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HWFG - 11/28/21 - Toby Hallett


Life sometimes takes the long way around to get you right back to where you always wanted to be, this is one of those cases. There have been many stops along the way that kept me engaged with the sport of auto racing but admittedly I haven’t been around it as much as I would like the past few years. Maybe that was a needed break, maybe that was the right amount of distance to keep focused on the silly things life brings you outside of the track, but one thing is for certain, I’M BACK.

I’m sure a lot of you don’t know who I am and are wondering who the hell is this guy so allow me to give you a bit of a back story. I have been involved in just about every aspect of racing since 1990. I joined a street stock crew while in junior high and progressed to crew chief on UMP Mods and Late Models in Illinois. I was able to get behind the wheel or a crate late model in the late 2000s and even had a stint in the famed CJ Rayburn entry. Moving away from driving I was able to help promote a couple of tracks in Central Illinois and then moved on to work for a major racing safety device company for 5 years. I was able to do some writing as well along the way and to me, it was the most satisfying part of my racing career. We moved from Central Illinois to Northwest Florida in 2019 and now it's time to get back to what I really enjoy.

No this isn’t some sort of announcement about returning to drive, returning to crew, or anything like that, I am back to sitting down at a computer to let the world see how I see auto racing, in written form. A few folks have encouraged me to get back to writing over the last couple of years, but I really just didn’t have the motivation. It’s been tough watching things unfold on the track from afar over the last couple of years and one thing I’ve noticed is there just aren’t enough people telling the stories of short track racing.

Maybe telling the stories of short track racing sets the wrong tone of what I will provide weekly thanks to Jody Shannon and, you will be getting my unfiltered thoughts of events and drivers and not some rainbows and unicorns version of journalism. You see, one of my favorite people on planet Earth, Robin Miller passed away earlier this year and I knew after watching how he carried himself even in his final days that I wanted to return to writing. We all still miss you, Robin. 

There is a chance the world doesn’t need a grassroots writer, with everyone doing their best to kill local late model racing (spoiler alert, it's dead) but here I am, ready to give my opinion on all things racing. This will be a weekly column dedicated to anything and everything auto racing. Anything from Stephen Nasse getting ripped off by officials at the upcoming Snowball Derby to the “Gorilla” Dave Smoot bringing an "illegal car" to the King of Compacts and everything in between. So sit down, strap in and enjoy the ride. Follow me on the Twitter machine @tobyhallettDRC for more info.


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