10 Questions with…Ben Fritz!

You know him as the driver of the eye-catching #16 with the TBARA, but did you know that Ben Fritz is also the youngest driver to ever win ROTY with the Florida Midget Racing Association? You may know him from his popular stint on billboards promoting Ocala Speedway, but you should also know him as an all-around friendly guy often seen walking the pits with his new little bundle of joy on his arm, he is the one and only Ben Fritz.

So how did you get your start in racing? We hear you used to tear it up in go karts. We got started in racing after going to the Pepsi 400 at Daytona during the day and a friend of my dad’s and his son were racing Go Karts at Fruitland Park that same night. So we went there to watch them race and the next thing I know my dad had me a new Phantom Stalker & Trailer the next week and we started Go Kart racing. I was 7 years old then, yea we had some great times in Karts and won a bunch of races and championships over the years. Racing Go Karts at a young age is great training and seat time when your beginning your racing career.

Is it true you have so many trophies that you had to rent a heated storage facility, complete with armed guard to protect all of your hardware? Well, I don’t know about all that, but man we sure won a bunch of races over the years and yes, many trophies came along with the wins.

As for the armed guard to protect all the hardware, that might be a little much, but they all do sit in a spare room at my parents house and you have to cross my old man on the couch to get there if that counts for anything.

Is it a Florida state law that if you run the number 16 on your car is has to be that Roush Racing font? When dad and I were building our new Hurricane sprint car we wanted a car number that jumped out at you on the track and it seemed that the Roush Racing font did that.

Your sprint car is always one of the best looking cars out there. I think I’ve heard your dad say, “wax on, wax off,” more than once. How do you keep that car so shiny? Thank you for the compliments on the car being one of the best looking out there, but if you have ever been in our pits at the races or our shop, you will notice that my dad is the wax man, wax on wax off. Lenny O’Neil and I do all the wrenching and set ups on the car, dad does all the cleaning and waxing.

You were rumored to have had talks with Sam Schmidt Motorsports about an Indy Lites ride at one point. Is Indy Lites still on your radar or did that goofy Delta Wing car scare you off? Yes, we had and still do talk with Sam Schmidt Motorsports about an Indy Lites ride, but as you know the IRL is very expensive to race. We just haven’t been able to put sponsors together at $50,000 a race on our part, times 9-12 races, you do the math. It’s expensive.

How is parenthood treating you these days? We saw you walking around the pits with a cute little Fritz offspring in tow. Parenthood is treating me great!!! Yes you have seen me with my 2 year old daughter Kennedy Ray Fritz in tow at the races.

Did you find it was easier to pick up chicks when you were on a billboard? Did you use pickup lines like, “Hi, I’m Ben Fritz, you might know me from such popular billboards like the one just off I75 here in Ocala…how would you like to buy me a drink?” The billboard thing was the idea of one of our sponsors, Ocala Speedway, when they were promoting their upcoming SpeedWeeks races. As for pickup lines and drinks, it sure hasn’t worked.

Ocala Speedway – pavement or dirt? I love pavement racing and won the last pavement sprint car race they had there, but as for the business side of Ocala Speedway, I think Mike Peters did the right thing by putting dirt on the track and keeping it alive.  We went to the All Star race this year and he sold the place out.

What United States treaty allowed for the purchase of Florida from Spain? I will have to e-mail Ponce De Leon and get all the particulars on his treaty with Spain in regards to selling Florida to the United States. I will get back with you on that.

Let’s say I need some health and life insurance for me and my family, who should I call? For all your Health & Life Insurance needs call me!! Ben Fritz, Licensed Agent, Benco Alco Insurance, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida. I’m located at 2391 SW College Road, Ocala, FL 34471. My phone number is 352-547-3822.