Troy Fraker, a staple at Central Pennsylvania’s race tracks for 35 years, began his last full-time season behind the wheel of a race car Friday night at Williams Grove Speedway. The driver of the No. 12W 410 Sprint Car only expects to run “about 15 or so” races THIS year; so he plans to “have a lot of fun” during the 2017 season.
One of the genuinely good guys of the sport, Fraker, whose father owned a Super Sportsman, grew up going to Silver Spring Speedway. With Elvin Felty, Timmy Leiphart, Howie Lock, and Fred Putney behind the wheel of his father’s race car, a young Fraker had a lot of racing talent to look up to.
Fraker’s racing career began in 1983, when he started running a Super Sportsman at Silver Spring Speedway. In 1985, he added a 410 Sprint Car to his resume and often ran both cars on the same night. 1985 also saw Fraker named Port Royal Speedway Rookie of the Year over up-and-coming star, Jeff Shepard.
In 1986, Fraker gave up his Super Sportsman and concentrated solely on the 410. On trying to run both cars, Fraker says, “There just wasn’t enough time for the 410”.
In the mid 1990s, Fraker went a different route when he started racing a Small Block Modified (while still running his 410 Sprint Car as well) at Susquehanna, Hagerstown, and Williams Grove Speedways. Fraker tried this out for about a season and a half before again realizing he wanted to focus on 410 Sprint Car racing.
In 1998, Fraker tried his luck with the United States Auto Club (USAC), running “off and on with them at Williams Grove, Path Valley, Lincoln, and Lernerville Speedways”. Since then, Fraker has been a weekly Friday night fixture at Williams Grove Speedway.
Devoting all his racing talents to his 410 Sprint Car since giving up the Modified, Fraker has “always paid 95% of the racing bills” by himself; “no corporate sponsors”. That is a rare thing nowadays and something Fraker is very proud of. Fraker also says that is the main reason every night at the track is a win for he and his team.
Fraker’s major sponsor is his own business, TWF Manufacturing, which can be seen on the top wing of his Sprint Car.
Fraker’s company builds utility trailers “for construction companies, four-wheelers, lawn mowers; really anything”. Fraker says, “We build them all the way up to 14,000 pounds”.
As far as the 2017 season, Fraker and his crew, Lester Spidle and Randy Swartz, plan to run weekly at Williams Grove Speedway. Beyond that, Fraker wants to have fun. His plan is to make a few appearances in Western Pennsylvania, race in the New Jersey Rush at New Egypt Speedway, and “run a few big shows at Port Royal”.
When asked what has motivated him to continue to get behind the wheel of his race cars for so long, Fraker answers, “You have to love the sport. If you really do love the sport, you have one huge family and that’s awesome. And it’s not all about winning. It’s about finishing. Every night you finish, it’s a win. It’s all good”.