Racing is a Family Sport in Their House: Aaron and Tony Moyer Team Up in 2013
By John Wells
Aaron and Tony Moyer of Malone, Wisconsin, are no strangers to Madison International Speedway when it comes to INEX Legends racing. While Aaron was going to school in Ohio, his father, Tony, was racing weekly at MIS hoping to have as much success as his son did on the “Ring of Fire.”
But this year Aaron is back to race at MIS and Tony has decided to call it quits…for now. “Some of the people we race with think I can be difficult to deal with at the track. That is why this year I have decided to hang up my fire suit and really see what we can do out there. All I want to do is see him win,” said Tony. “I am so happy to be able to work and race with him again.”
“It’s going to be fun in 2013. I learned a lot racing in other parts of the country, but it will be great being around my family again,” said the younger Moyer.
You see racing is all about family when it comes to the Moyers. Aaron began racing snowmobiles at the age of four following in the footsteps of his dad. From there the two did some ice racing and had to get used to racing ovals. “I had to teach myself a whole new race discipline when we made the move to circle track racing,” said Tony.
Aaron began asphalt racing in the Bandolero division before moving up to the INEX Legends while still in high school. Right there helping him every step of the way was his dad.
“We most definitely had our disagreements, no different than any other crew chief and driver,” added the elder Moyer. Aaron was quickly making a name for himself in the Legends winning several races at Madison as well as other tracks in the region.
But the father knew his son needed more than what he could offer and teach him about racing. “Through the years I felt he had outgrown my knowledge of racing and that's when our family decided to send him to North Carolina and race with some of the best Legend guys in the business. That was also the time I decided to start driving myself. It was bittersweet for me knowing he was learning way more than I could ever teach him, and it was heart wrenching not being able to be there for the good celebrations and the bad experiences. But deep down I knew it was what was best for him if he wanted to advance in racing.”
However, something was missing for dad when he was at the track. “When I was racing it felt like I was going through the motions and really not having a lot of fun at the track; it just wasn't the same. My wife, Liv, and my daughter, Mya, never missed Aarons' races and it seemed like I was at the track by myself a lot.”
In 2010 after one full season in North Carolina, Aaron came back to Wisconsin and raced at MIS in several events. “I think he won every race he entered. I could see how much he grew not only as a driver, but as a young man. Again it was tough for me because I wasn't there to see him mature. Also, that year it was like he became the crew chief and I was learning from him. Boy did I change my driving when he got back. I lost the fear that I had and he really pushed me. It’s amazing when your son calls you certain names and tells you to stop driving like a grandma…how much that motivates an old guy.”
In 2011 it was back to North Carolina for Aaron with a new crew chief, Ryan Farbo, and new team, Farbo Motorsports. The season featured many highs and lows on the track for Moyer. Unfortunately for mom and dad they had to watch most of Aaron’s races on the Internet. “It’s way more stressful than being there,” said Tony. At the same time he made an important discovery.
“At this point for both Aaron and I we realized why it was that we loved racing so much. It was the time that we spent together. Even though we as any father and son had our battles, we were still working on cars or racing but doing it together. That year he came home in August and that is when he and i just jelled at the track. Now we would bounce ideas off each other and both could try different things in our cars. I really learned a lot from him that year, and now I understand the feedback he gives me because I have experienced it when I was driving. Before I started driving I just didn't understand why he just couldn't drive it in like his hair was on fire and pass every car on the bottom. My son taught me a lot about being a driver,” noted Tony.
Then in 2012 he went off to school and raced in Ohio, but things never really went well in the Buckeye State. A trip home in September last year meant getting back to MIS for the Fall Classic. Aaron drove an outstanding race and took home the checkered flag. When he pulled his car into victory lane there was his dad running across the track, leaping the wall, and joining him for a picture.
“When he is out on the track I don't fear all the things that could happen and in my head I always think he is going to win,” added Tony. “People can’t understand how much joy it brings to me watching him race. It has kept the two of us very close and has kept him in line as a young person.”
“It’s going to be great having the old man wrenching on the car again,” said Aaron. “My goals for the year are pretty aggressive. I want to win track championships at Madison and the Dells in the Legends car.”
What does coming back to Madison mean to Aaron? “It will be awesome racing with guys that show respect on the track again. I didn’t get much of that down south.”
“It will be great to be able to cheer and watch Aaron racing at home again. It’s been too long,” said his mom, Liv, and sister, Mya.
Whatever happens in 2013 one thing is for certain: Racing is a family sport in the Moyer house.
See Aaron and Tony Moyer at Madison International Speedway all summer long beginning with the season opener on May 5th.