By Chanda Healton
Hunter Smith, he is young and fast. He is the future of auto racing. Mentored by Jeremy Mayfield himself, this kid has talent and he is out to prove himself. I believe in him and that is why have chosen him as our initial interview. He has skills and is very fan friendly! Remember his name!
1) How did you get started in racing and what series or tracks do you race on regularly?
I have wanted to race since I was 5, but our family just couldn't make it work financially at the time. When I turned 13, we found someone with a champ kart for sale, bought it, and completely rebuilt it. I wasn't born into a racing family, so this was all new to us. However, being that my dad is a top-level mechanic sure helps a lot. Currently we are racing in the "Slingshot by Tobias All-Star National Championship Tour" (I know, it's a mouthful). In the past I have been a face in the champ kart racing scene, as well as a development driver in the NASCAR Southern Modified tour with the J2Mayfield team.
2) Tell me a little about your car number and how you chose it?
My car number is 30. The 30 represents the 30 million people in the world battling cancers and Multiple Sclerosis. Cancers and MS have directly impacted my family and I wanted to do my part to help in raising awareness. We also work with Racing 2 Cure to help raise funds for families battling cancers. It's a cause that's close to my heart.
3) Who sponsors you and why are they special to you?
Thus far in 2016, we don't have any primary sponsors. These days a racer has to be 20% driver and 80% businessman. We do all our own marketing and partnership management, so we are always busy looking. We do have to thank PowerMist Racing Fuels for providing us with the best fuel in the sport. They have been with us since our very first race in 2009. Very special to me to see they have that kind of faith in me to support us for all these years.
4) Who has been your biggest support throughout your career?
My biggest support through my career has definitely been my family. My parents, my grandparents, my aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. I simply couldn't do it without them.
5) Is there a famous race car driver you like to compare yourself to? Who and why?
I don't really compare myself to other drivers. There are definitely racers I look up to, though. Ryan Hunter Reay & Jimmie Johnson are two guys I really strive to be like. They're both champions of the sport who simply represent the sport with such class and I find that really important.
6) Do you have a website fans can visit?
Fans can visit www.huntersmith-racing.com for all our team news and information. They can also follow me on all social media:
Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, Periscope: @HSR30
7) What advice would you give a young kid wanting to be a race car driver?
My advice to anyone out there wanting to be a racecar driver is to talk to as many people as you can. Make connections, hand out business cards, simply get your name in with anyone and anywhere possible. You never know who knows who or who is watching. Also, make yourself different. Find what sets you apart from all the others and capitalize on that. That's where your value comes from.
8) If you weren't driving a race car, what do you think you would be doing with your life?
I have a second career as a personal trainer, so if I wasn't driving a car I'd probably be opening my own gym and training athletes, other racers, and everyday folks. I love fitness and living a healthy and active lifestyle.
9) What is your biggest moment in your racing career?
My biggest moment would have to be my first win with the no. 30 car or winning the championship in the rookie season. They were both such special moments. With all the meaning behind the 30, it was great to start off that deal with a win, but to win a championship in my first ever season racing was pretty unreal.
10) Where do you see yourself in 10 years and what will it take to get there?
I'd like to see myself at the top levels of IndyCar or NASCAR in 10 years. If not driving, definitely training those top drivers. To get there it's
going to take a lot of hard work, sleepless nights, and a lot of faith.