Local Driver Overcomes the Odds to Get Back on Top

Published 07/17 2014 08:08AM

Updated 07/17 2014 08:39AM

(NATS: Ryan starts up his car))

"My life has changed...so for the fact that I'm racing today...15 years later feels a miracle. If it wasn't for God, my faith in God and the people that are in my life. I wouldn't be doing what I am today."

MEET RYAN CLAYCOMB - THE 36 YEAR OLD ALTOONA NATIVE GRATEFUL, THANKFUL, AND HUMBLED TO BE WHERE HE'S AT TODAY. TAKING A 2 RACE WIN STREAK INTO LAST WEEK'S ACTION - BACK IN HIS SIGNATURE # 7 CAR, ON THE DIRT TRACK HE'S CALLED HOME HIS ENTIRE RACING CAREER.

THE STORY IS A GOOD ONE IN ITSELF, HOWEVER IT'S AMAZING WHEN YOU CONSIDER RYAN'S DANGEROUS LIFESTYLE JUST A 8 YEARS AGO.

"It was always a dream of mine to be on the track. I lost that dream whenever I got into drugs and alcohol. I never thought that would become a reality...but just the fact that I'm on the track, just the fact that I'm out there racing. That's a testament right there."

RYAN WAS HEAVILY ADDICTED TO OPIATES AND ALCOHOL. TELLING ME HE ABUSED EVERYDAY OF HIS TEENAGE LIFE - EVEN LOSING A GOOD FRIEND TO AN OVERDOSE DEATH.

"It was that moment. It was the darkest day of my life and that's when I said something has got to change. That's when I submitted myself to get help."

AND THAT'S ALSO WHEN RYAN RE-ENERGIZED HIS LOVE FOR RACING - HOWEVER AS HE GOT BACK UP, HE WAS JUST AS QUICKLY KNOCKED RIGHT BACK DOWN AGAIN.

" we went after the people at Dog Hollow in Strongstown. I've been racing at this track for most of my racing career and when it closed down last year I felt like I lost my home."

ANOTHER MOMENT IN RYAN'S LIFE WHERE HE COULD HAVE RESORTED BACK TO HIS OLD WAYS - BUT HE DIDN'T. INSTEAD, WITH SOME HELP FROM A FRIEND AND TIRELESS WORK ON HIS OWN END DOG HOLLOW SPEEDWAY RE-OPENED IN APRIL.

"there's time's I've almost come to tears just to get out on that track ... to think about where I've come from it's something. In my opinion I shouldn't be alive right now. There's a lot of people who have been overcome by drugs and alcohol. So just the fact that I get out there and the fact that I had a small part in getting a local track open again. I'm grateful for that. Those are the types of things that get me going everyday."

DOG HOLLOW SPEEDWAY - RACING EVERY FRIDAY NIGHT!

 - Pure Stocks, Late Models, Four Cylinders

 - Pit Gates Open at 5:30 PM - Grandstands Open at 6 PM

 - General Admission: $12, Seniors 60 & Older: $10, Students: $8,

   Youth: $6, and Kids 6 & under: Free




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