By Phil Whipple,
RaceOnTexas.com Staff Writer. Photo credit: Bobby Thomas
ENNIS, Texas — Within this incredibly tight-knit community of dirt track racers across the great state of Texas are some very fine examples of second and third-generation drivers. From up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, west to El Paso and on down into the Rio Grande Valley, they're everywhere you turn.
For 24-year old Dylan Glass, carrying on his family tradition of success on the dirt ovals of north Texas is a source of great pride. This year, the former Late Model pilot jumped into a USRA Modified and has put up some impressive numbers. In 35 starts, Glass has earned 13 top-five and 30 top-10 finishes.
“We've had an amazing season without a doubt,” Glass said. “I'm very pleased with the results. To be leading the points at a super-competitive track like RPM Speedway is an honor, now we just have to seal the deal this Friday night. We're doing well in USRA Regional points, as well, which is pretty big.
“We've been in contention to win a number of times, it just hasn't worked out for us in the closing laps. I'm a little disappointed we haven't won a feature, but we'll give it all we have this week and in the fall specials we'll run after this points season concludes. I've still got some time to bag a winner's trophy.”
Glass is only in his fifth full year of racing, he's not one of those who's been racing since he was a kid.
“I got started in 2016 at 85 Speedway (now called Big O) in the Bomber class,” Glass explained. “To stop and see where I'm at now in a Modified is kind of amazing. The car I started out in was actually my uncle's car in 2009. He raced it at Thunderbird Speedway and won a championship in it.
“It was sitting in the pasture, and I got the itch. I had a job, was making some money and wouldn't have to lean on my Dad to pay for it all. He told me he'd help with the engine and field a competitive car. I missed the first couple of races, but still ended up with five wins and third in the points that first year.”
Since he was a young boy, Glass watched intently as members of his family won races on the dirt.
“I've watched my Dad and my uncle race my whole life,” he explained. “My Grandpa used to race, as well, starting back in the 1950s and 1960s. He's gone now, but that's where this all started. He ran at Sportsdrone and at Cowtown when he was younger, places like that. I have a legacy here to carry on.
“I've driven a Late Model as well for Jim Moon, who now runs Big O Speedway here in Ennis. So you could say racing runs in my blood; I'm a proud third-generation racer and have always wanted to continue in my Grandpa and Daddy's footsteps. It's our way of life and just comes natural to me.”
Glass even had a relative perish in our great sport, his Grandpa's half-brother, the late Sonny Kirkland.
“Sonny died in a tragic accident while racing back in the day,” Glass said. “That's kind of how we got so fond of the number 42. My Grandpa, my Uncle and my Dad all ran that number because of Sonny. He was a big part our racing heritage in this family.”
Glass competes in what can arguably be called one of the most competitive divisions in all of Texas.
“We have a ton of heavy-hitters in this division, guys like Clyde Dunn, Max Eddie Thomas, Jack and Jason Sartain, and several others,” Glass said. “It's very stiff competition everywhere we unload. And I'm not exactly a Pro when it comes to chassis setup on a Modified. My car owner has taught me a lot all season about how to communicate and improve the car. Racing against these guys is an education.”
One thing that makes the good speed and consistency Glass has shown in 2021 even more impressive is the age of the car he drives. While some racers feel they need the latest and greatest, Glass does not.
“I have a 2005 Hughes chassis, which was actually Jason Hughes' backup car at one time,” he said. “It got passed around in my family, and now my car owner ended up with it. I just love driving this car.”
As far as horsepower, Glass has been working through some engines woes throughout the 2021 season.
“We're actually using our backup motor out of the old Late Model right now,” Glass said. “We have a nice motor built by Dennis Wells at Wells Racing Engines. It's a 400 cubic inch motor that we went all through last winter, but unfortunately, it didn't last very long. Using the backup motor has been tough.”
Along with that impressive natural talent behind the wheel, Glass has several dedicated people working behind the scenes to keep his racing program on-track and competitive.
“I am blessed to have a very supportive family and some excellent sponsors behind me,” Glass said with great pride. “I need to thank my mother, Gina Glass, and my Dad, JimmyJohn Glass; my Fiancé, Mikayla Rodriguez, my Uncle Sonny, and all of my supporters and fans that follow up with me and come everywhere we go. I appreciate the support of these folks more than they'll ever know.
“I also want to thank our valued sponsors, including Triple A Greenleaf Landscaping Service, Vicky’s BBQ, Stibbens Towing, MLH Racing Products, Travis Graphics, Day Motor Sports, Blessed by Faith Creations, 51/50 Racing Engines and Wells Racing Engines. And I wouldn’t be able to do this without my car owners, Angie & Hokie. They'vee been so good to me, I can't possibly thank them enough.”
Along with the propect of winning the 2021 KR Cup points title in USRA Mods at RPM Speedway in Crandall along with the USRA's Southern Regional points crown, Glass is also pretty excited about the fourth generation of Glass kids due this fall.
“Mikayla is 27 weeks along right now, she just had some tests and evaluations and everything is going just as it should,” the soon-to-be father said with an obvious pride in his voice. “I'm as excited as can be, thinking about the next generation to maybe get into the sport. I've got a Kart, for when it's time.
“For now, I need to focus on getting into Victory Lane and earning maximum points. No matter how it all shakes out, that baby is coming and my life will be filled with joy. I'm a very blessed young man.”