FF: Ventura Raceway spotlight - Kyle Edwards

KYLE EDWARDS: FIRST A TRACK TITLE, NOW A CHANCE TO SHOW OFF FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. (Nov. 19, 2009) -- Kyle Edwards, the Fountain Valley High freshman, has been racing half his life. He's the 2009 Ventura Racing Association Junior...

KYLE EDWARDS: FIRST A TRACK TITLE, NOW A CHANCE TO SHOW OFF

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. (Nov. 19, 2009) -- Kyle Edwards, the Fountain Valley High freshman, has been racing half his life. He's the 2009 Ventura Racing Association Junior Focus Midgets champion and he once swept the card at Irwindale Speedway.

But he'll tell you that Saturday's United States Auto Club national championship race for the Junior Focus Midgets represents the biggest race of his life.

"I think it's a pretty good chance to show my stuff," he said Wednesday.

The Junior Focus Midgets will be one of the support events on the card with the ARP presents the J.W. Mitchell Fall Classic for USAC Midgets at Ventura. The top names in the business are expected to compete in the Fall Classic and all the young guns in the Junior Focus Midgets class are looking forward to the chance to race in front of the big shots.

The spectator gates open at 3 p.m. and the traditional flag salute begins at 5:30.

Edwards, 14, won one feature race and seven heat races on his way to the Ventura title. His victory came on September 5. His championship was unexpected.

"Realistically, no, I didn't think I was going to be a front runner," Edwards said. "No, I didn't think I was going to be a champion."

But he never finished outside of the top 10 and stayed consistently near the front. Edwards' average finishing position was a veteran-like 4.5.

"I have one main event win at Ventura," Edwards said. "I've got the track down pretty well."

Kyle is a third-generation driver, following his grandfather, father and big brother, all named Gordon. Grandpa Gordon raced midgets in the Midwest, Kyle's father raced midgets and tried his hand at the Pikes Peak Hillclimb and Kyle's 19-year-old brother has raced sprint cars.

Having a racing family comes in handy when you want to learn your lessons quickly, Kyle said.

"Whether it's my Dad or my brother," Kyle said, there is a wealth of experience. "Mostly my brother because he has run the Focus and the Sprint Car. If I didn't have him to talk to, I'd need a lot more practice to learn what he tells me."

Kyle has played basketball and soccer and may decide to follow the footsteps of his father and brother by playing football next year. He admits his favorite school subject is, "Probably P.E.," but also said he like math because of all the geometry, which he says has racing applications.

Later this month, Kyle Edwards plans to return to Irwindale Speedway to participate in the annual running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix. Winning at Irwindale is nothing new for the youthful Edwards. At age eight, he won both ends of a quarter midget doubleheader at the paved track.

That means Edwards will have two chances within the space of a week to make a name for himself in a major event. Don't bet against him. This kid is already a champion.

More information about Ventura Raceway is available at www.venturaraceway.com.

-credit: vr

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