Chasing his dream
Russell man to drive at Stateline Speedway
RUSSELL — When the average person chases a dream for 40 years, at some point they realize that the reality is: it’s just a dream.
But for Russell native Corey MacQueen he never gave up on his dream.
“I remember when I was a small boy, my grandparents had a place near Marion Center and I would hear the roar of the cars and dreamed of going,” MacQueen said recently about his early memories. “My Pap took me to my first race when I was 7 or 8 years old for my birthday, and that’s all it took, I was hooked.”
When he turned 18, he got on Jeff Hoffman’s crew and ever since that summer he has wanted to race his own car.
“Ever since that first year of racing in 1994, my life has been tied to racing in some form or another,” MacQueen said. “I originally got my CDL thinking it would be easier to get on a NASCAR crew.”
For the last 29 years, MacQueen has stayed around the sport of dirt track racing in some capacity.
“I’ve been on pit crews, a business partner on a couple teams, a sponsor and I’ve even took a turn as a pit steward in the heydays of the McKean County Raceway in Smethport,” he said. “So I’ve been around the sport for a while.”
MacQueen has actually been close to racing his own car before this summer.
“I’ve been close before, this is actually the fifth race car I’ve bought to race but I’ve sold off every one of them before turning a lap myself because life’s circumstances and the proverbial curveball that life has thrown at me, I’ve just not been able to put it all together,” he said. “This time was close too, I almost decided not to do it again … but my wife Wendy kept pushing me to race.”
For Macqueen, racing is truly a family business now. He is a husband to Wendy and the busy stepfather to five active kids who participate in sports and have their own busy lives, but they make it work. His stepson Cameron serves on his pit crew and his wife and the rest of the kids help in the garage.
“From our early years of dating when we worked opposite shifts, the only time we had together was shop time, so we did a lot together and our relationship just grew from there,” he said.
“The whole family is excited for him,” Wendy added. “He wasn’t going to do this. One day a couple of years ago, we were at a race at Stateline Speedway just watching. I looked at him and saw the smile on his face. I told him he should do this. He looked me dead in the eye and asked me if I would really be OK with it. I told him life was just too short and you only have one shot to chase your dreams. If you don’t go after this, you’ll always wonder what might have been. After that we all got behind him.”
For Corey Macqueen, his goals for this season aren’t complicated.
“The first goal, which has already been achieved, was just to have fun. This is all just too much work to not have fun doing it,” he said. “Secondly, I’d like to improve my skills as a driver and learn as much as I can so I still have a car and an engine to race again next year; that’s really all I need for this year.”
To his wife and family, racing and being together is the bonus.
“Corey and I both realize that our relationship has been a lot of hours spent together in the shop, blood, sweat and tears, lots of adversity and a even some failures mixed in, but every time we rest on each other and the kids are learning that you just gotta keep pushing,” Wendy said. “Don’t be afraid of hard work and never give up. Being able to watch this stepdad race is the bonus to what they are learning. … The kids love watching him live his dream. It is such a great life lesson for our family.”
Corey will be racing in the dirt track oval class which is based on the PennOhio Pro Stock Series rules, which utilizes about a dozen tracks in the tri-state area that allows the cars to run on the same rules packages.
For MacQueen, he is planning on racing at Stateline Speedway this Saturday night, living his dream.
You can be sure his family will be in the stands cheering him on.