In the military 20 plus years, Master Sergeant David Oenes, is presently a special purpose vehicle mechanic in the Colorado National Guard. After turning bolts day-in and day-out, some folks might stray away from hobbies requiring mechanical issues during their free time. Oenes doesn't have that mindset though, as he spends a portion of his time away from work manning an alcohol burning/supercharged 526 cubic inch Chrysler hemi-powered dragster in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.
David Oenes is looking forward to competing in more events during the 2012 season.
Racing in the Top Dragster class at national and divisional events as well as at Bandimere Speedway, his local track, the driver experienced his fair share of success during the previous season. In fact, Oenes set his career record quickest elapsed time last season, a 6.26, and exceeded his fastest speed in 2012 as well, running 220 miles per hour. Both feats were accomplished at the Arizona Nationals.
The NHRA driver and his team attended ten races last season, two of which were divisional races and one was a national event. "We struggled to begin the year," recalled Oenes, "but once we figured out where our weaknesses were and addressed them, we came from fourteenth in points at the midway point of the season and finished sixth."
David Oenes is no different from his competitors in the fact that he and his team have experienced their ups and downs. Referring to his worst race of 2011, he said, "The Super Chevy race at Bandimere was horrible. We struggled with smoking the tires throughout the event. Having to pedal the car when you're not used to having to do that is aggravating. We put new rear tires on the car, and it solved the problem. You live and learn. Turns out the side walls were weak, causing the tires to smoke."
The driver then shared one of the more enjoyable races that he experienced last season. "The Arizona Nationals last year has many fond memories. It was my first national event and we qualified well with a 6.26 at 220 miles per hour. Pretty impressive, because the weather was over one-hundred degrees every day."
A military man for twenty years plus, in spite of a busy schedule, David Oenes finds time to pursue his passion for drag racing.
Not only had Oenes spent many years in the military, but he is also an old hand at the sport of drag racing. In fact, he has been driving the family race car since 1989. When asked what keeps him enthused about the sport, the driver explained, "The thing I enjoy most about racing is the competition, and the amazing friendships that can be cultivated. One of the coolest people on the planet, whom I met through racing, is my friend from Manitoba, Canada, Clif Bakx and the Wild Cow Racing Team."
Although his responsibilities in his military career can have an effect on the number of races that Oenes can attend, he and his team are anticipating a busier schedule in 2012. "Sometimes being in the military affects what races we can attend. My boss at work supports our racing effort, gives me time off when he can. I am also thankful that our sponsors understand my military commitment and are still gracious to support our team."
Along with crediting his boss and sponsors, David Oenes was quick to give his team a thumbs-up. "The Oenes Motorsports team is compromised of the Oenes family," he explained. "I would not want to, nor could I race without their support. It is a total team effort. We have fun competing and winning as a team," he continued. "I am blessed to have the support that I do."
When asked if he considered maintenance an important factor of racing Oenes said, "Back in high school drag days, checking the oil and putting gas in the car was the maintenance. At the level of competition we are at today, championships are won and lost by how well the vehicle and engine are maintained. It is probably the most important aspect of winning," he continued. "But not only does the car have to be maintained, the driver should be doing his part so he can maintain his focus."
While David Oenes maintains his focus, K&N products are successful at maintaining and protecting the internal parts of his engine. In fact, the driver and his team have been using the K&N HP-5001 oil filter for as long as he can remember. "From the million mile air filter to the oil filters that can be removed with a wrench, money can't buy a better performing product," explained the driver. "I whole-heartedly endorse K&N products. They've even started making filters for large engines, which is perfect. We can even maintain the motor home with K&N filters. Maintenance wins championships. When we won the 2010 Purifoy Chevrolet Fast 16, K&N played a major role by keeping the oil free of debris."
When asked what fans could expect from David Oenes Racing in 2012, the driver said, "Race fans can expect me to give 110 percent. I will also maintain a positive 'can do' attitude! This year I hope to win a WALLY! Although we have won many trophies, the one that has eluded our team so far is the coveted WALLY! It's what every drag racer lives for!"
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