Dwarf car racing turns into big hobby

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By Carol A. Clark

David Hand first set eyes on a dwarf car in 2005 when Jim Shinn entered Hand’s shop, Jona Manufacturing Services on DP Road.

Shinn asked Hand to fabricate some special parts for him. Hand took one look at the undersized racing vehicle and was hooked.

“I jokingly asked if he needed a driver and he told me  he had had another car,” Hand said during an interview this morning. “We went down in Rendija Canyon and I drove it around, then started racing for him.”

Hand raced Shinn’s dwarf car for one season before buying it, he said. Then his wife, Melanee Hand, caught the spirit and now she races her own dwarf car.

The Hands race at the San Luis Valley Motorplex north of Alamosa, Colo. and at the Aztec Speedway in Aztec, he said. They also travel the dwarf car racing circuit up and down Colorado and have raced in Arizona.

“It’s one of the most affordable cars for racing you can get into and it’s so much fun,” Hand said. “Dwarf cars travel upwards of 100 mph on the straight-aways. They are open wheel so you try not to make contact and tear up other cars.”

Following qualifying heats, main races typically consist of 15-20 laps, he said, adding that the larger venues can go up to 24 laps.

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