BUSCH: Tim Fedewa Is An ''Easy Rider'' Away From The Stanley Racing Machine

Tim Fedewa has always felt the need for speed. Fedewa, driver of the No. 36 Stanley racing car in the NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division, grew up around fast cars and roaring engines of all kinds. He gets a rush out of...

Tim Fedewa has always felt the need for speed. Fedewa, driver of the No. 36 Stanley racing car in the NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division, grew up around fast cars and roaring engines of all kinds. He gets a rush out of going fast and posting high speeds. It's that desire for speed that sparked Fedewa's passion for motorcycles. "I've always liked things that are fast, and motorcycles just really appeal to me," he said. "I grew up around motorcycles and dirt bikes and four-wheelers, and I always loved being behind the wheel but I never owned one of my own. "Being a race car driver, I figured the last thing I needed was to get hurt on a motorcycle." Three years ago the pressure finally got to be too much, and Fedewa had to buy his first motorcycle. Now, he owns a 2000 Springer Softtail Harley Davidson and tries to steal as much time as possible to ride his motorcycle. But traveling 32 weekends out of the year on the Busch series circuit makes it difficult for Fedewa to find the time to just hop on his bike and go either for a quick spin or a weekend ride. If it's a nice day, you can bet Fedewa will trade his truck keys for his motorcycle helmet. Fedewa rides his Harley to the Cicci-Welliver race shop in Concord, N.C., as often as he can. There are many Sundays after a race that he will hop on his bike and take a ride to clear his head.

"When I ride, I just seem to have this freedom that is sometimes hard to find," Fedewa said. "It gives me a chance to just enjoy the simple pleasures. I can go out there and think about my driving, or I can just draw a mental blank.

"I love the freedom that I have, the feeling of the wind blowing in my hair and even the dust hitting my face."

Fedewa will finally be able to get some of that long sought after time on his motorcycle after the Auto Club 300 at California Speedway on April 29th. Fedewa will be one of several NASCAR Busch and Winston Cup drivers to join Kyle Petty's Charity Ride Across America.

The charity ride helps raise money for children's hospitals and the Winston Cup Racing Wives Auxiliary, which provides financial assistance to Winston Cup drivers and crew members suffering from illness or injury. This year will be Fedewa's second year participating in the charity run. Fedewa will travel nearly four days with the group before flying to Richmond for the NASCAR Busch Series race on May 5th. At the race weekend's conclusion, Fedewa will rejoin the group and travel the remainder of the route to Petty's home in Trinity, N.C. "Last year's charity run was a great experience for me on several levels," Fedewa said. "I had always wanted to ride out west, through the desert with the sun beating down on my back. The ride gave me the opportunity to ride my motorcycle out there with a great bunch of people. "We're also helping to raise money for a very good cause which is extremely fulfilling on a personal level. To be able to do something for people besides being a race car driver they watch every weekend is an amazing feeling."

Despite traveling about 500 miles a day, Fedewa said the charity ride is like a vacation. Instead of working at the race shop or training at the gym, he is hanging out and relaxing with friends.

There are other aspects he likes about riding his motorcycle out on the open road, too.

There are the people you meet along the way, like the other bikers, who will strike up a friendly conversation with you at a rest stop or wave as they pass. And there are the stories that you collect along the way. And what is Fedewa's most popular motorcycle story? Fedewa rode his Harley to Myrtle Beach for last year's summer Busch race down there. But Fedewa didn't get to ride it back.

"I was just riding it around the beach like everyone with a motorcycle does, thinking I was cool, and I guess somebody liked the bike more than I did," Fedewa said. "I got up Saturday morning and went to get my bike to ride it to the race track, and it wasn't there." The motorcycle was never found, but Fedewa laughs about his misfortune now. He still plans to take his motorcycle back to Myrtle Beach this year, but he says he'll be more careful about parking it. "I wouldn't give up the opportunities that I have to go out and ride my bike," Fedewa said. "I love the hum of the engine and the wind blowing around me, and I enjoy that feeling of freedom and independence way too much."

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Drivers Kyle Petty