By Chanda Healton
Caleb Clinard, from Stokesdale, NC, is making a name for himself and earning respect from fellow racers.. At only 17, he has raced against some of the best upcoming drivers .
Some of you may remember Hunter Smith from an earlier interview if not please check out his interview here.
Smith has the following to say about Clinard, "Caleb has a ton of knowledge as a driver and an up-and-coming mechanic in the racing world. I'm honored to call him a friend."
1) How did you get started in racing and what series or tracks do you race on regularly?
My brother was always in motorcross and I was going to start racing that until I got interested in NASCAR and IndyCar and go into go karts. This year I have been racing the Virginia Championship Series & some of the Dyno Cams Tri State Series, and tracks like Providence Raceway, Woodleaf Speedway, Coleridge Speedway, Capital City Speedway, Triple T Raceway, and Patriot Speedway.
2) Tell me a little about your car number and how you chose it?
I chose the number 96 because it was Richard Childress' & Dale Earnhardt's first number in what is now the NASCAR Xfinity Series and I got the 96 because of that, I added the one infront of the 96 this year to be #196 just to add my twist into it.
3) Who sponsors you and why are they special to you?
Jason Hazlip at Signs & Trophies, Jason Brooks at Brooks Racing Engines, Joesph Tucker at WMS Products, Daniel Hindre at 5 Star Tire Specialties, Eric Moore at Eric Moore's Painting, Tire Max in Stokesdale, @laura24fan on Twitter for helping out get my new Bell Racing Helmet, and Boomer at Charger Racing Chassis for being the latest sponsor starting in August for the awesome chassis they make and supporting me.
I can't thank all these guys and my parents for everything they do for me. Without all of them it would be impossible to get to the track every weekend.
4) Who has been your biggest support throughout your career?
My dad, James Clinard, he has been at all of my races except for 1. He puts in countless hours and work into my racing.
5) Is there a famous race car driver you like to compare yourself to? Who and why? If not what racecar driver has influenced your career?
A lot of people compare me to AJ Foyt, because every type of kart or race car I sit it I adapt quickly and show results. I look up to drivers like Rico Abreu and the late Jason Leffler. Being able to jump from asphalt and dirt and perform on both surfaces. I even knew Jason Leffler from going and watching dirt track races and talking to him and hanging out at the track with him.
Were you ever able to talk to Jason Leffler and did he give you any advie?
Yes, Jason Leffler helped me back when I was in the jr classes, he helped me understand that sometimes slower is faster, and also that the shortest line isn't always the fastest.
6) What was thw scarriest moment in your career and did it change the way you drive?
I don't really know in any incident on track that has changed my driving style, I guess the only time I've been even nervous or anything in a kart or car has been being spun or spinning infront of the whole field and watching them all make last minute moves to miss me.
7) What advice would you give a young kid wanting to be a race car driver?
If I were to give advise to a young kid that wants to be a race car driver, it would be to never give up no matter how hard it seems at that time and not to let others get to you. Haters are gonna hate but everyone's big breaks comes in some sort of way when the time is right.
8) If you weren't driving a race car, what do you think you would be doing with your life?
If I was not racing then I honestly don't know what I would be doing.
9) Do you feel racing has affected your friendships or schooling in any way?
Racing has just made me the "odd one" to some people and the "cool one" to others. But it really just makes me try harder in school knowing how important it is to race teams and other businesses look at your work and work ethic. The friendships really don't get effected by my racing tho, even the people who don't like racing and don't know much, think it is cool for me to do what I do. It's also cool to go to school with two of the people I race with each and every weekend!
10) What is your biggest moment in your racing career?
My biggest moment in my racing career has to be the 2016 Indoor Nationals in Williamston, NC. Going down there is always one of them races and weekends where you know nothing is guaranteed because the level of competition. The 2016 Indoor Nationals we went and qualified top 10 in every class out of 80 karts. Oh yeah and we was entered in 10 classes!
10) Where do you see yourself in 10 years and what will it take to get there?
Well looking into the future 10 years, it's hard to say where I'll be by then. But we are looking into an opportunity to jump into something like an asphalt late model, or even farther, who knows. But no matter where I will be in 10 years it's going to take a lot of effort and strength, a lot of hard work in the shop during the weeks and also will take sponsorship. But hopefully something will come together!
Smith leaves the following thoughts on this team, "I have actually raced FOR Caleb. He let me come to North Carolina and race one of his cars. He and his family have a great little operation and they made me feel like I was a part of the team and family when I drove for them."
If you would like to learn more here is the team's contact information.
We are still open for any sponsorship opportunities there are, sponsorships start at just $150! If anyone would be interested in sponsoring us please contact me and (336)341-6946 and leave a voicemail if I don't pick up or either email me at email@example.com.
Our team website is http://clinardsonracing.wix.com/clinardsonracing
Our team Facebook page is www.facebook.com/CLINARDandSON
Our team Twitter page is @Clinard_SonRcng
Our team Instagram page is @Clinard_SomRcng
My Twitter page is @calebclinard
My Instagram is @calebclinard
You can like/follow any of these accounts to keep up with my racing, please like and follow the accounts above! We love to hear back from our fans and really appreciate everyone's support!