“This is more than just a hobby to me, this is my career,” Hymel said. “This is what I want to do. I’m not going to college, I’ve spent my college savings trying to pursue this. I’m fully invested and I just can’t stop until I get there."
It was a long road for Ty Hymel to get his first win in the NASCAR Advanced Auto Parts Weekly Series.
For six years Hymel has raced in the series, coming close to victory numerous times. But it wasn’t until July 17 when he finally claimed a checkered flag and got to park in victory lane at Houston Motorsports Park.
“Really it was just a sigh of relief,” the 21-year-old Hymel said. “My whole life I’ve known I could do it and I’ve known my whole life that all I ever wanted to do was race. I just remember coming out of turn four, seeing that checkered flag and knowing that we had won the race. It was a feeling of ‘finally we actually did it, me and my team were finally able to do what so many thought we were incapable of doing.”
It was a big moment for the Katy native and Katy high graduate, who had been waiting for years for that exact moment.
“It’s been countless hours of constantly working,” Hymel said. “There’s so much that goes into the work on the race car and on the business side as well. I’ve been doing this for the past six years but I’ve been working on this for as long as I remember. I grew up watching race film, I would mow grass and work different jobs and save every penny that I had so I could buy a car and start racing. It’s been a long journey.”
Hymel’s race showcased was a bounce back from a disappointment he had in Alabama in June.
He had driven from Katy to Mobile to race but learned at the track that his car had an intake manifold leak, preventing him from competing.
“It was a real heartbreaker, because our team had gone out there and we didn’t get to race we didn’t get any points we didn’t get anything. So it was a rollercoaster of emotions.”
His win came in the very next race, as he led for all 20 laps and moved himself up into tenth in the standings for the Lone Star Legacy Racing Series.
“The series might allow us to drop a race and that would help us a lot since it would allow us to drop the race where we got zero points,” Hymel said. “If that was to happen we would be second in points right now. The standings don’t really do us justice this year for how we have raced so far and it was such an accomplishment to get that win.”
Hymel’s ultimate goal is to get to the NASCAR cup or Xfinity series and win a championship there.
He was able to get an up close and personal look at that last year, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when he went to work for MBM Motorsports on Xfinity circuit in Mooresville, North Carolina.
“When the track season here was cut short, I had to find a way to stay in the game. This is my whole life and I didn’t want to be out of it, so I found a job with a team in North Carolina. I was on the pit crew and was in the shop just learning everything that I possibly could about race cars and racing and the drivers. It was a experience I’ll never forget. I drove a from North Carolina to Las Vegas and got to see the drivers up close and study them.”
Hymel isn’t satisfied being a one-time winner. He plans to do everything he can to keep improving and get closer to his ultimate goal.
“This is more than just a hobby to me, this is my career,” Hymel said. “This is what I want to do. I’m not going to college, I’ve spent my college savings trying to pursue this. I’m fully invested and I just can’t stop until I get there. I know there’s so much I have left to show and I hope I get the opportunity. I’m not going to stop until I get the opportunity because I know I can make it.”