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v45 Rik Gropp          Updated by Driver: 3/21/2011
Edited by Staff: 3/21/2011

 Driver Information
Hometown: Lincoln,NE
Birthdate: 4/11/58
Height: 5'4"
Weight: 160
Marital Status: Married - Jenny
Children: Matt, Jason, Grandson Trey, Granddaughter Ava
Employer: Vermeer Equipment
Job: Mechanic
Year Started Racing: 1979
Total Years Racing: 32
Racing Hero: Dale Earnhardt - he raced hard, was respected by his fellow competitors, was brutally honest (you got what you saw - no nonsense), and he had a heart of gold deep inside

 Car Information
Year/Make/Model: 2010 Razor
Motor: Chevy 350
Owner: Kevin Klein
Crew: Travis, Doug, Mike G., Devito.
Sponsors & Support: I would like to thank my wife Jenny, Amie, Jamie, Colt, Duke, Stacie, Taylor, Troy, Ryan, Sami, all the FANS (especially the KIDS!), and the Klein Family (Vermeer Equipment). A special thanks to Kevin Klein, an excellent person and owner. Without him I would not be racing.



 Tracks & Series
Eagle Raceway (NE) - Modified #v45

 Awards & Accomplishments
1986-87 - Pro Am Track Championship at Nebraska International Raceway Park.
1988 - Modified Rookie of the Year at Eagle Raceway.
1989 - Modified Point Championship at Eagle Nationals, A Feature win at Eagle Raceway.
1991 - Ivan Stewart Memorial win at Eagle Raceway.
1996 - Nebraska State Dwarf Car Championship at Nebraska State Fair Park Raceway.
2003 - Finished 7th at the IMCA Supernationals.
2005 - Eagle Raceway Icebreaker Challenge Feature win, 3 A Feature wins.
2008 - Icebreaker Challenge win, Best Appearing Car Award at Eagle Raceway.

 
 Career Summary
Started racing Figure-8 races in 1978, then moved into the Hobby Stock class in 1981 at Beatrice Speedway. I began my Pro Am career in 1984 and competed until the end of the 1987 season. 1988 saw me start my Rookie Season in the Modified Division. I have been involved in racing ever since childhood. Always have loved the speed and competition. I have competed in Motorcycles, Stock Cars, Mini-Sprints, Trucks, Dwarf Cars and Modifieds.
 
 Racing Goals
My main goal in racing is to always be competitive, win some more A Features, and most of all to be respected by my fellow racers.
 
 Other Interesting Team Information
My family has always supported my racing. A race day ritual is that I always put my left shoe and left glove on first. My wife Jenny puts a little love note in my left glove on race night. I like to sing while I race too. The first year I raced we used the number 0, because that is how much we knew about it. The number 45 started in 1982. It's been a tradition for about 17 years to have an object, like a wrench or pliers, etc. attached to our car just to watch people try to remove it, just for laughs. Also for the last 22 years we have let fans, especially children, sign their names on the back of our car. Kevin Klein, owner of Vermeer Equipment, has been my sponsor since 1984, and car owner since 1996, a total of 26 seasons together. It is very rare to have a partnership last this long!
 

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