Gular Heading to Super DIRTcar Series Tour in ’22 – DTD Exclusive

By KEN BRUCE

“It is an opportunity of a lifetime and one I cannot pass up,” Mike Gular

Mike Gular and the Terry Fasnacht No. 2A team have never been one to shy away from a challenge. After winning the track championship at Grandview Speedway back in 2018, Gular changed his Saturday night home to the Orange County Fair Speedway in 2019. After another year at Grandview in 2020, the team once again decided to challenge itself by racing on New Egypt Speedway in 2021 which paid off handsomely with a track championship. 

2022 will find the Fasnacht team taking on its biggest challenge to date as they have decided to run the entire Super DirtCar Series by signing a platinum agreement on Saturday during this year’s PPB Motorsports Show. It will be a new adventure and a big challenge for Gular and his team, but one Gular thinks they can do.

“Adventures are what we do I guess,” said a happy Gular. “This (running the SDS) is something we had talked about for a couple of years now, but it never really jived with us running the Deyo deal because of the conflicts running both series presented. Now that they don’t have any conflicting races, now is the time to do it. It’s pretty funny that I will be 38-years-old and be a rookie on the SDS.  I have never had this opportunity before, and I do know so why not take advantage of it.




I talked to Strunky (good friend, Jeff Strunk) and he told me that if you have the chance to do it, go do it. You might not ever have this chance again.  So I thought about it and he’s right. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to go run a ton of races. Stew (Friesen) sent me a text today and said, ‘Hey Mr. Platinum, you are going to have a blast this year on the tour and run a lot of races and hopefully make a lot of money and it will be a lot of fun.’ I told him to remind me of that in July.

“I am really looking forward to the comradery of racing with guys like Stew, Sheppard, Max and all of them guys. Heck yeah, when we put our helmets on, we are going to race each other hard but at the end of the day we are all doing the same dam thing. I just want to be competitive, and I think we will. I do know it will be interesting.”

Gular isn’t giving up on the Short Track Super Series either.  He’ll compete in numerous events with that series as well.

“Obviously, we will still be running the Deyo Elite Series and in the STSS South Series.  We are going to at least try to make all of the south stuff. With such a hefty schedule, if we feel it will be better to miss a South race to get ready for another race we will do so, but the plan is to make them all.”

None of this would be possible without the two major Modified touring series coming together to not have any conflicting races in the upcoming season.

“It’s good to see the two series working together even if just only a little bit,” cited Gular. “Non conflicting races are a big benefit and that’s what was probably the deciding factor for us doing this. It’s good to know that you won’t be penalized going to a big money race. It’s really good for guys like Matt (Sheppard), Mat (Williamson) and guys that are full-time drivers to be able to do that. I myself don’t have any clout to do something like those guys did to make this all work out, but I am glad they did because they made it better for the whole group of us. We pour our lives into this, our families sacrifice, we sacrifice, and our crews sacrifice and it nice that they see it as well and doing this makes it better for everyone.”

Running for points in the SDS requires a team to race at a weekly sanctioned DIRTcar track to get the home track bonus. For Gular and his team, they have decided to return to OCFS weekly in 2022 to get the bonus and race for the big money being put up there by OCFS promoter Chris Larson.

“Middletown is putting up a lot of money, so we will have a good track to run for our home track points,” explained Gular. “I know I became a better race by running big-blocks at Middletown a couple of years ago and Terry (car owner Terry Fastnacht) is hoping that pays off in the long run. By running there before, we know what we need for there now and we have upped our motor program as such.

“It’s no different when those guys from up there come down here to run against us. They don’t have what have as far as spec motors go and it was the same for us in 2019 when we ran Middletown. We had a good big-block; it just wasn’t up to par technology wise with what those guys were running at the time.  Plus, we didn’t have the experience running those motors like they do. I think now we are getting closer with the motors, and we’ll see what happens.”

With the team’s new venture this season, they will have to leave New Egypt Speedway and not have a chance to repeat as track champions.

“Believe me, I loved going to New Egypt,” explained Gular. “It was a great track, everyone was great to us, the surface was great every week and I didn’t have any problems there all year. But this is an opportunity to jump around and get my name out there. I know I am too old to ever get to NASCAR, but it is chance to get my name out there and try to build up a fan base and hopefully down the road it will make things easier for me.”

“It will be a challenge for sure, but it is a challenge we accept and plan to make the best of it. I am not going to lie; I am a little nervous. There are some tracks out there that I have watched videos on, and I am like good god. We did go to Weedsport last year for the 358 races during Super DIRT Week and I loved it, the place was like a showplace. I know there has been problems there in the past with the track but the night we were there it was good.”

To take on the schedule the team has planned requires a lot of help as far crew members go at the shop and at the track and that is something Gular and Fastnacht are currently trying to figure out.

“We are trying to find some guys to add on to the team and help us out whenever possible,” cited Gular. “Even if it is only for a race here and there. We are looking for someone who has experience and to talk to them and see what we have to offer them. We know it’s going to be a grind, so we are trying to put together the personnel in line to help make it all jive and work. For me working at Penske, it is easy for me to take off to go race with them being so flexible. The end goal is to be a full-time racer but that is a big leap to take”

To do what Gular and team plan to do this season takes a great car owner who is willing to dig down deep and provide the team with what they need to do to make it work.

“It is awesome on Terry’s end to let us do this and I am very appreciative of what he does for me,” mentioned Gular. “I told him that if we are going to do this, we have to make some changes and he agreed. We are going to skip Florida this year to try and get better prepared to make sure we are at 100% going into Cherokee. From Cherokee, it’s game on. We do have a couple of weeks between there and Georgetown, but after that it’s nonstop until November. Terry ordered us a new truck to pull the race trailer which is good after the past two years.

“This year is going to be exciting, and you know, it is a breath of fresh air to be honest. It’s something different and it is a challenge, and I am hoping for my guys that have been with us can come along and take part. I know they are committed to doing Middletown on Saturday nights and that’s not too bad as we have done that before.”

One of the ultimate goals for Gular with running the SDS is to become a better all-around driver and he referenced one of his peers who has done exactly that.

“We are just trying to venture out and see what’s out there and get some experience. You look at what Ryan Godown did after he came off the tour for a year, he goes to Bridgeport and wins 10 races and kicks ass down in Louisiana. He definitely became a better driver after racing in the SDS and our hope is that we can do the same. We want to step up our game on a weekly basis and running against the best of the best. Look, we might have a 10th-place night and think man that sucks, but when you look at who you are racing against, it is not really that bad. I am excited, it’s going to be an awesome season and I cannot wait to get going.

“To top it off with the Elite deal, that is just insane what Deyo is doing with that. He is out of his mind and hopefully it works out for him. I am actually praying it works out for him because all of guys are counting on a paycheck. I am counting on him to keep that going. It’s a good time to be a modified driver, that’s for sure.”

Taking on such a big challenge will cause the team to scale back some of their local 358 spec racing, but they still will be around and will pick and choose the races they will attend. 

“We will still be present locally, but are looking to scale it back some,” explained Gular. “We will bounce around; we will definitely be at Big Diamond for some shows, but basically our spec racing around here will be hit or miss. If we have a weekend off, we will do some local racing to stay sharp, but we don’t want to do any Friday night points racing. I don’t want to scale back too much because I want to stay sharp, but we want to race smart so we don’t get burnt out. It also allows us to go to a track and get some track time at a track we don’t have much experience at.”

To do what the team plans to do also requires some great sponsorship and the No. 2A team has the sponsors in place to do so and hopefully with some success they can attract some more.

“Of course, we have Conestoga Custom Kitchens which is Terry’s company,” said Gular. “Xtreme Mechanical has been with us for a couple of years now. This year, Weaknecht Archery has joined to help us out. Hopefully we can build up our sponsorship even more, my goal is to get more marketing partners to take some of the weight off the boss man and help with the costs. We are going to run a hell of a lot of races and try and get our name out there.”

For this writer, it will be a pleasure to have a local driver who I cover on a weekly basis race on the SDS. I watch every SDS race as it is but having a local driver and friend involved just makes it that more interesting to follow. It will be a challenge for the team and there will be good nights and bad nights but, in the end, it will make Mike Gular a better driver. 

If you have any comments or questions, feel free to send me an email at dirtracefan25@hotmail.com or message me on Twitter @dirtracefan25