Posted by: silverback | 2011/05/18

First or Last Racing: Fred’s Bio

I’m pretty much born to race. My father was a career Navy man who started out his competitive driving career in an MG TC when he joined the service to escape his crazy family at the age of 16. He had a long and storied career driving oddball cars in classics such as the Mille Miglia (in Italy) and the 24hrs of Sebring (in Florida). He had me steering various cars from the passenger seat probably from the age of 6 or 7, right after he taught me to back a trailer with the riding lawnmower. Later in life, after actually getting my license, I competed local autocross events in my Fiat 128. I ruled the H Stock class. I went on to be the first in my peer group to total seven cars before graduating high school, always from trying to go one mile an hour faster. My schooling behind the wheel came more from learning what would NOT work first, then applying the opposite.

When I followed my old man’s footsteps into the Navy, I would drive back to NC from Va Beach on summer weekends to co-drive my dad’s looney hand-built Mazda-rotary-powered, tube-framed, chopped up Alfa Romeo GTV-ish hillclimber in the NCAC Series. I nearly always beat his ass, unless I spun that silly thing out on the 10-year-old racing slicks that were soft as skateboard wheels. He always wanted me to do something with my driving “talent.” Back then, I think I was afraid of succeeding.

Flash forward 15 years. A friend mentioned he raced shifter karts, and offered to let me have a go in his “extra” 125cc Honda-powered racing machine. First time I ever sat in that kart, I set FTD (fastest time of the day) at the Highlands Sports Car Club Ag Center Autocross. That was in 2003, at the tender young age of 35. It seemed like the opportunity I’d missed so many years ago coming back around.

In 2004, I entered and won the Big South Series CIK-125 Class Championship in my rookie season. I don’t think I won a single event, but I podiumed several, and was consistently top-ten. Most importantly, I finished every race. I followed it up in 2005 with a victory at Roebling and a 3rd at the WKA National at VIR. I also broke my collarbone in a 75-mph airborne barrel-roll at Little Tally, so I only got the runner-up spot in the Series.

Kart racing is hands-down the most grins-per-dollar of any sport I’ve ever competed in. I’m totally stoked to be hooking back up with my high school buddies Ken and Keith to do this thing!

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Responses

  1. I raced carts in high school at a couple of local tracks and would love to get into shifters…


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