.  This time it is none other than Chip Havemann.  Chip put his name on the racing map 12 years ago, racing in the Fun Ford Weekend and won the very first Renegade race.  That year he also won the World Championship in Renegade.  In 1999 Chip dominated the competition and won 20 out of 25 races.  He stopped racing Renegade at the end of 2001, and in 2002 he stepped up to SSO and won one race that year at the NMRA in Maple Grove PL.  For 2003 season a new 10.5W car was built and won the clash of the Titans Championship.  Chip then had the opportunity to put together his famed black twin turbo 10.5W car and qualified 9th at the World Street Nationals in 2005 out of 115 cars.  With his many wins and successes, why did he drop out of the racing scene?  Here is his story....

This is the second NMRA event you raced this year is it safe to say your back to stay?

Oh ya, I am back in the NMRA, this is where we want to play, the car is being specifically built for it, this is where we are going to be.

Chip HavemannWhy did you get out of racing?

My Mom was diagnosed with cancer and we knew it was going to be a long fight.  My dad and I were going to take care of her cause things were going to get worse as opposed to better. The timing was sort of a blessing for me, the economy was still really good, so we liquidated everything before the economic downturn.  We took care of Mom, Dad did a wonderful job of that and she passed in January of 09, now we are back racing.

Did you know you were going to get back into racing?

The intent was to buy a car that would be a diversion for my dad.  He was such an integral part of my racing success that I bought the car so that he would have something to do and keep his mind occupied.  As it turns out he is doing absolutely fine.  He has his own projects and he hasn't been super involved in this car, which is totally fine with me.  I'm glad that he is enjoying his time.

What made you decide to come back to racing in the Super Street Outlaw class?

John Urist and I were talking at the World Street Nationals in Orlando and I said "Its about time for me to start looking for cars."  and he said, "Well, you can buy a 10.5 car, we have Outlaw 10.5 car for sale."  I said' "I've been there and not sure that I can support that anymore.  I might be interested in buying the green car."  He said, "I don't know if that ones for sale."  He called Dwayne James, sure enough the green car, after a couple of discussions I am sure back in Albuquerque, they said ya we'll unload it and so I picked it up and I'm happy I did.

What is it like going from a 10.5 Outlaw car back to a small tire car?Chip Havemann

Well it is definately fast enough to keep the excitement level up.  I had driven some slower stuff in the mean time, street cars and whatever and it doesn't give you the rush like going 185 gives you.  Honestly for me its really about the same.  It's more difficult to drive this car but, it was difficult to drive the other car.  The other car just made alot more power.  We'd run 210 or 212 mph, this one has only been to 183 but its a smaller tire so it's still alot of driver input.  I really like the turbo car so, it's kinda fun.  I like it.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

When you get asked that question, if there is someone you want to thank you talk about the people that helped you get to where you are.  So I would say first of all my Dad for helping me out and giving me some basic support.  That was really really important to me.  He taught me alot about the importance of routine maintenance and trying to pay attention to detail, doing something right.  That kinda stuff.  Obviously my family for letting me go.  Viv is back home with the kids. She is such a wonderful mother, she takes such good care of them, I really appreciate that.  John Urist and Dwayne James from Hellion for taking me as the C or D team, and let me use tools and that kind of stuff.  Hopefully I am not over stepping my bounds with their trailer but without them.  I don't think I would be able to race as cosistently as I have, so I have to thank them.  I get some help fom my buddy, Team Ragin' Cajun Bill Peltier from Louisiana, also Ben Frasier out of Houston, both those guys helped me with my program so I've got to say props to them for this year.  There is no way I could forget the man that makes all this happen, Angel Padilla from Automotive Specialties in San Antonio the shop my operation is based out of.

Did you expect the warm welcome that you have received?

It is really very flattering!  It feels so good to see people give me thumbs up or cheer for me or say that its good to see me back at the race track.  I really really thrive on that.  It makes it, even if we don't do well at the races, though we have been pretty lucky this year but, even if we don't do well at the races it certainly worth all of the effort and the money and time that we put into it.  I'm an ego maniac I totally thrive on that!  I love it!

Chip HavemannChip Havemann