Two-time champion Zack Riddle was ready to roll coming into the first race of the season on Friday, Aug. 14 at Madison International Speedway.
The 2015 and 2018 Late Model champion was eager to put on a show for his hometown.
The Brooklyn native has a bloodline that runs deep in the racing game. The third generation driver has been racing since he was 10 years old.
“I started racing go-karts at a young age and had pretty good success with that,” said Riddle said. “After a while, we started taking things a little more serious.”
With Riddle winning the track championship in 2015, he was the first third generation driver to win at MIS. He often reflects on his family to get him started in the racing world.
“I kind of grew up with it,” Riddle said. My grandfather and uncle can take credit for that.”
Riddle is ready to add to his racing resume as his uncle and grandfather did in the past. John Ziegler (grandfather) and Jared Ziegler (uncle) both have won championships at MIS, the same track that Zack kicked off the 2020 season. Riddle, who is a crane operator fulltime when he’s not racing, has the family business name, Ziegler Crane, tattooed on his car.
The 2007 Oregon High School graduate said he was excited to get back on the track as the 2020 season was delayed due to Covid-19.
“It’s definitely good to be back out there,” he said. “I think everyone has the same feeling.”
Riddle started the season strong, finishing second just inches behind Michael Bilderback.
He finished in second place overall for the NASCAR Late Models last year and hopes to go out on top for the third time in his career in 2020. Riddle finished with 1,052 points last year, which was just shy of Bobby Wilberg’s 1,082 points. His season included two first-place finishes, eight top-five finishes and 11 top-10 finishes.
His grandfather, John, is part of the Madison International Speedway’s Hall of Fame. Zack said if he’s able to add another track championship to his name in 2020, he may join his grandfather as the family legacy continues.