RACING FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP
Cary King Stays Focused on the Prize
For most drivers, racing is a part of their life. For Cary King, racing is his life.
“I live, eat, and breathe it,” King laughed when asked about racing.
A lot of drivers grow up around racing, but King did not really take an interest in it until he was around 10- or 11-years old.
“I don’t really know,” he responded when asked about how he first got interested in racing. “I started hanging with Gary Keeling and the K5 group in the late 90-s… I’ve been eat up with it ever since.”
His first memories of racing go back to being at the track with Keeling. His memories also include riding the hauler to the track and riding the four-wheelers around the pits.
It was two members of that K5 group that have had the biggest influence on his racing career.
“A man named Steve Smith who was the crew chief for K5… he always made sure I had something to do,” King recalled.
Smith later helped him build his first car, which King raced a couple of times before one particular weekend when the races were rained out. It was that weekend that Smith was killed in a four-wheeler accident. Another member of the K5 group who continues to influence King is his fellow Crate Late Model driver Tait Davenport. In fact, they can still be found in the “North 40” of the pit area with their haulers parked side-by-side.
King started out racing Go-Karts at TK Raceway and in Sikeston, Missouri when he was 17-years old. He then ventured into Crate Late Models.
King’s first Feature win came at Paducah International Raceway in September 2009.
When asked how he felt about his first victory, King responded, “Relieved. My family and friends were thrilled, but I was in shock… it took a couple of days to sink in. I had been so close so many times.”
He definitely possesses the consistency that is necessary for a successful championship bid. For the 2010 season alone, King had seven Heat wins; 16 Top 10 Feature finishes, with 13 of those in the Top Five; and one Feature win. These are some of the best stats for any PIR Crate Late Model driver. He also single-handedly held the points lead twice earlier this season, was tied with Davenport at one point during the year, and then reclaimed the lead heading into September.
“I would give anything to win the points here,” King spoke about what he hopes to accomplish in his racing career. He is also focusing on just being competitive and seeing the results in that.
While King has raced at tracks in Clarksville, Atwood, Soggy Bottom, and Nebo, he is currently racing exclusively at Paducah International Raceway.
“I’m more concerned with the points here,” King said, “(the car) always seems to get tore up other places.”
When asked where he hopes to be at in his racing career over the next five years, he responded, “Behind the wheel… the expense is unreal.”
Eventually King would like to race Super Late Models, “At least once… just to say I did,” he said.
King’s interest in racing is not alone. It includes his entire family—his mom and step-dad; dad and step-mom, and grandparents. King’s step-dad, Tim Brown, races Super Late Models at PIR. His life is so centered around racing that he lives in an apartment behind their shop in Benton, Kentucky.
“It’s a family deal,” King said about racing, “a family affair. My mom cooks for everybody when we work on the car.”
King currently drives the #K13 Pro (Crate) Late Model sponsored by Waste Path Services, Custom Automotive, and DeFew’s Body Shop, where he also works.
Before he hits the track or the shop, King can be found at the gym every morning. He also likes to spend time outdoors and on the lake.
Without a doubt, racing is an integral part of any driver’s life, but for King it is his life. Come to Paducah International Raceway on Friday nights and see Cary King take on the competition as he races for his first Pro (Crate) Late Model championship.