Dix Hills resident Dylan Slepian has been racing since 2010, and recently won his first Modified NASCAR race.
During the week, Slepian works as an account executive at M3 Technology in Bellport. On the weekends, he can be found on the racetrack.
“Ever since I can remember, I’ve been really into circle track racing and NASCAR,” Slepian said. “It was just always what I was into.”
Slepian’s interest in racing stems from when he was younger. It’s something he’s always had an interest in, and he’s been racing ever since, saying “you never stop once you get into it.” His parents took notice of his interest and supported him.
According to Slepian, his parents were not mechanically savvy and didn’t know much about racing to begin with. They stepped into that world and supported him financially as well as with things like towing a trailer, helping to work on the car and simply being at the track.
Racing is something that carries a very high priority in Slepian’s life and is as important to him as work and a social life. It takes up a lot of free time, demanding a lot of preparation. However, if one wants to compete and be successful at any level of racing, according to Slepian, that’s something that one needs to be ready for.
The car Slepian drives is a Whelen Tour Modified. It’s a Chevrolet Camaro but it does not share any parts with a normal street car, having 600 horsepower, and sporting 15-inch wide slick tires. It runs on 115 octane fuel.
His team consists of 10 to 15 people who will be at the shop two or more nights a week and come out for race days.
Slepian and his team just finished the weekly Riverhead season at Riverhead Raceway in the modified division where he recently won his first Modified victory.
“That was probably, out of everything that’s happened to date, the top day I’ve ever had racing,” Slepian said on his win. “Just a lot of circumstances led up to it that made it extra special.”
Some of those circumstances included nice weather, winning a different race in August and continuing to do well. He said finally being able to capture the win was a really good feeling.
With the Riverhead Raceway season over, Slepian is now transitioning between that and a race in Connecticut. The race is this weekend in Thompson, Conn., and is dubbed the “World Series of Stock Car Racing.” It’s a large race that will see cars and drivers from all over the tri-state area and will be broadcast later next week on NBC Sports.
According to Slepian, the Connecticut race is like “the crown jewels of the season.” The race is higher stakes than he’s ever competed, making it a challenge and a learning curve. For this particular race, he and his team will be bringing in some extra help.
While Slepian sees himself racing for a long time, the future is unpredictable. If for some reason he can’t race, he still hopes to be involved with racing somehow, whether it be on a crew or just at the track watching.
“When I go do other things related to automotive, like going to car shows, or I picture my life without racing,” Slepian said, “I just have basically accepted that it’s going to be something that I’m always going to need to be involved in and participating in as long as I can.”
Slepian does make some money from racing, however he said that it only just about covers the cost of competing. Because of this, he and his team are always looking for sponsors.
Slepian added he wants to thank his car owner and his crew that sacrifice as much time as he does. It’s a team effort and he wouldn’t be able to race without them.
Melanie Goldman can be reached at [email protected]