Formula Racing a Family Affair for Trinity Senior

Julian Pirtle, Staff Reporter

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no it’s Trinity senior Jacob Abel racing down the track at speeds ranging from 140 to 180 mph. Now I know what you must be thinking: What is a senior in high school doing formula racing in cars that can reach those speeds? He must be crazy, right? After interviewing Abel, I learned he is a lot of things and crazy is not one of them.He is competitive, driven, and hungry to reach the top of the racing ladder he has been climbing for a little over three years now.

While most high school hobbies include playing mainstream sports, Abel chose a different path than most of his peers. He has been racing vehicles as long as he can remember, starting off riding dirt bikes and moving up the line as the years went by. His father took a similar route and now is the main leader of the company Abel races for.

                                                file photo
Trinity senior Jacob Abel and his parents make formula racing a family affair.

When asked how the father-son duo works and how it affects their relationship, Abel said, “It definitely brings us closer. With me and my dad working together, bonding, doing what we love, and my mom being out there with us to support us, it really is a family effort.”

The two have made a big name for themselves in the racing world, with Abel placing top five at a number of big races throughout the season and his dad by his side helping him with his racing career and running a business at the same time.

Formula racing is a physically demanding sport. While people are watching long, drawn-out races, they don’t think much about it because the racers make it look easy. But the sport can be extremely tiring and a drain if you’re not in the correct physical shape.

The racers make it look easy because they practice the sport so much and get in such good shape the extreme conditions don’t affect them that much anymore.

— Trinity junior Matt Russell

In addition to the hours of practice Abel puts in, he works out with Trinity strength and conditioning coach Mike Snyder in order to get in shape for racing.

Snyder said, “We go about three days a week every week, depending on whether or not he has a race that week. If he does have a big race, we work around his schedule. We do basic workouts like bench, squats, and deadlifts to build a strong base for him, and sometimes we do race-specific workouts such as neck strengthening work. When  Jacob is in the car going as fast as he’s going, being jerked back and forth at times, it’s important to have a strong neck to prevent injury.”

Snyder is impressed with Abel’s work ethic. He said, “Jacob is extremely coachable. He came to me asking for help and wanting to work out. That shows that he really wants to improve, so he never messes around with his workouts. He looked at the things other good racers were doing and added it to his routine to make him better.”

Doing the weekly workouts has improved Abel’s racing, making him more comfortable while driving cars at such fast speeds.

Junior Matt Russell, who has been friends with Abel for a long time, said, “I learned that (racing) is way harder than it looks. I’ve talked to Jacob about all the training and preparation that goes into getting ready for a big race, and it is way more than what I thought. The racers make it look easy. They practice the sport so much and get in such good shape, the extreme conditions don’t affect them that much anymore.”


Trinity senior Jacob Abel talks about his formula racing career………………video by Julian Pirtle