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Ross family loves thrill of racing

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PARIS — Tony Ross loves car racing so much, he passed on the thrill to his sons.
You might say Tony is the boss of the racing family Ross.

Tony and sons, Chad, 29 and Chayson, 31, can be seen every week during racing season zipping around the track at Paris Motor Speedway.

It's a family affair for sure and Chad and Chayson are truly chips off the old engine block.
Tony, 50, started this trend in family activities years ago and it has ballooned into a hobby which occupies every weekend from February to November. Recently Chad beat dad, Tony in a race at Paris in the IMCA modified class, but it was all fun in the family. Chayson races in the hobby class, not against family members as a general rule.
"It gets in your blood," the elder Ross said describing the family's interest in racing. "I still do it for the adrenaline thrill. It's fun for our whole family, it seems like we always have a car pulled apart."
Tony Ross said it came as not surprise to him that his sons were into racing, just like dear old dad.
"Chad was around the pits when he was two or three years old," Ross said. "Chayson always was around it, so they started racing."
Tony Ross started racing in 1981 and has been in competition in Ennis, Greenville and even Ardmore, Okla., but most of the time they are on the dirt track in Paris.
"My boys now are better than I was when I was 30," Ross said. "The equipment is also better now. So I try to take it easy on them and we stay off each other."
Tony continued, “We know where we will be most Saturday nights. We will be racing or working on cars. It really is fun for the whole family. I wouldn’t keep doing it if it wasn’t fun.”
Tony has been back in racing for a short time after taking five years off to work on business matters.
“I started a dairy equipment business and it was 24/7 for a while building that up.” Tony said. “That took about five years. Chad talked me into coming back. It was something good to do, it keeps me busy.”
Chad Ross recently nipped his dad at the wire at a race in Paris. I provided temporary bragging rights, but nothing really to crow about when you racing buddy is also your dad.
“We try not to razz each other too hard,” Chad said. “I know it all will come back to me if he wins the next race. We have some good-natured kidding, but usually we just take it like it comes. If I can’t finish first and he can, then I’ll take second. So far this year I lead in overall points, but he has one more win.
“We’re raced each other so often, I don’t know if I have a trick he doesn’t know or vice versa,” Chad said. “He’s better than me some nights. But I always remember, he’s the one who got me and my brother,Chayson, into racing. So it’s friendly competition.”
He said the most recent race with dad, Tony, was down to the wire and a thrill a minute.
Chad said, “I dropped down low, which is what he probably did not expect me to do, I did it about the fifth lap of the 20 lap race. Then we raced door-to-door for a while, it was fun. I got ahead of him and he never caught up and I won the race that time.”
Chad Ross said he is thankful that his dad taught him how to race “the right way” and to be a good sport, as well as a tough competitor.
The Ross family also does the maintenance on the cars to save money with the price of racing going up all the time.
“I’ll do it as long as I can afford it and it’s still fun,” Chad said. “Racing is a blast to me. I love going 70 mph on the straightaways and and racing on a dirt track.”
Chad Ross is also hoping that his 11-year-old son, Colton, might follow in his footsteps one day and join the family racing team. He might be fending off his racing moves like Tony does oval confrontations with Chad.
A new generation of racing Ross family members. It’s only fitting, it seems to be in the blood.
Paris Motor Speedway is located east of Paris between Bossom and Pattonville on FM 196.   Racing begins at 8 p.m. on Saturday night through Sept. Visit the website at parismotorspeedway.org
 

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