Kart racer eyes sprint car career

Kart Racer Eyes Career With World of Outlaws Sprint Series Colorado Springs, CO -- March 30, 2005 -- It's one thing for a young kid to say he wants to drive racecars. It's quite another for one to actually be succeeding at that goal. Jordan ...

Kart Racer Eyes Career With World of Outlaws Sprint Series

Colorado Springs, CO -- March 30, 2005 -- It's one thing for a young kid to say he wants to drive racecars. It's quite another for one to actually be succeeding at that goal.

Jordan Thomas clearly knows he wants to race for a career, which is mighty impressive for somebody who turns 8 on April 1. Racing since he was 4, Jordan has gained the support of The Outdoor Channel and the World of Outlaws as he competes in the Manufacturer's Cup West Division of the World Karting Association.

"I'll never quit," Jordan said while testing for the upcoming event April 8-10 at the X-Plex Las Vegas Motorsports Racepark.

There is definitely no quit in Jordan. In fact, the Arizona native is trying to learn as much as possible about what makes his kart move so fast because he realizes the more he knows the better his chances are of winning. That driver attitude would be welcome news for any crew chief, but especially when that team leader is your dad.

"The reason I decided to go sprint karting with my kids, and I could have done anything, is for the fact that sprint karting is the most disciplined of all the driving skills that a young kid can learn, by far," said Bob Thomas, a former off-road racer who is thrilled by Jordan's interest in racing. "From here, he can get into dirt racing and everything else. He's learning how to feel Gs. He's already feeling 2Gs as a 7-year-old so when he gets into dirt, he won't feel the Gs on the bigger cars. To be able to drive with the Gs pulling on you, that's a discipline you have to learn."

Racing karts is a continuous learning process for Jordan, but it's obvious he is enjoying himself at the same time.

"I like putting the tires on, making the motors faster, tuning them up. It's my favorite part of helping out," Jordan said. "It's real fun learning about them. Once I learn about them I start winning."

Jordan has moved up in class this season and is competing against drivers who are 8 to 12 so the level of competition is the toughest he has faced. But Jordan shows no fear or nervousness about racing against some people with nearly four more years of seat time. He just wants to go fast.

"It's kind of hard to drive with them," said Jordan, who has received instruction from Buddy Rice, last year's winner of the Indianapolis 500 who got his start through karting. "They have real fast cars and we're just learning these new cars. They're hard to control on sharp corners. We're trying to find what we can use to make the tires better so they stick on the corners so I don't go in the dirt."

Eventually, Jordan wants to spend a lot of time in the dirt as a member of the World of Outlaws Sprint Series, where he can't wait for the opportunity to compete. For now, he settled for a ride in The Outdoor Channel two-seat sprinter with Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year contender Shane Stewart behind the wheel. The Outdoor Channel two-seater travels with the series and gives lucky fans the opportunity to experience the excitement of racing in a sprint car driven by a member of the Mean 15 during televised race events. And no offense to Shane, but Jordan named Danny Lasoski as his favorite driver, in part because Lasoski's car is owned by versatile racing star Tony Stewart.

For the Thomas family, racing has definitely brought them closer. Not only is Jordan's dad hands-on with the car, but his mom, Lori, can also turn wrenches and soon his 4-year-old brother Chase, who is just climbing into Jordan's old karts, will be pushing Jordan on the track.

"It's a dream," Bob said. "It was my dream even before we had kids. We were hoping for two boys to be racing. We have two boys and they are kids who listen. It's wonderful.

"If I didn't have to go out and make a living, I could do this 24/7. Next thing we're going to start working on is Dwarf cars, because he can go there at 10. We've got to build our way up. Right now, all we can do is get him the best equipment and the most seat time we can. The rest is up to him, but he uses his head, he's a smart driver and he listens."

Mostly, they're all having fun.

Fans can watch the famous World of Outlaws Sprint Series Mean 15 compete with the best local talent each Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on The Outdoor Channel. The DIRT Radio Network also features live audio broadcasts of the World of Outlaws hosted by series announcer John Gibson online at www.dirtvision.com.

The World of Outlaws Sprint Series is brought to the fans across the country by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Hoosier Racing Tire, VP Racing Fuels, and The Outdoor Channel. Promotional Partners include AMB i.t., RACEceiver, HUMMERSGONEWILD.COM, Zippo Lighters, The University of Northwestern Ohio, and Timberwolf. Slick 50 is an Associate Program Sponsor and Contingency sponsors include DART Machinery, MSD Ignitions, and Wrisco Industries.


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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Danny Lasoski , Buddy Rice , Shane Stewart , John Gibson