MENLO – Like his dad, Miciah Hidlebaugh played football – and he certainly looks the part – but there was another of his father’s passions that he wanted to pursue.

Matt Hidlebaugh ran a 1984 Chevy Monte Carlo with his old football number – 84 – on the side for several years in the early 2000s. Meanwhile, his son, 5-year-old Miciah, got behind the wheel of a go-kart in order to race like his dad did.

Football came calling in his tween and teen years. But, Miciah decided to go back to racing:

“This is my third year back racing. I also raced an IMCA hobby stock [but] stock cars are what I have always wanted to race because my dad raced stock cars.”

In his first year, he qualified for the “big dance” in the hobby stock division at the IMCA Super Nationals. This year, he is racing an IMCA stock car, primarily at Stuart International Speedway.

But Miciah will also hit big events at tracks all across Iowa in his 72H – a tip of the cap to his own former football number – stock car with a distinctive blue-white-and-pink color scheme that matches his racing nickname, ‘The Flying Bomb Pop”:

“I really like the Bomb Pop popsicles, so my friends thought that nickname was perfect.”

Miciah says it’s the competition that keeps him going:

“What I love most is racing door to door with my friends every week. Definitely the competition and all the different places to race.”

The biggest challenge, he added, is learning a different car while also going up against new competition as he travels about the state:

“I have always been a believer in if you wanna be the best, race the best, and Iowa definitely has some of, if not the, best drivers.”

Miciah’s already visited Cocopah Speedway in Arizona, Adams County Speedway, Benton County Speedway, Boone Speedway, Buena Vista Raceway, Crawford County Speedway, Independence Motor Speedway, and Shelby County Speedway. In 2021, he says he plans to hit even more tracks as he focuses on his top goal:

“[My goal is to] win the national rookie of the year and try to make the feature in the big shows I run this year. [Longer term], I want to qualify for the big dance at Super Nationals in the stock car.”

Miciah says racing go-karts helps younger racers develop the ability to drive “smooth” – which he says has been a major help as he races a stock car. For those who might also like to race, he has the following advice:

“When you get started, just get some seat time. And don’t get discouraged with how you’re finishing.”

Click HERE to follow Miciah throughout the 2021 racing season.

(Photos by Richard Keech [Click HERE for more] and Nick Woolley/15 Below Photo [click HERE for more])

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