Drivers of all ages come and go every year into the Off Road Speedway in Norfolk to test the waters to see how they can matchup with competition.
For 13-year-old Tyler Harrill, he is coming into an unfamiliar territory but has plenty of experience in his young driving career.
Sixth grader Tyler Harrill, first got into racing when he raced go-karts when he was 5-years-old and won his first ever race. Ever since then Harrill has been racing full-time and competing with the best.
"I just love to race," Harrill said.
Harrill grew up racing cage kart, junior sprints, micro sprints, outlaw karts and modified cars over the last eight years.
Harrill has traveled around the Midwest including most notably the Tulsa Shootout in Oklahoma and the English Creek Speedway in Knoxville, Iowa where he has earned over 50 A-Feature wins.
Tyler has a few influences in his young racing life including his father, Brent, who has helped Tyler get into racing as he once raced at the Riviera Raceway and Boone County Raceway when he lived in Creighton.
"I was raised in Omaha and moved to Creighton, Nebraska in 2012 when I was the principal at Creighton community schools," Brent said. "During that time I raced at Riviera raceway and at Albion. Tyler started his racing career while he was a kindergartner at Creighton community schools."
They moved to Fremont but on April 25 they arrived at Off Road Speedway for the first time for the first tentative practice of the season.
"We want this to be our home track next year when he's 14," Brent Harrill said.
Along with guidance from his father, Tyler is also in race car driver's McKenna Haase's Compass Racing Development LLC.
"He get's to continue to grow and learn more as a driver as he gets older in her driver development program," Brent Harrill said.
The program is designed to grow the future of the motorsports industry by developing up and coming youth racecar drivers to be talented drivers, professional business people and ethical citizens.
Harrill just turned 13-years old on April 12 so he is not able to run any IMCA or NASCAR sanction races this year. He won't be able to race at the Off Road Speedway this year but Harrill is coming into the 2020 with five track point's championships while he received second place in the SportMod division in Concordia Kansas in 2019.
"He started racing modifieds at the age of 11. He's too young for the IMCA racing so we will go to Bethany Speedway in Missouri and the Osborne Missouri at US36 Speedway in Bethany Speedway where we will run in the E-mod class." Brent Harrill said. "He's done well everywhere he's gone, but we are looking forward to being able to run closer to home."
In 2017, as a Junior Sprint driver, Harrill had 18 feature wins on seven different tracks, he was the Little Sunset Speedway points champion, the Jayhusker Racing Series points champion and he was a Tulsa Shootout Qualifier.
Then in 2018, as an Outlaw Kart and Junior driver, he had seven feature wins one four different tracks with one first box stock and micro win.
This last year, as an Outlaw Kart and Modified driver, Harrill was second in points at Concordia High Banks (Sport Mod), he was named the Concordia High Banks Rookie of the Year and had a feature win at the English Creek Speedway.
Off the racetrack Harrill stays very busy as he participates in cross-country, tackle football, soccer, basketball while he is a three-time Nebraska Wrestling State Champion. He is also a part of the Family Faith Formation, student council, band, robotics, chess club and he is a peer mentor.
The Harrill family lives in Fremont to this day, but they plan to race weekly in Norfolk starting next season.
"We have always loved the city of Norfolk. As a kid I would spend parts of my summers working at Lou's thrifty way in Norfolk, which is owned by our relatives on my mom's side of the family. As Tyler progresses in his racing career he is looking forward to making the off-road speedway in Norfolk Nebraska his home track in 2021," Brent said. We also love the racing community in Norfolk and all of the help and support we have received from so many people. There is not a better racing community than Norfolk, Nebraska."