Kevin Metzger, the coffee king of Route 110, attributes his driving success to "not being over aggressive." The 54-year-old is the antithesis of a renegade behind the wheel, and his strategy has guided him to two straight Late Model season points titles.
Take last week. Metzger bided his time, keeping his No. 23 Chevy firmly in seventh place until a wreck up ahead allowed him to slip into fourth, which is where he finished. Through two races, Metzger is in fourth place, 14 points behind leader Buzzy Eriksen of Baldwin.
"You're not gonna win the race in the first five laps," said Metzger, who owns King Caterers, a coffee truck business stationed behind Adventureland on Route 110 in Farmingdale.
The ever-humble Metzger attributes all his recent success to friend Greg Kiela, a former driver who has tweaked his car. Said Metzger: "If the car ain't setup right, it doesn't matter who's driving. Since Greg's gone through it, it's been a rocketship."
Metzger has been racing at Riverhead since 1990, but was quick to add that he isn't the oldest driver on the Late Model circuit (that title belongs to Roger Oxee). He plans to continue to race "until he can't push down the pedals or steer the wheel," but acknowledged that when he wins, "people say 'Look at that old man driving the car.' "
Regardless of when his time on the track is through, Metzger will still continue to own the family business, a place where he used to butter bagels as a youngster.
Yet, on the track, he'll leave the hyperactivity for the kids.