Tell us about yourself. My name is Ryan Toole. I am 27 years old and was born in Orlando Fl. After many years moving around I ended up in Georgia. Spent my high school years there. After high school, I joined the United States Marine Corps in 2003. During my 5 years I spent in I did 1 tour in Iraq (2005). I got out of the service in 2008 to be able to spend time with my son more and not risk going on tours and missing out of time with him. Present day I work full time, go to school to get my college degree, full time father, full time boy friend with my girlfriend of over 3 years AND trying to get my modified career up and going.
How did you get into racing? How old were you? First car/class? My late grandfather really got me into racing. Growing up I was able to attend some races at Orlando speedway and New Smyrna down south with my uncle but it was when I was 10 I remember getting to go to speed weeks and meeting Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty. From then on I was hooked. Fast-forwarding many years, I attend my first race in VA in 2004 and got the FEVER to have my own car. In 2007 we built my first car, a Chevy Camaro Limited Stock, for Virginia Motor Speedway. At this time I was 22 years old. I went on to win the 2007 Rookie of the Year Award and 8th place in points my first year EVER in a racecar.
What is your favorite racing memory? The best memory I have is my first feature win came opening night 2010 at VMS and winning the first is like winning the Daytona 500 but the kicker was when I pulled into victory lane my son was the first one to the door. Still brings a smile to my face to think about it.
What is your most embarrassing racing moment? This came last year, 2011, at Potomac Speedway in the Small Car Nationals while running the 2-day hobby stock race. Out of 26 cars we were 2nd quick in only our second trip ever there. Top 2 cars out of 3 heats got to transfer to the dash for cash race and during the heat we made it up to second place and with one lap to go while passing for the lead at the line I let off thinking the white flag was the checkered flag…… Yes, I was called Mark Martin for the rest of the weekend!!!
Greatest achievement in your racing career? My greatest achievement was in 2010 winning the Limited Stock Championship at Virginia Motor Speedway against some of the best drivers around. When there is an average of 20 cars a week and the top 8 can win any night of the week it was an honor to win. Every driver I raced drove like a champion.
Any superstitions (peanuts not allowed in pits, etc)? No real big ones just maybe just liking to wear the same shirt every race, washed in between weeks of course!
What is the story behind running the number you chose? I chose #84 back in middle school as my number for football because it was the year I was born and carried it through high school. It did me well then therefore I used it as my car number and likewise has done me well.
What is the hardest part of racing? Many factors are hard in our sport. Personally, the hardest is being away from my loved ones so much. It takes a lot of will power in families to keep it going. On the other side in racing finding funding and selling yourself is pretty hard.
Tell us what you like most about your home track? What are some of your other favorite tracks & why do you like them so much? What's the hardest track you've ever competed at? What I like most about VMS is that it is the top of the line facility. The Sawyers have done a hell of a job on the half-mile clay oval. One track that sticks in my mind is Clarys Speedway in NC. There was something about the track and the people that made the experience very enjoyable. The hardest track I have ever run is County Line Raceway. This is because the first time I was there I had a car land on my roof. The track is very different in both corners and makes it a challenge to setup.
What do you like to do when you are not racing? When I’m not racing I like to spend time with family and friends. One of the things we all like to do most is go camping.
People you'd like to thank & sponsors. To present day I have to thank Laurel Automotive Racing Engines here in Richmond va, also Valvoline Racing Oils for being with me since day 1 in 2007, Summit Recycling for being with me since 2008, Jim Lynch for the chance to drive his #27m in 2010 and 2011 and get my championship with it, Then my newest supporters Virginia Electronics appliance repair center of Ashland VA, Frankie and Beth higgs of Cedar Creek Racing, Russell and Eric Erwin of Erwin Racing Supply, and Stickers and Signs for our lettering on the car. Last but certainly not least, THE FANS I HAVE FROM NORTH CAROLINA TO MARYLAND AND EVERYWHERE IN BETWEEN!!!! THANK YOU FOR THE SUPPORT!!!