Riverside Speedway is home to some of the friendliest, most helpful people in the racing business. If a racer is in need, there are usually five people jumping to help. This is especially important in the higher divisions, where higher speeds sometimes bring bigger problems. A helpful hand is always welcome, and one of the first people to lend a hand is the Northeast Kingdom’s Aaron Smith.
The Irasburg native drives a mint green Chevy Impala in the Sign Depot Outlaw Sportsman division, but hasn’t always been privy to racing.
His wife Janet had been going to Riverside most of her life, and took Aaron to his first race in 1993. Like most people, Aaron was hooked. He tested his luck in the endurosin 1994, and played in the Street Stocks in ’95 and ’96. He then took some time off, but jumped back behind the wheel in 2009.
Smith always had an interest in the 8 cylinders, and swapped for an Outlaw Sportsman last year. In his rookie season, Smith finished 4th in points for the year, a testament to his consistent driving. Although Aaron is having another consistent year, he’s not satisfied.
“I just come here to have fun” says Smith. “Everyone wants to win, but I’ve still got a lot to learn”.
Aaron doesn’t have a huge enclosed trailer. He doesn’t have a ton of money dumped in his car. He doesn’t have a paid crew. He doesn’t even really have a crew at all.
It’s just him, and his wife.
Janet is his spotter, which keeps her calm on race day. “I don't have time to be nervous” Janet states. “I just want him to have a good race, and do maybe a little better than the week before. I know he's doing what he enjoys, so why be scared?”
Not only is his wife cheering him on, but you can usually find his mother in the grandstands on race day as well.
“My family supports this like crazy” chuckles Aaron.
He also realizes how important fans are to racing. “This is a fan sport. If they aren’t here, we’re not here!”
For the Smith’s, there is no other place. “If there’s racing here, I’ll be here!” Aaron exclaims.
He can’t say enough about the drivers he races with, which says a lot about Aaron. “The respect that you get here, even the rookies, is just amazing. The 96 (Trever Roy) and 81 (Chris Ouellette), I’d race with them all day long” comments Aaron.
Smith makes sure he runs hard, but tries to give everyone room on the track. When it’s time for him to move up, these traits will go a long way.
The Northeast Kingdom should be proud to be represented by such a great person. Come and see Aaron’s Butler’s Bus Service/Al’s, Snowmobile/Parkview Garage machine and the rest of the Sign Depot Outlaw Sportsman, and all of our drivers at Riverside Speedway in Groveton, New Hampshire July 28th for Amoskeag Beverage Miller/Coors night. Grandstands open at 4pm, with post time slated for 6pm. Support your local short track racers