No. 21 Robby Hite leads brother Justin on his way to a win in Spec3 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Justin Hite picked up two wins in the other two races from Memorial Day weekend.

What’s more exciting than new tracks and a new track record? Probably lots of things, but those two items are still something to celebrate. The celebration is also a lot sweeter when you’re racing as a family. The Spec3 class is fortunate to have passionate, friendly people who are the catalyst for the series’ astonishing growth across the regions. Much of the success of the NASA Southeast Spec3 faction is due to the Hite brothers, Robby and Justin, who are well known and loved throughout the paddock.

To begin, we must thank Randy Hite, a regular fan in attendance, for instilling a love of cars in his children. Asked about how they got their start in racing, Justin Hite had this to say: “Our dad got us into cars. He was a little bit of a street racer in a Beetle and we grew up going to VW shows and races. I autocrossed in college, then we bought a ‘69 Beetle drag car. We did that for a few years. We went to a track day for VW/Audi called Dub Deliverance. The rest was history.”

When searching for a racing class online, the Hites found the Spec3 information page on the DriveNASA website. Robby shared his experience finding Spec3 like this: “We sat down and decided to stay in the German family and landed on E36, and never looked back. We started building my car for Spec3. It’s been two years with that car, and I have learned a lot, and made the best memories and many friends for life. Our Spec3 family is second to none.”

In their time in the series, Robby and Justin have become familiar faces in the paddock whom everyone looks forward to seeing or playing pranks on — ask their Spec3 leader, Katherine — and they have also demonstrated prowess on track, securing wins and constantly giving the 2023 Southeast champion, Andy Schmidt, a run for his money.

“My favorite racing memories are with the Hites, be it a full lap side-by-side with Justin at Rockingham, or mirrors touching through Turn 12 at Road Atlanta with Robby,” Schmidt said. “We make memories on and off the track like that every race weekend.”

You may even notice them “no-lift” shifting on the straights as a result of their drag racing days, to which Schmidt attributes some of their speed.

Robby and Justin Hite have a passion for racing, and they carry it with them wherever they go. Luckily for Spec3, they carry it to a lot of race tracks, and in May and June, they brought Spec3 racing to two tracks for the first time. On Memorial Day weekend, Justin, Robby, and Angel Arias traveled to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to race with NASA Great Lakes on a beautiful weekend in central Ohio. The brothers traded wins with Robby claiming the first ever Spec3 victory at Mid-Ohio in the Saturday race and Justin was able to secure the first Spec3 track record at the course with a 1:44.155 without having much time to master the course. Arias duked it out with the Hite brothers in the familiar gray rental Spec3 that is ostensibly getting more track time than any other Spec3 car out there.

From left: Justin Hite took second at Mid-Ohio, just behind his brother Robby Hite, and ahead of Angel Arias in third.

With little time to rest, the Hites travelled south from their home base in Tennessee to Road Atlanta in early June to continue establishing Spec3 racing in the Southeast. This marked only the third Spec3 race at Road Atlanta after the 2014 NASA Eastern States Championships and last December’s Santa’s Toy Run event.

Of course, the gray Spec3 rental of Andy Schmidt also made an appearance, piloted by ST2/3/4 racer Chris Drum. Justin Hite made a clean sweep of the weekend with three wins, but not without a fight as Drum and Robby poked, prodded, and otherwise filled Justin’s mirrors during the contest.

Drum found his groove despite having 240 less horsepower than his usual ride, a Cadillac CTS-V, and turned the fastest lap in the Lightning race group in race three, but it wasn’t good enough to usurp Justin and his Lightning McQueen liveried Spec3. Drum leaped off the line in race three and held the lead until ABS issues left him defenseless in turn 10 as Justin made the pass to secure the win.




Images courtesy of DOWNFORCE_MEDIA and Bill Land

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