Interrogation by Gary "Hammerdown" Costa
Ricci Faria flies under National radar.
Buckle up race fans, we're going to take a ride with Central California hot shoe Ricci Faria.
Tell us a little about yourself Ricci......
Ricci: Well, I'm married now, 11 years to Tricia. We have three kids Tanner 9, Karsyn 6, and Avery who is 3.
Any plans on getting the kids out there racing?
Ricci: You'll see my son some time in the future, but not yet. I'm not ready for that, and he plays all the the other sports now (soccer, golf, baseball). The girls are my dancers, and soccer players. That is as far as me and Mom are going to let them, no race cars.
How does your wife Tricia handle your racing?
Ricci: She loves the races once we are there. As far as the weekly maintenance or crash repair that goes on during the week "NO". Mainly because the race shop is at my Dads and there are those late nights when I'm not home.
What are your plans for '05?
Ricci: I think you'll see us run about the same schedule as last year. Mostly with the wing, with The Golden State Challenge Series (410) and California Rebel Cup (360). Also a little non-wing when they're close and we're free.
There are a few different Faria's that race in California. Can you explain to the fans who is related to who?
Ricci: Mike and Danny Jr. from Tipton are brothers. I myself am not related. They are old friends with the same last name playing the same game.
You were a two time Plaza Park Champion......
Ricci: Yes that's where we started racing in 89 (a.k.a the car number). Won the first Championship in 1990 in The Lightning class (250cc twin). The other was in 1994, in The Mini Sprints (1200cc) class.
How did you make the jump into sprint cars?
Ricci: The Mini Sprint Car counts were going down, so I sold it all. I figured that if I didn't sell when I was winning, I couldn't give it away later. So I bought a 360 from Morrie Williams, and a roller from Dennis Roth. Dennis might not know this, but, with out his help, my team would not be where we are today. I bought a lot of stuff, and still do from Beef Packers.
When you moved up, besides the increase in horsepower, what took the longest to get used to?
Ricci: I think just the weight transfer. The Sprint Cars move around a lot.
Where was your first race?
Ricci: My first 360 race was at Hanford. But I did go to Tulare that same day for play day, but hit the wall and bent one of only two of my right rear wheels.
Can you tell us what it was like racing your first Sprint Car race?
Ricci: It was awesome, I won that first night in Hanford! One right rear and all! What was funny was when it was over, I was mad because I thought I drove like crap. But then I was told, that's the way Sprint Cars are, all over the place!
You have raced with the wing and without. Can you explain what it's like?
Ricci: The winged car leans to the left in the corners. The non-wing car feels like its on two wheels, mine usually is! But all in all, they're both fun to drive, but I do prefer the wing.
What kind of surface best suits your driving style?
Ricci: I like them all, just as long as the car is fast!
I'm strapped in with you Ricci! Where would you have me run the car at say a tacky Hanford and why?
Ricci: The top, especially in the 360 because of the momentum. The 410 really doesn't matter, just run where the other guy isn't.
We're under yellow in the "A". You have Tim Kaeding sitting in 2nd. Steve Kent is 3rd. You're idling around the track, what are some thoughts that would be going through your head?
Ricci: Just don't screw up. Those two guys are fast, so you have to be on your game.
Who would you say is the fiercest competitor you have raced against?
Ricci: I really couldn't say, everywhere you race the competition is fierce. We all want to win!
What track is your favorite to get the elbows up at and why?
Ricci: I like both Tulare and Hanford for different reasons. Tulare, the wall keeps the race tight. Hanford the wide open feeling running around the top.
Any tracks that you're itching to get after it at?
Ricci: Maybe Las Vegas again, or anywhere outside of California. I think we might hit Washington and Oregon this year or next year.
To date, what is your biggest accomplishment in racing?
Ricci: Probably my whole Sprint Car team. Because I built it from one car and motor, to three cars and four motors.
Any goals you have set for yourself this year?
Ricci: Yeah, just to win races. I don't really get tied up in the points, so it's all about winning.
Is their anyone you would like to thank?
Ricci: My brother Mike, he's crew chiefed the car since we started in 1989. The crew; Alan, Brent, Bill, Corrbit, John. These guys are great. Sponsors Darrell Green Trucking, The Trailer Co., Mark Tigner Financial and Insurance Programs, Fabre Jewelers, Betty Bright Cleaners, and Visalia Powder Coating, they are all a big help. I want to take this time and thank you for allowing me the honor of interviewing you my friend. I wish you the best this year.
Ricci: Thank you its been fun and hope to see you and everyone that reads this at the races. Or see us on the web at www.RicciFariaRacing.com
You got it buddy.
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