O’FALLON, Ill. — Racing has always been in 14-year-old Aidan Roosevans’ blood, whether it’s of the two-wheeled or four-wheeled variety.
A second-generation racer, Roosevans took the leap into competition himself after watching his father Joe compete on motorcycles and realizing he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps — or tire tracks.
“Racing has always been a family thing for us,” said Roosevans. “My dad did a lot of TT and championship bike racing through the years and won his share of races, and he got me a PW (bike) one day. I was probably two and a half at the time. He came up to me and goes, ‘Do you want to race?’
“I didn’t even talk to him. I didn’t say a word. I just took off with the bike, started it … and was wide open all the way through,” Roosevans laughed. “When I finally got back, he just looked at me and goes, ‘Well, I guess I’ve got a racer right here.’ It was pretty funny. He didn’t expect it, for sure, because I had seen a video of how to kick-start one and knew it was mine when he unloaded it off the truck that day.”
Knowing his father’s racing history, many would have expected the young Roosevans to stick solely in the world of dirt bikes and motorcycles.
However, even as he found success riding motorcycles, Roosevans eventually felt the pull of four-wheeled racing and wanted to explore going down a different path.
“I would play with Matchbox cars when I was young, dreaming of being able to race for real one day, because our family wasn’t from the best neighborhood,” Roosevans recalled. “When I got the chance to race myself, I eventually asked my dad, ‘Would you be mad if I quit motorcycles for a while and went to race cars?’ I was surprised when he told me he would have done the same thing if he’d had the chance.
“That’s where the fork in the road really first came about for me.”
Roosevans’ diverse résumé already includes multiple accolades, including rookie-of-the-year honors in 2016 with the POWRi National Micro Series and last season with the ASCS Warrior Region.
En route to being the ASCS Warrior Region’s top rookie, Roosevans collected a pair of top-10 finishes in 11 starts. He finished fourth in points driving for Brad Loyet, but admitted wanting more.
“Last year was a good year, but I honestly believe I could have done even better than we did,” Roosevans noted. “I learned a lot driving one of Brad Loyet’s sprint cars and I feel like I met a lot of expectations for it being my rookie season, but as a racer you always want more and want to aim higher.”
That goal of aiming higher led Roosevans to recapture his love of dirt-bike riding, returning to the sport on the motorcycle side late last summer and getting back up to speed in a hurry.
“Coming back to bikes in August of last year … it just felt right after some of the struggles we had on the dirt oval side of things,” admitted Roosevans. “I think it helped the year out as a whole and boosted me back up from where I was in the first half of the year.”
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