When we think of a 14-year-old boy, we imagine a boy who is probably inside playing his Xbox or video games or on the computer, or possibly stuck with his face down in his iPhone or iPad. Well, I recently got a moment to speak with Gary and Blake Buckel, and this 14-year-old, Blake, affectionately known as “the champ” around the dirt racing circuit, isn’t one to sit around inside the house all day or use electronic devices, period. Blake was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia back in 2012 and was treated right away at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center UPMC in PA. Since then, Blake has been a fighter. He has always wanted to follow in his great-grandfather’s footsteps, and that’s why he’s a 4th generation dirt track racer. Blake and his family live in Clintonville, PA.
It all started back in the early 60s and 70s when his great-grandfather Ronald Iorio used to race at Tri-City Speedway in Franklin, PA. Then, in 1995 and 96, his grandfather Doug Iorio was able to secure his championship at Tri-City Speedway and also at Mercer track in PA. Blake’s uncle Douglas Iorio II has been racing since 2003 and, in 2007, won his championship following in his family’s footsteps at Tri-City Speedway in Franklin. Blake soon followed the rank and started racing in 2022 on go-karts, and then this spring in 2023, they bought and stripped down a new car to race on the dirt track. Blake’s favorite late-model dirt track racer is Scott Bloomquist. Not only does Blake like to race, but he also enjoys ice hockey and playing goalie and loves to hunt!
Now, their season has already begun and is a weekly series, which has two to three races per month. There are two divisions in this series: the stock division and the open division, which Blake races. The series is called the Young Guns Jr Sprints 2018.
If you want to catch a dirt track race coming up, the upcoming races are June 18th at Tri-City Speedway in Franklin, PA, June 24th at Blanket Hill Speedway, July 1st at Linda’s, and July 15th at Mercer in Mercer, PA. Blake says that his dream is to become like late-model dirt racer Scott Bloomquist, and we here at OSI feel that Blake will most definitely get there, seeing as he is such a fighter!
Blake, however, isn’t the only one who likes competition! Obviously, being a 4th generation racing family, they have competition in their blood. Blake’s older sister, McKenzie, plans to represent the great state of Pennsylvania down in Orlando, Florida, later this year in a National Beauty pageant. So, we can say that this family sure has a lot to offer and are competitors.
Ohio Security and Investigations LLC couldn’t be prouder to represent a family who’ve been through so much together as a cohesive unit. It’s our pleasure to be a sponsor for Blake and his racing, and we cannot wait to see him in action!