Eric Kormann: His Lucky Charm, Hannah

Eric Kormann: His Lucky Charm, Hannah

What led Eric Kormann to his first victory at Grandview Speedway? Well, his 13-year-old daughter, Hannah (pictured), played a big role toward that triumph last Tuesday at the Bechtelsville, Pennsylvania, dirt oval.

The Saturday prior to the race his main ride for the Dennis Bailey-owned team developed engine issues. Not wanting to miss the Tuesday Thunder on the Hill Racing Series event, Eric rolled out his own modified, which had just three races on it.

Come race day, Hannah’s winning touch came early. She drew a five on the first draw of the night after the drivers’ meeting. That placed Eric on the outside pole for his heat race.

“At the driver’s meeting pill draw, Hannah started trash-talking me,” Eric, of Penns Grove, New Jersey, said. “She told me, ‘I picked you a five, now don’t waste my good pick with a bad night.’ She had the crew laughing.”

Eric didn’t waste Hannah’s efforts. He took the lead right away and went unchallenged for the heat victory. Afterwards, Hannah’s luck played a hand again.

She drew a two for the redraw for the feature, placing Eric on the outside pole. From there Eric led every lap en route to his first win since 2022. That last victory came at Delaware International Speedway in Delmar. Back then he had just lost his brother, Michael, 44, to melanoma.

“Michael served our country as a marine,” said Eric. “When he began racing, he took the number 36, because his Marine Corps platoon was 2036. When Michael passed, I took that number for my car in his honor.”

This time, Eric remembered his car owner’s brother Randy Bailey, who crewed for Eric and passed away last season, as well as Art Lentini, namesake of Art’s Radiator.

“Art was a good friend, and he would have been really proud of me for winning,” Eric said. “I thought of my brother, Dennis’ brother, and Art while I was in victory lane.”

The Grandview Speedway win earned him $5,000 total, with $3,000 being the regular payday for a winner and additional $2,000 for being first-time winner. Eric Kormann said it was his biggest win, and he has his daughter, Hannah, to thank for it. Hannah certainly loves racing, and she competes in slingshots.

“I’m Hannah’s biggest fan and she’s mine,” said Eric. “She was so proud — screaming, yelling, and hollering in victory lane — but that hug, that was the best thing about winning, for sure.”

Outside Groove Note of Transparency: Corrected the winnings from Grandview (2024-06-17).