Kirchberger Girls Running With the Guys in the Hornets

February 15, 2012 at 12:33 PM

By: Steven Petty
Previously published in the 2011 Souvenir Program

In 2011, the Holland NASCAR Motorsports Complex did a little re-organizing in their entry level 4 cylinder division. The Hornet-Queen Bees will still run against each other in one feature and the winner of each will still get their interview and pictures in victory lane, however the points will be combined for one overall 4 Cylinder Hornet Champion.

Ashley and Nikki Kirchberger will be two of the Queen Bees that will battle the boys each and every race night here at Holland. Ashley has been racing with us for the past 7 seasons including winning three track titles in 2007, 2008 and 2010.Ashley was also featured in an article back in 2007 in the Buffalo News as well as winning the Best in Show Award in 2007 at the car show at McKinley Mall.

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Ashley’s #70 orange Honda Civic is always a strong contender to be the first woman across the line in the 4 Cylinder Hornet feature here each and every Saturday night. Ashley says that she is in the Hornet division because it is less expensive than the other divisions. “I started in this division when I first started racing”. She continued saying that “when I first started it racing, it was kind of a beginner class but as the years went on, the class grew”. “It’s a very competitive class and I have a lot of fun” she said. Her expectation for the 2011 season is to “keep it all in one piece”. She also says that she “just wants to have fun and maybe get another Championship. She also hopes that her sister Nikki has fun and hopes to see her crack victory lane. “I’ve been tossing around the thought of moving up” Ashley said when thinking about the next division she would want to get into. “If we were to move up, it would be up to the Bank of Holland Chargers” she said. Ashley likes racing here at Holland because she likes “that everyone knows everybody. It’s like everyone is one big family and everyone helps everyone”. “The track officials are just as friendly and helpful as the other drivers and crew members are”.

Ashley has some thoughts about racing against her sister Nikki. “Even though it’s her first year, I loved having her around just in the pits, but to have her actually racing this year is pretty cool”. “She tries hard and is always asking and looking for help and advice”. Nikki listens to her older sister Ashley whenever she tries to help her and coach her to how to get around the 3/8th high banks oval. “Even though we are serious about racing, we still joke around and have fun”. Ashley continued saying that “but as far as racing against her, I don’t really feel like I am racing against her. She is more or less like a teammate that is still learning”. Ashley jokingly said that “when she starts to catch me is when I have to start worrying”.

It takes a lot of time, effort, commitment, sponsors and crews to make any racing team successful. The Kirchberger Racing Team would like to thank their sponsors and crew for everything that they have done. DeRonde Tire Supply, On the Mark Signs, Lil Liquors, Shaffer and Sons Used Tires, Southtowns Chimney Sweep, Fiebelkorn’s Collision and Frame Repair, and Timmy Regan Towing and Recovery are on the Ashley’s car. While Fiebelkorn Collision, Custom Tee Identity Ink, RJP, On the Mark, Southtowns Chimney Sweep, and DeRonde Tire are on Nikki’s racer in 2011. The crew is also important both girls would like to thank their Mom and Dad (Robyn and Edd), Grandma Shirley Kelly, sister Sarah, Chuck and Dutch for working on the cars and making sure that both of them are race ready each and every race night.

Younger sister Nikki is just staring out in the big cars. She started her racing in the go-karts at Bliss International. The rookie from West Seneca is no rookie to Holland, as she cheered her sister on from the stands and now she gets to cheer for her and race against her in her #10 Honda Civic. “It’s kind of cool when I start in the back and just look in the middle of the pack and see my sister going straight for the front” Nikki said. The car is painted orange on one side and purple on the other. Nikki even catches herself cheering for her sister while racing against her. “I even yell for her when I’m in the car just because I’m so used to it and I have to keep doing it” Nikki continued. Nikki’s favorite moment with her sister Ashley is right before they go on to the track, while waiting in the line-up shoot. “We joke around about stuff and “Shake n bake” and then we know it’s time for business”.

Nikki just “wants to get used to the traffic and the track all together” in this her rookie season. A state champion hockey player, Nikki wants to “try and get a top ten and maybe win a race”. Nikki likes Holland because “I like the people and everyone understands that I’m new and I don’t mean to get in the way and they are all just fun people to race with”.The Kirchberger girls have a saying “It’s a family thing and it always will be”. Both Ashley and Nikki are looking forward to put on a great show for you the fans each and every race night right here at the Holland NASCAR Motorsports Complex.