Racing the best

Dennis Durmas talks about being this year’s president of the Kiwanis Club as he works on his race car in his Kannah Creek Road garage. Durmas is preparing the car to compete in the upcoming nationals.

Dennis Durmas loves to race, whether it’s cars or snowmobiles.

Next week, the 43-year-old Whitewater man is racing his modified car in the International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) Super Nationals in Boone, Iowa.

Durmas, who is also the President of the Grand Junction Golden K Kiwanis Club, leaves Thursday and will race Friday at the Nebraska State Fair in Lincoln, Neb. The Super Nationals start next Wednesday, Sept. 9.

“It’s nice to go to a race with the fastest there is,” Durmas said. “You don’t learn if you don’t race someone faster than you.

“You get your brow beat hard. If you can’t take getting beat, you shouldn’t be racing.”

Close to 400 drivers are expected to compete, Durmas said.

He said there are up to 40 heat races with 12 drivers in each heat race. The heat race winners advance to the ‘A’ main race with the top six in each of the two mains advancing to the finals on Saturday night.

IMCA Modified race cars are open-wheel stock cars with rear-wheel drive. They have passenger car frames only.

Durmas’ IMCA Modified car runs on methanol alcohol.

“It runs cooler and builds more horsepower,” he said. “It’s cheaper, but you use more.”
Durmas has raced an IMCA Modified race car for five years now.

He raced in Super Nationals last year, but “had horrible luck.”

He raced in the Dakota Classic Series in July. It included six consecutive nights of racing and he did it after two nights racing in Gillette, Wyo.

After the last night in Bismarck, N.D., Durmas drove all night to Rock Springs, Wyo., for the final race in the Wild West Series.

“We were burned out afterwards,” he said.

His 10-year-old son wants to go with his dad to Super Nationals, but his dad isn’t taking him out of school that long to watch him race.

“My mom likes car racing,” Durmas said. “My son and wife have helped a ton.”

Auto racing is a more recent interest for Durmas. He grew up around snowmobiles and has raced them for 22 years. He recently signed a one-year contract extension with Polaris. He has raced for Polaris since 1998. He plans on retiring after the 2010 season.

Durmas has won several snowmobile hill climb events, but none top the Jackson Hole World Championship King of the Mountain title in 2003.

“It’s going to be tough retiring,” Durmas said. “I enjoy riding snowmobiles, racing is a dream come true.

“This is something I’ve earned and worked for. I’ve had a great career.”

He will continue riding snowmobiles with his wife and son.

“It’s his choice if he wants to race,” Durmas said of his son. “I would love to push him, but if he doesn’t want to do it, he won’t do it. I’m looking forward to having a lot more time for riding with the family.”

Durmas plans to continue racing his IMCA Modified car well after his snowmobile racing career.

“Old guys can race cars,” he said.


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