Tim and Jeremy Pletz are following in the footsteps of their grandfather when it comes to racing. (Leader Publication Photo/Provided)

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Pletz brothers following in family’s footsteps

Published 8:19pm Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tim and Jeremy Pletz are certainly following in the family footsteps when it comes to racing.

The pair has raced at Hartford Motor Speedway in the UMP Pure Stock Division. They got into racing because it’s been a family tradition for many years.

“Our whole family grew up in the racing field,” Tim said. “My grandpa, uncle and father all raced Enduro, so we were going to watch them every weekend all through childhood.”

Tim has been racing for seven years. He has raced on asphalt tracks for most of that time, but switched to dirt this year.

“I had a chance to race on the dirt at Hartford this year,” he said. “That’s where my uncle and my grandpa raced a lot. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a completely different style of racing. I don’t know if I prefer one over the other because I haven’t had enough experience on dirt yet.”

The Pletz’s grandfather was local racing legend Howard Litaker Sr., who died in August of last year due to cancer.

“He was known everywhere it seems like,” Tim said.

A memorial race will be held Friday at M-40 Speedway in Jones to honor both Litaker and Richard Rieter. Also on hand at the speedway will be racing legends Kenny Schrader and Michael Waltrip.

Jeremy has been racing five years. He has raced once at Hartford, South Bend Motor Speedway and at M-40 where he will compete in the memorial race.

“It will be emotional,” he said of climbing behind the wheel for the event. “My grandpa was the main reason I started racing. I love the heart he put into it. It was his life.”

With only the one dirt race under his belt this season, Jeremy couldn’t say if he prefers one surface over the other. He has been successful on asphalt and really enjoys racing on it.

“The dirt was fun, but I have had a lot of fun on asphalt, too.”

His advice to those wishing to get into racing is to consider all that goes into it first.

“It’s a hard thing to do. It’s a lot of money. You really have to know who your friends are and keep your family close because you will need them to help you out. It takes a lot of time and ambition. It’s not something that comes overnight. You have to be very patient with it.”

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