By ED & BETTY BIITTIG
Everyone has a “Bucket List” and for George Shakelton the time to start fulfilling his list came sooner than he expected thanks to his wife Tammy.
George is an avid dirt track race fan along with owning nine NAPA Auto & Truck Parts stores in and around the Sullivan County area of New York and in Pennsylvania. Dirt track fans will recognize the Shakelton name as a sponsor on the race cars of Danny Johnson, Danny Creeden and most recently, Brett Hearn.
“One thing I always wanted to do was own my own car and run the Super Dirt Series,” said George. “My plan was to do that when I retired from the auto parts business.”
Because George and Tammy have steadily been adding to their store ownership in the past few years, the chance of owning his own car looked to be further into the future each year. Until recently when Tammy said, “why should you wait, why not do it now?”
It didn’t take long after that and George starting calling car builders and shopping around. He recently made his decision to buy a Bicknell and the rest just fell into place. The car will be driven by George’s favorite driver, Danny Johnson and should be ready to run by the time Fulton Speedway runs their Outlaw 200 weekend.
“Danny has thrilled me for years,” said George, “and I wanted to give back to him with a steady ride that he can run at Super DIRT Week and next season on the Super Dirt Series.”
George and the team plan to have the car ready to run a week prior to the Outlaw event so they can shake it down and not go into a 200 cold. The car will get it’s power from a CC Motorsports engine currently being rebuilt by Enders. That wasn’t the original plan but that is how things turned out. It was a CC Motorsports motor owned by Jeff Brown already being rebuilt by Enders when George looked to buy it.
George also said former Johnson car owner, Chris Gennarelli will be helping out on the team because of his expertise. The color scheme will be old school Danny Johnson 27J orange with Shakleton Auto & Truck Parts emblazoned on the quarter panel. Similar to the one Danny ran at Volusia this past February.
George and his new team with Danny Johnson at the wheel will run the Outlaw 200 at Fulton this season and continue on to Oswego for SDW, then to Orange County Fair Speedway for the Eastern States Weekend and then on to Charlotte in November. For the 2018 season the team will take the orange No. 27J on the Super Dirt Series.
According to George this new venture does not affect the sponsorship on Danny Creeden’s car or Brett Hearn’s. George and Brett have a deal until next February at Volusia and Hearn will run the small-block at Oswego in October.
Syracuse fans may have “The Orange” and now thanks to George and Tammy Shakelton we dirt car fans have our very own orange. We look forward to the debut of “The Doctor” and the Shakelton Auto & Truck Parts, Orange No. 27J this fall and for the 2018 season.