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Drag racer making a name for himself

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Littleton’s Kevin Moore turns an opportunity in ’91 into a moderately successful racing career

By Michael Hicks

MORRISON — Kevin Moore’s 1934 Super Gas Chevrolet is emblazoned with national event stickers. The 44-year-old Littleton resident might be a local, but he has carved out a national reputation since starting a Super Gas racing career in 1991.

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Rows and rows of stickers adorn his race car. Some have been covered by newer ones as he runs out of room. But that’s just a sign of how successful Moore has been on the drag racing circuit, which included a stop at this year’s Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway from July 18-20.

It was the first national event in which Moore has competed in both the Super Gas and Super Comp divisions. He ran the latter as a favor to his friend Jeff Strunk to help get exposure for his team. Plus, Kevin had the driver points to run, whereas Strunk didn’t.

Though Moore wasn’t successful this year — he failed to make it out of the first round in either event — there’s still something about running a national event that gets the blood pumping.

“The national event is always a different element. There are a lot more people, fans and kids,” said the graduate of Bear Creek High School and Arapahoe Community College, who attended his first Mile-High Nationals in 1982.

It’s also an experience he shares with his family. His father, Sam, brother, Kelly, mother, Jane, fiancée, Shari, his children, her children and others celebrated the experience with him.

Moore’s father got the ball rolling when he started racing in 1964. But with family commitments, Sam put his racing career on hold and moved the family to Colorado 10 years later. Kelly moved into the driver’s seat in the early 1980s, and Kevin joined the fray in 1986. But with just one car and three drivers, time and opportunities were limited. So Sam stepped out of the race car and passed the torch to his sons.

Kevin got started in Super Gas that year with a run in Phoenix. A little while later, there was a Division 4 race in Amarillo, Texas. Kelly was planning to go but couldn’t get the time off work. That opened the door for Kevin; he took second place and hasn’t looked back since.

Kevin owns three consecutive Super Gas championships in District 5 and three national victories, including a pair at Bandimere in 1992 and 2007. Both brothers, along with engine builder Tom Snyder, bring something to the table. Kelly is the thinker and Kevin the reactor, Sam Moore said.

“He’s won more rounds and races than I have. He’s probably the better driver,” Kelly said. “He’s had the ability to get more time off from work to travel more. Since the points go to the driver, it’s kind of hard to split the seat.”

That’s not to say that Kelly isn’t an integral member of the team, Sam said.

“He helps us more than he realizes by sitting back and analyzing what we’re doing. It’s a team, and he’s a big part of the team. Whether he can be there or not, he is a big part of it,” Sam said of Kelly, who not only works on the transmission but also serves as Kevin’s crew chief.

And it’s not just helping each other, but helping everybody in general that the Moore family strives for. Yes, only one person gets to win, Kevin noted, but winning and losing are relative, Sam said, if the competition is meaningful.

“Every member of the racing fraternity is part of our family. We’ve raced people who’ve had our parts on their car because theirs was broke and they couldn’t get to the starting line,” Sam said. “It doesn’t do us any good if we won that round because (the opponent) couldn’t race because they needed a fuel pump and we had one, but we didn’t give it to them. That’s not the way we want to race.”

Kevin embraces that ethic, and it has paid off handsomely. From Bandimere to Chicago to Las Vegas and Pomona, Calif., Kevin Moore has made a name for himself on the track. But if not for the family togetherness that racing brings it would be all for naught.

Contact Michael Hicks at sports@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.