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Parkland grad Carter Fartuch is making his dreams come true on NASCAR’s truck series circuit

Carter Fartuch at practice. (Lance Griffith)
Carter Fartuch at practice. (Lance Griffith)
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Carter Fartuch always loved the sound of motors.

It didn’t matter what kind.

“I would use a lawnmower and I knew exactly what kind of motor was involved,” he said. “And then fast forward to when I was about 12 or 13, and the Lehigh Valley Grand Prix opened up in Allentown, an indoor go-kart track. I was always nervous to try anything new. Especially at that age, I was very hesitant and never really pushed myself outside that barrier. But my dad encouraged me to go to the Grand Prix and we tried it out. And it went really well.”

As it turned out, the Schnecksville native was a natural behind the wheel and what began at Lehigh Valley Grand Prix and that love of motors has led the 29-year-old Parkland High graduate to NASCAR’s Craftsman Truck Series.

In what he described as a dream come true, Fartuch ran his first race last weekend at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. He started 29th and finished 21st.

“That was my first time driving anything remotely close to a stock car,” Fartuch said. “We were up there in 16th in a couple of the stages. I wasn’t on what you would call their top-level truck, and there were definitely some things that could have been better. But it was all a whirlwind because the NASCAR schedule is tight. You have a 20-minute practice that goes in a 10-minute qualifying. If you have an issue that happens during practice you don’t have time to fix and that’s what happened to us. We had some penalties that kept pushing us to the back to the pack, but I was very happy to finish 21st.”

As he finished on the checkered flag lap, some tears streamed down Fartuch’s face as he came off the track and out of the No. 22 car owned by Reaume Brothers Racing and sponsored by Skip Barber Racing School where Fartuch has worked as a instructor for years.

It was a moment that Fartuch will never forget.

“It was something you never thought was possible growing up in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania, watching NASCAR races on TV with my father and with my little diecast NASCAR cars on my carpet that I would always get at Pocono Raceway,” he said. “Me and my dad have been watching this stuff for years and to get to this point it was just a surreal moment for all of us. Not just my parents, but also my wife Gabi, who has been with me every step along the way of my racing journey.”

Over the years as he made his way through the go-kart circuit and eventually became a road track instructor at Skip Barber Racing, Edwina Fartuch, Carter’s mother, would send clippings and keep Mike McCreary, the owner of the Lehigh Valley Grand Prix, informed of success.

There’s little doubt of where his passion in racing was born and that’s at the Lehigh Valley Grand Prix.

“It was just something I grabbed and understood right away,” he said. “I liked it immediately and Mike told us there was a junior league that was starting up in a week or two. And he suggested I come out and do one or two of the races to see if I would like it. Again, I was hesitant about doing it. But my dad pushed me to at least give it a try. I ended up getting on a pole and won the race and ended up getting on every single pole and winning every race in the league they had. So I was already making a name for myself in the indoor karting that they had and then I met some people who raced professionally in outdoor karting. My parents and I saved some money and we ended up buying a go-kart and I would go with my parents to the New Jersey Motorsports Park in Mill

McCreary thought that Fartuch’s first time at the track was for a birthday party.

“It’s pretty neat that we get a lot of kids for birthday parties and other programs we do and once they try it, some of them get the bug for racing,” McCreary said. “Carter got hooked on our junior racing program and kept excelling. He went all in on the racing.”

McCreary is proud that what Fartuch began at his place has become a career.

“He works at Skip Barber Racing and became an outstanding instructor and we’re very proud of him,” McCreary said. “What we do at our go-kart is provide the absolute barrier to enter racing. You don’t need knowledge on how to mechanically fix your car or your go-kart. You don’t need a huge budget to get started. So it’s pretty neat and we get a lot of kids through the junior leagues who do really well. Carter is an exceptional story to that. I think it’s a cool story to tell the Valley because we have so many kids who are chasing dreams in sports. A lot of people don’t realize that there’s dream in motor sports, too.”

But the love of racing was ingrained in him at an early age. He was a big Jeff Gordon fan and he loved to watch the races at Pocono Raceway each summer and get his collectibles.

“Carter started as a soccer player and played other sports at Parkland, but he ended up getting invited to the Lehigh Valley Grand Prix, which had just opened, and that’s where everything clicked for him,” Edwina Faruch said. “He drove just three or four laps the first time and people came over and asked us if he had been driving somewhere else. We said ‘no, this was his first time in a go-kart’ and they were impressed and convinced him to join the junior league they had over there.”

Fartuch, who now lives in Florida, has taught Ross Chastian, Bubba Wallace, Jimmy Johnson, Kyle Busch and other NASCAR legends at the Skip Barber Racing School. He has become friends with another Lehigh Valley native, Marco Andretti, who is in his first year in the truck series after a lengthy career in Indycar.

“I am thankful to the other drivers who introduced me to a lot of other people,” he said. “It’s all about making connections and meeting people and it has been a crazy, whirlwind of an adventure and I’ve been lucky and blessed. When I have been given the opportunity to do something, I’ve been able to capitalize on it and make my dreams come true.”

 

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