By MIKE MALLETT
On Tuesday night at Volusia Speedway Park the Halmar-Friesen Racing team, with driver Stewart Friesen, quietly debuted their new DKM (Damn Kids Motorsports) Cyclone Chassis. The car is the brain child of Dave Constantino, Kyle Hoffman and Erick Mack. The trio has been working on development of the chassis last few years with Friesen and others. Friesen competed in one of their cars last season for Tadd Parks and this new car is the outcome of that relationship.
“The car is similar to the design that Stewart (Friesen) ran last year with Tadd Parks,” said Hoffman from the Volusia Speedway Park pit area. “We took that car and made a handful of changes. They weren’t huge, just some small things. The car wasn’t perfect so we made the changes. We’re happy with where the car is now.”
Friesen added, “Basically the car that we built and brought down here is a fine tuning on some of the things we did last year. We went to back to the analysis that Dave (Constantino) Kyle (Hoffman) and Erick (Mack) put together to make a few adjustments.”
In Tuesday night’s practice Friesen had a power steering issue and then some brake issues in the first two sets of practice. Both were quickly rectified. Once the first race gremlins were worked out Friesen was fast. He ended up turning the fastest laps in the final set of hot laps.
“We had some issues out of the box with the steering and the brakes, but it was the first time on the track,” commented Constantino. “We took care of that after the first two sets. Stewart got out after the third set of hot laps and gave us the thumbs up.”
Unfortunately things didn’t go as planned for the on Saturday night in the 40-lap finale. They struggled with a motor issue for much of the night. They worked tirelessly all evening long on that in order for Friesen to compete in the feature. They got everything running well enough that Friesen was able to come home in seventh. They would have liked more than one night of racing, but Mother Nature took away their other opportunities to compete.
Friesen won’t be the only racer to have a DKM at his disposal in the 2017, as the teams of Jimmy Davis and Elmo Reckner are on board for the season to go along with the cars owned and driven by Hoffman and Constantino. From there they hope to expand their chassis building business.
“My goal is to get us to the point where we are working in racing,” said Constantino. “When I come the shop to work on the cars it isn’t like going to work. I actually enjoy coming here every day. It’s my passion and I’d love to be able to do it full-time.”
They’ve already diversified their program to include more than just chassis fabrication as they also build bodies and other parts for race cars. They try to do everything in house when it’s possible as they have their own CNC (Computer Numerical Control) equipment.
“We are making all of our own parts on the CNC machine,” mentioned Hoffman. “We also make bodies and other things besides building the chassis. We’ve been doing some subcontracting work for General Electric as well.”
There is no doubt the trio has the all the tools to reach their goal, as they have both the technical knowledge and the racing knowledge to get it done. It’s only a matter of time before they find the success they are hoping for.