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GOING FOR TWO IN A ROW
Kevin Cole Keeps His Drive to Win
Most drivers are in it to win it. Defending Super Late Model Track Champion Kevin Cole proves he is no different. In a career that has spanned 15 years, he still keeps the same dedication on and off the track.
“Don’t really know,” Cole responded when asked what started his passion for racing. “(It was) something I was always interested in… my dad drag-raced some.”
Like a lot of kids, Cole grew up watching NASCAR every Sunday. These are some of his first memories of racing. His favorite driver was none other than Paducah International Raceway co-owner Ken Schrader.
“He was my favorite,” Cole spoke of Schrader.
Cole has had a lot of support along the way. “My parents helped me out a lot,” he shared. “Dad works on the car a lot… he hardly misses a race.”
Cole began racing Street Stocks and Modifieds before venturing into Late Models. In fact, his first victory came in the Street Stock division at Mt. Vernon toward the beginning of his career.
“Excited,” is how Cole described his feelings on that first victory. “It’s the same now, if you don’t have the drive to win… you want to win the same today as then, and when you have a bad night, you want to do better,” he shared his thoughts on being a successful driver.
Cole also has victories in the Modified division and a total of seven Championships to his credit, including 2007 and 2009 Super Late Model Championships at PIR. He has run a NALMS race in Danville and participated in the Tri-Track Challenge on more than one occasion, finishing fifth at PIR’s showing this season. For the 2010 season alone, Cole comprised a total of nine Heat wins; 14 Top 10 Feature finishes; nine Top five Feature finishes; three Feature wins (one of those was the UMP $3,000 to win Super Late Model Challenge); and maintained the points lead each week, proving that hard work and consistency definitely pay off.
While Cole used to run 15 or more tracks a year, he is now racing primarily at Paducah International Raceway. “It’s pretty much hit or miss now,” he shared on traveling.
When asked where he sees himself in five years, Cole shared, “… still able to race… right now I’m just taking it week to week.”
“It feels good,” Cole reflected on his career. “For three years we ran half-way decent and won our first Championship.” He is focusing on getting back to that and being competitive every time they go somewhere. “I want to get back to that… we haven’t been that much this year,” he said.
In ten years Cole would still like to be racing, “If the money is there, but it is hard without sponsorships and money,” he admits. But given the right circumstances, racing is something Cole would love to do full time.
Cole currently drives the #3-Cole Super Late Model sponsored by Ralf’s Small Engines, Rend Lake Marina, Runion Engine, and CJ Rayburn Race Cars. He resides in Benton, Illinois with his wife Melissa and sons Trey, who is five years old, and Chase who is three years old.
Could one of his sons contemplate following in Dad’s footsteps? Cole laughed, “They go to the races. Trey wants to race four-wheelers or Sprint Cars.”
While Cole admits, “Racing’s it.” He does find time to go to his boys’ baseball games and go fishing when he’s not on the track.
After 15-years, Kevin Cole proves that he still has the same competitive spirit today. Come to Paducah International Raceway on Friday nights and see him “in it to win it” as he chases another Championship.
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