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Local driver in running for rookie award
Falkenberg pic
Turlocks Chris Falkenberg poses with his race car. - photo by FRANKIE TOVAR / The Journal

Turlock’s Chris Falkenberg is relatively new to the sport of dirt track racing but he hasn’t let that stop him from winning — or having fun. Falkenberg, who races in Chowchilla, Merced and Watsonville, recently won three straight races and currently sits in first place at both the Merced and Chowchilla tracks, which is not an easy feat for a rookie.

“Usually, the rookies are running in the back learning but I’ve raced go carts for 10 years and won some championships, so I’m hardly a rookie,” Falkenberg said.

Falkenberg, who drives an all black, late 70s Camaro, emblazoned with the number 3 on its side races alongside his dad, Dale Falkenberg, who drives a nearly identical car. For all the glory involved with winning it’s the time spent together that motivates the father-son combo to stay on the track.

“My dad raced when I was a toddler so I was at the track every weekend and I’ve wanted to do it since then,” Falkenberg said. “Winning is nice but we do it for fun. My dad and I spend a lot of time together working on the cars so it’s like a bonding experience.”

In addition to spending time with his dad, Falkenberg also races for bragging rights, prize money and trophies. Falkenberg hopes to continue his winning ways as the Chowchilla Championship and rookie of the year award draws closer and closer. Before then, Falkenberg will have to race in Chowchilla on Saturday and maintain his number one position.

“It takes a lot to win. You have to be able to drive, your car has to be set up right, you need horsepower and you can’t mess up,” Falkenberg said. “Last year we were just feeling out the car and testing its limits. Since then we’ve come a long ways.”