Amazingly, Tom Grogan has no speeding tickets.
Though street legal, Grogan’s red Z06 Corvette is built to race.
“I can drive it in town, but I don’t usually take it to the grocery store,” says Grogan. “I bought this to race Autocross on the track.”
Grogan had threatened to buy a Corvette before his 40th birthday. His wife nodded in agreement, seemingly not grasping the depth of his commitment. In 2007, he made good on his promise with a 2002 Z06, which is built with some adaptations to make it ready for the track — bigger brakes, beefier suspension and more horsepower.
“I was hooked after my first time doing Autocross,” says Grogan. “I was like a kid in a candy store. It’s an adrenaline rush.”
Autocross is a race against the clock on a closed course, held on tracks around the country, including the Newton Speedway.
“I race in Group 2, for slightly modified cars,” says Grogan. “I’ve reached speeds of 120 miles per hour on the back stretch at Newton. I’ve raced on three other road courses, in Nebraska, Kansas and in Oklahoma. It’s great having Newton so close.”
Grogan races in the high-speed category, for cars that can reach speeds higher than 80 mph.
“I’ve owned six Corvettes. Three were convertibles and three hard-tops,” says Grogan. “The last two I bought were specifically for racing. It is usually on a trailer. If I were to drive it home after a day driving at high speeds on the track… that would not be a good combination.”
Grogan joined the Corvette Club of Iowa in 2007 and has since served as president.
“I’m not on the board any more, but I still remain active,” says Grogan. “It’s a great group of people and I really enjoy racing.”
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