Contributed by: ACT Staff
Unbuckled: Getting To Know Jimmy Hebert
Driver of the #58 Hebert Excavation Chevrolet (HebertRacing.com)
Hometown: Williamstown, VT
2012: Doc Nielson Rookie Award Winner, 2012 ACT Rookie of the Year, 10th Place Overall on American Canadian Tour
What are your favorite hobbies in the off-season?
I do a lot of deer hunting in the fall. Rifle, muzzle loader, you name it through the fall until Christmas. In the winter I do a lot of snowmachining, and I work with the local snowmobile club. I do R/C racing right in Barre and the iRacing online racing simulator to get my racing fix in the offseason!
What do you do for work?
I work with our family business Hebert Excavation. I do everything from bidding jobs all the way down to shoveling dirt. I’m learning the ropes of the business for the future when my Dad decides to retire.
What is your biggest life accomplishment?I’d have to say winning the Tiger Championship back in 2009. I remember the biggest thing about that was that we didn’t give up. We were down and out with 4 races to go, we were about 50 points out of the lead, but we clawed back to win the championship. That was very special for me, plus I was 18 years old at the time.
Big Plans for 2013?
We’re going to run the full ACT Tour again. We loved the competition and the longer distance racing and the people are respectable. I like the nature of the longer events. The whole team is pretty excited. Building a new car for this year from Dale Shaw.
What is the state of your car currently?
The new one is being built, and our old one is stripped and the body should be here anytime. The old car is going to be used for the big tracks, the new one for the short tracks.
What race are you looking forward to the most in 2013?
Would have to be Sanair or the ACT Invitational. All throughout my life I heard about Sanair from my Dad when he raced. We ran really well there and it was all-around a fun track, kind of like three race tracks put into one. Leading the race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway was so cool too, but everyone would like to know what would have happened if we hadn’t cut our right front tire. We are really excited to give that another shot. I’m also honestly looking forward to the International 500. I love Airborne and we ran well there last year.
What was the highlight of the 2012 season for you?
Toss up between Airborne and Loudon, but probably leading at Loudon, NH. To be leading down there in the Bond Auto ACT Invitational was very surreal.
Do you have a hero? Someone you idolize as a racecar driver or try to emulate?
I would say Dan Beede. He’s been a family friend of ours for a long time, and I heard so much about what he accomplished for such a small operation. I just loved that he raced against the bigger names and teams, and he still won some big races against them and competed.
Who is your biggest fan at the track?
That would definitely be my two grandmothers. They are always at Thunder Road, and they make the long treks to a lot of the ACT races, wearing their Jimmy Hebert shirts. They are thrilled to see me when I come up and visit them in the grandstands, and are always cheering for me.
What is something about you that most people don’t know?
How much time I put into my racing, probably. I wake up in the morning and work ‘til 5pm, work on the car until 10pm or later, and then do it all over again. I pretty much do nothing else during the summer 6 days a week. The other day is at the racetrack. I’m flat out from April or May until October. We’re a small team, but it’s handy that our shop is underneath the cattle barn right next door. It’s a great little shop, our neighbor has black angus cows.
How did you start racing?
Back when I was 8 years old my dad got me a go-kart for Christmas. We had talked about go-karts before, and he raced back before I was born. We raced go-karts until I was 15, and then I went to the Tiger Sportsman division at Thunder Road.
Tell me about your family?
My dad is a huge part of the race team. Spotter, car owner, coach, mentor. My family helps out on the car too, and they all go to the races. I’m very close with my family, and they have always been very supportive. I have one sister that doesn’t live around here anymore, but she use to come and watch me when she did.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully a successful ACT Team, I’d be just as happy running ACT as I would be anything else. I love the program. I would love to be winning races and contending for championships.