Like gasoline through a fuel line, racing runs in Nathan Lynch’s blood.
From racing go-carts as a kid to late models as a teen at Macon Speedway to piloting the 14N on tracks throughout the area with his brothers Evan and Brady, Lynch has followed in the footsteps of his family, who have been part of the racing landscape for more than 50 years.
“My grandfather raced for years and if you go to any small track in Illinois, everyone knows him. He sold fuel for the longest time at Macon, so Macon’s always been the cornerstone for us,” Lynch said of his grandfather, Art Lynch, who began racing in 1969. “My aunt, Georgia Rau, and her late husband, Lenny Kurfiss, owned a late model that Shannon Babb drove for them and he’s big time now. My dad, he raced before I was born, but slowed down once I was born. I think the last time he raced, I was probably 10 or 11. Then we had a hiatus until I got old enough to drive and we got going again.”
Artie and Andi Lynch’s oldest son eventually got into late model racing as a teenager, but a bad wreck took the family off the track until 2019, when things got started back up for the Lynch racing dynasty.
“My dad bought a car, a modified, and both my brothers were like, ‘You had your shot at driving, so you’re not driving this one.’” Lynch said of the family’s return to racing. “I said that was fine and I went out and bought my own. Now we all race and have a blast at it.”
Like their grandfather before them, all three brothers race the number 14, with a slight modification, their first initial next to the number. Their cousin, Justin Reynolds, drives the 3X, the number the Lynch’s father ran during his racing days.
Lynch said that the goal is to have all four cars racing in the pro mod class, with Brady’s father-in-law and Coffeen’s Matt Tomazzoli also in the mix, among others. While that makes it easy to work on the vehicles as a team, there are some negatives to having everyone in the same class.
“The bad thing is that there are three spots and four of us are all in the same race, then one of us definitely isn’t making it. You end up battling against everybody who came with you, but it’s fun,” Lynch said, as long as you avoid wrecking one another. “Yeah, that can lead to some harsh words in the pits.”
Still, the benefits of having his siblings race with him far outweigh the disadvantages.
“Before it was just me racing, because they were pretty young. Now it’s a lot more fun going to the track. We all roll in and hopefully soon, they’ll be like, ‘Ah crap the Lynch Boys are here. We gotta fight for fourth and fifth.’” Lynch said with a laugh. “It’s just a lot of fun going every Saturday night with that crew of guys. We joked about building a track, because we house half the cars that go to Macon anyway.”
And it may not be too long until the fourth generation wants to get behind the wheel. Nathan and his wife, Brooke (Beeler), have two young daughters, Karsyn and Emma, and plans are already underway to switch the 14N from orange and black to pink and purple in the near future. Brady and his wife, Haley, also have an infant son, Stryker, who seems destined to sling dirt someday as well.
“We’ll eventually get them some go carts or something,” Lynch said. “We’ll try to keep them involved and excited about racing. If they get older and don’t like it, it might go by the wayside.”
For now though, the Lynch brothers and their extended racing family will just do what they’ve done for years, go racing.
“I think with my dad’s side especially, they just grew up at the race track. They’ve been to every track from here to Timbuktu,” Lynch said. “It’s kind of just always been there. It’s just a big family outing.”