What a racing resume this driver has accumulated over the last several year! He started in go carts at the ripe old age of 13 at the IKF Liberty, Missouri asphalt track, winning the KC Karting Association Sprint Championship in 1977. He raced his first car, a street stock, at Riverside Stadium at 15 years old (when at the time the youngest age in racing was 16). He raced in Street Stocks for two years. Since he is a second-generation driver, his father took him to the used racecar shop in Quad City, Illinois, and bought him a steel bodied Pinto Modified as a graduation present in 1983. In his younger racing days, he primarily competed at I-70 Speedway and Riverside Stadium.
This driver has competed on both dirt and asphalt and has six championships, one in a go-cart (1977), two on the asphalt (1995 & 2001), and three on the dirt (2006, 2012, and 2013). He has nine races in the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) competing in the series in 2002 and 2003. He and his wife bought an ARCA racecar from Doug Keller for the 2003 racing season. They competed and were the highest finishing local driver at the 2003 ARCA race at Kansas Speedway. He has qualified and driven cars for Norm Benning, another ARCA car owner. He also drove a late model racecar for car owner Craig Nessa (2008 & 2009), finishing second in points in 2009. He has even tested his skills in a 410 Sprint Car with Larry Christy in 1993.
He had a small role in playing matchmaker for a couple now celebrating their 17 years of bliss. His second date with his wife was because the races were rained out at Riverside Stadium, he showed up at her house with race car and trailer in tow! He has been Sportsman of the Year three times. His son-in-law started on the pit crew and is now a racer and he looks forward to his grandson possibly racing someday.
He has raced at numerous tracks, Kansas Speedway, Lakeside Speedway, US 36, Central Missouri Speedway, Butler County, Adrian, Nevada, Savannah, Pleasanton, Moberly, Bethany, Boone Iowa, I-70 Speedway, I-35 Speedway, South Boston Speedway, Memphis, Nashville, Sedalia, Topeka, Lucas Oil Speedway, to just name a few.
This racer is humble, probably one of the humblest racers in this area, he would like to thank all those who have helped along the way. AR Wilkerson helped him win his first modified race at Riverside Stadium. He credits Bill and Kent Crane for his first championship at I-70 Speedway. His first car that he and his wife owned together was purchased when they bought out Jerry Cooper’s racing operation in 1985. Jerry took all the cash they had saved but let them float a loan for a couple months (tax day) to pay the agreed upon balance. Of course, none of this happens without the support of his Mom and Dad, Brother, and his wife and daughter. Along the way he wanted to thank all those who have helped, Mike and Shauna Carson, Trip and Lynn Hervey, Brad Hervey, Mark and Susan Silvey, Randy Price, Dave Jensen, Roy Lilly, Jeff Patterson, Tim and Angela Whitworth, Carol Bird, Larr, y and Donna ,Craig Nessa, Chris Mercer, John Stonum, Jerry Simpson, and many others. His pit crew at I-70 Speedway established standing together on pit lane like NASCAR teams do for the National Anthem, this was soon followed by many other teams at the track.
He and his wife have been married 33 years, serving on the Board of the Central Auto Racing Boosters on several different occasions. Their research and work led to the C.A.R.B. Banquet being held for several years at Finnigan’s Hall in North Kansas City. C.A.R.B.’s oversold banquet in 1995 was the first event in Finnigan’s Hall history. His daughter was five months old at her first race at I-70 Speedway, now his grandson is playing in the racecar trailer at I-35 Speedway.
This drivers’ memories are amazing because he was asked about his favorite memory and there were three favorite memories mentioned. Favorite Memories included winning the year 2000 World Cup 100 at I-70 Speedway in the Modified finishing ahead of Ron Hartford, Shane Roach, Dale Roper, and Jack Dean; Driver Introductions at Kansas Speedway for the ARCA race and the cheer of the crowd for a hometown driver were amazing; and winning his first C.A.R.B. Sportsman of the Year award because of the other nominees for the award which included Billy Deckman, Jack Dean, and Larry “Bubba” Harvey. He even remembered winning this award when the banquet was held at the Wyandotte County Fairgrounds Building.
This driver has represented our sport in a positive light all his career. He is always near the top in points because he learned to be consistent, to have few break downs, to constantly work on the car. He has taken his racecar to elementary schools for career days and introduced the sport to youngsters like Chris Mercer and Sam Scott. He retired once for 6 weeks, but the love of the sport keeps bringing him back. He is very family oriented and celebrates with Friday Night Date Nights with his wife Dana and Saturday night is usually reserved for racing. His daughter, Erica, who I remember him changing her diaper at our house for a C.A.R.B. Board Meeting is married to Son-in-Law Chris Mercer and have provided proud Papa with grandson Aiden. He started on dirt, became a Champion on Asphalt, returned to dirt and has been a Champion several times over. Today we induct Randy Ainsworth into the Racingkc.com Hall of Fame. Randy is also being inducted into the I-35 Speedway Hall of Fame.