Unbuckled: Getting To Know Jean-Paul Cyr

Thursday, February 07 2013 @ 10:10 AM EST

Contributed by: ACT Staff

Unbuckled: Getting To Know Jean-Paul Cyr

Driver of the #32 Harrison Redi-Mix Chevrolet

Hometown: Milton, VT

2012: Finished 9th overall on American Canadian Tour

What are your favorite hobbies in the off-season?

Oh these days I try to snowboard, ride dirt bikes, and I’m trying to get into mountain biking. 

What do you do for work?

I’m one of the owners of Cyr Lumber.  It’s been the family business since 1970. 

What is your biggest life accomplishment?

Probably watching my two children grow up into fine young adults.

Big Plans for 2013?

Right now it is subject to change but we’re looking at going for the Thunder Road Championship and running the first 3-4 Tour races and seeing where we are.  If we are doing really well we may go further, but we’re running the Thunder Road schedule full-time hopefully. I traveled so much for racing when my kids were little. They did their thing and I’d go off racing, and it wasn’t until later in the life when I ran for the 50th Thunder Road Championship that they became big race fans.  They were old enough to go on their own, and it was really, really neat. It’s kind of why I want to race T-Road again, because my daughter and son will be able to go up and sit up in the stands and cheer me on.  It was the one year my family has been able to attend all the races.  I would get home at 11pm and they would be up with their friends and we would all sit in the kitchen and talk about the races and what happened.  I never got to experience it until that year.  I’d like to experience that again. 

What is the state of your car currently?

It is stripped down now, but it’s starting to get back together.  It’s just a few guys and me on my crew, and we’ve been working on it a couple nights a week.  We’re going to have to get a little more serious about it soon!  

What race are you looking forward to the most in 2013?

Boy I’d have to say the International 500 at Airborne Speedway.  I like Airborne a lot, plus it’s the inaugural race. It’d be nice to have your name first in the record books for that.  I’m not going to lie, the money would also help!

What was the highlight of the 2012 season for you?

I would have to say something between the Milk Bowl, when we came from last to compete for the overall win, to breaking down at White Mountain and watching my good friend and long-time competitor Eric Chase compete for a solid top three finish and his first podium. I had a lot of enjoyment in both.

Do you have a hero? Someone you idolize as a racecar driver or try to emulate?

I’ve always loved Robbie Crouch’s smoothness and consistency and the way he would make the races play out, but I also loved watching Bobby Dragon drive the wheels off the car and make it work.  Those two drivers have always been my favorite. I always thought if you combined the two it would be perfect, so that’s what I’ve tried to do. Everybody has their own style, I’d like to think that mine is somewhere in-between them.   

Who is your biggest fan at the track?

I’d have to say it’s my parents.  They’ve gone to just about every race I’ve been in since I started racing motorcycles in 1977.  They are by far my biggest fans. 

What is something about you that most people don’t know?

I’m really only 21 years old…at heart.

How did you start racing?

My first race was in 1977, and it was a motorcycle race.  It was a field days event, so you had barrel racing, hill climb, trials, motocross, etc.  We didn’t know what to expect, and we ended up winning all the events and the overall. I don’t even think I was ten years old yet. After all the championships and races I’ve won, I can still almost feel the elation and how proud I was after that race.  That’s what started me racing and probably what’s kept me racing. I started racing cars around 1989 on dirt in a prostock, and 1992 is when I started with the late models. 

Tell me about your family?

I have a wife, Joann, who I’ve been married to for 24 years this year. She’s certainly the backbone of the family, she keeps us all in line, and she works as the general sales manager at Fox 44.  My daughter Lizzie graduates at James Madison University this year with a degree in education, and my son JP is attending his sophomore year at UVM seeking his PHD in physical therapy.  JP comes home to snowboard with me on the weekends, and I talk to Lizzie a couple times a week at least. 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

I really don’t think far ahead, I’m sure people think I do, but I don’t.  I really don’t know.  I’m just taking it one year at a time.