By Ken Bruce
There have been many instances over the years of teams and families giving back to the sport of dirt racing. Our sport is filled with families who supported our sport throughout their generations. The Pauch family, the Swinehart family, the Bailey family, the Watt family are just a few of the so many that have blessed the dirt racing scene over the past decades with their support and commitment either through driving or owning a race car.
That brings us to one of the newest families that have joined the ranks of committing themselves to grow our beloved sport. That family is the Getz family. Butch Getz along with his wife Robin and their children Danica and Kailyn have gone over and above to make the sport of dirt racing grow and prosper.
Butch Getz has been involved in dirt racing for many years and is a long-time driver himself racing mostly at Penn Can Speedway over the years. 2020 saw Butch get his first and only win while racing at Penn Can all the while his other car was at Big Diamond Speedway winning the same night with Jeff Strunk behind the wheel. At the end of the 2020 season, Butch decided to retire from driving and just focus on owning a dirt modified.
Like I mentioned before, 2020 saw Getz loan one his cars to legendary PA driver Jeff Strunk when Strunk’s regular Big Diamond ride, the Glenn and Bonita Hyneman No. 126 suffered engine troubles forcing the team to sit out on Friday nights. All Strunk did with Getz’s No. 15G was to win three features including the high paying “Prelude to the Coalcracker” race in August. That was the beginning of the current Big Creek Concrete / Getz Motorsports team now piloted by another of the PA big three Duane Howard.
Former driver Jeff Strunk – “They are a great hard working racing family. I’ve known Butchy for a long time from driving for Brad Grammes over the years and got to drive for him a few years ago and we almost won the Big Diamond championship together. It’s great to see his wife Robin, their daughters and their many family members all very involved with the racing team. Great people who are great friends of mine. A true racing family.”
Since teaming up with Howard in 2021, the Getz Motorsports team has won eight features (5 Big Diamond, 3 Grandview) including the 2021 Bruce Rogers Moneymaker at Grandview. The team also finished second in points that year at Big Diamond and in 2022 was crowned the Big Diamond Speedway points champion. Going into 2023, the Getz Motorsports team is ready to improve and will run the same schedule of Big Diamond and Grandview and adding some of the STSS South races along with some of the higher paying spec 358 races at other tracks.
But this article is not particularly about the Getz Motorsports team but what the team and family has done and is doing for the sport of dirt track racing.
Big Diamond Speedway owners Jake and Jasmine Smulley have always been big in giving back to the community through their various endeavors. Big Diamond annually holds a Trunk N Treat for Halloween, gives away turkeys at Thanksgiving and provides meals to the community throughout the winter months. This season the Getz Motorsports team through Big Creek Concrete joined Big Diamond Speedway on Jan 29th to give away 200 free meals to the Big Diamond Speedway community.
Current driver Duane Howard – “They are the most caring, thoughtful, and dedicated family/car owner that I’ve ever met. Behind the scenes they help so many people out, not just in the community but also in racing. If there is a racer or someone in need, they will be the first ones there to help. I’m thankful that racing has brought me to meet such good people!”
The love of dirt racing has continued in the Getz family as 16-year-old Danica Getz is getting behind the wheel of a crate sportsman car on a regular basis in 2023. Danica ran a few races in 2022 to get her feet wet. This season she will compete in the new Big Creek Concrete rookie class at Big Diamond Speedway.
The rookie class is a new concept for Big Diamond Speedway in 2023. Track promoters Jake and Jasmine Smulley along with race director Kasea Bauscher wanted to give the new and upcoming drivers a division so they can race and learn amongst themselves instead of being thrown to the wolves having to compete against the more experienced crate sportsman drivers.
Butch Getz has once again stepped up through his company Big Creek Concrete to sponsor the new rookie class. As of this writing there have been 12 drivers who have signed up to compete in the rookie class.
“Jake contacted me one day and told me what he would like to do,” said Getz. “I thought it was a good idea and he asked me if I would be interested in sponsoring the division and I said no problem. My daughter Danica will be running in it along with Jason Bashore’s son and McKenzie Smith, so I was happy to jump on board and become the sponsor of the rookie sportsman and be able to give back to the future racers.”
Not to be out done, Getz’s youngest daughter Kailyn has thrust herself into the spotlight by getting involved in the team and sport as well. In 2022, Kailyn started her own vlog that follows the No. 15G team on race nights. Kailyn’s vlogs are very well done, and I look forward to seeing how far she has come with them this season.
The vlog is not the only thing Kailyn is doing to give back to the sport. This season Kailyn will be working hard to get the children at Big Diamond involved by having special nights throughout the year in which there will be fun and games along with some giveaways. Kailyn will be hosting several different events this season at Big Diamond starting with an Easter Egg hunt on the night of the 2023 season opener, Friday April 7th. Kailyn has been able to get many drivers to contribute in one way or another whether it be signing shirts or donating some driver swag for prizes. Drivers such as Craig Von Dohren, Tanner Van Doren, Ryan and Logan Watt, Stewart & Jessica Friesen, Mike Lisowski, Matt Sheppard, Alex Yankowski along with Hoffman Speed Supply and Behrents Performance Warehouse have all contributed in one way or another to help Kailyn attain her goal of getting our youth involved at the racetrack.
Not to be left out, Robin Getz is also heavily involved in the Getz Motorsports team. While not being in the spotlight like Butch, Danica & Kailyn. Robin stays behind the scenes and makes sure everything keeps running smoothly along with keeping the girls’ schedules straight. Both Danica and Kailyn are star softball players at their high school which keeps the family quite busy this time of the year.
Like I said earlier in this article, there are very many racing families who have left a mark on our sport and the Getz family is definitely one of those. I am happy to call Butch, Robin, Danica and Kailyn friends and wish nothing but success to them all.
For any comments and questions, I can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @dirtracefan25