• 64°

Piedmont Profile: 9-year-old Lucas Hedrick feels need for speed

By Nathan Hardin
nhardin@salisburypost.com
When asked his favorite part of racing, 9-year-old Lucas Hedrick answers as fast as he drives.
“Winning,” he says without hesitation.
And for Lucas, winning is familiar territory.
In 2005, he began racing quarter midgets, and by 2008, he claimed the N.C. Quarter Midget Association Championship.
In quarter midgets, he’s accumulated 12 victories with another 10 second-place results.
And now, Lucas is trying his hand at Bandolero racing.
His parents, Phillip and Jamie Hedrick, have always encouraged him to do what he enjoys.
“When he was 4 years old, I let him choose whether he wanted to play T-ball or race,” Phillip Hedrick said. “He told me he wanted to race.”
With the cars weighing almost four times as much as quarter midgets, Bandolero racing is a whole new world to the Hedricks. And that brings several new elements to racing that require Lucas to adjust.
“The Bandoleros run around 60 mph and some tracks force cars to have restrictor plates,” explained Justin Hill, crew chief for the race team that works with Lucas. “It’s a good stepping stone to the legend cars.”
Increasing speed may mean increasing risk, and Phillip Hedrick doesn’t deny the sport’s inherent danger.
“Yeah, racing’s dangerous. But football’s dangerous too,” Phillip said. “He wears the HANS device (a head and neck restraint), and we put safety first.”
The Hedricks’ racing trailer hauls their two quarter midgets and two Bandolero cars as far as Georgia to compete.
“As long as he’s having fun and willing to learn, we’ll keep doing it,” Phillip said.
That could mean seeking help with the costs. The Hedricks are one of the unsponsored racing teams and a new Bandolero can cost up to $7,500.
“We’re managing unsponsored for now, but if we go any further we’ll have to find a sponsor,” Phillip said.
Lucas, a rising fourth-grader at Morgan Elementary, has three races remaining in the Summer Shootout Series at Lowes Motor Speedway.
“I get nervous, but he loves it, so I love it,” Jamie Hedrick said. “I guess it’s just a mother’s instinct.”
And for Lucas, winning isn’t all he loves about racing.
“When I’m at the track, I enjoy hanging out with my friends and family,” Lucas said.
As the race time approaches, the young driver’s demeanor changes, enjoyment turning to focus.
“Before the race I think about how am I going to dodge a wreck or how am I going to have a good start,” Lucas explained.
“He’s mature for his age,” Phillip Hedrick said. “Racing’s matured him.”
Each race isn’t just a go-cart ride to Lucas. It’s a learning experience.
“After the race he’ll go straight to Justin Hill and tell him what the problem is,” Phillip said. “He can pretty much diagnose the problem.”
Outside of racing, Lucas and his father have a close relationship and often spend afternoons tubing and fishing.
“He’s just a typical, outdoor little boy,” Phillip said.
To learn more about Lucas, visit his Web site at www.lucashedrickmotorsports.com.

Comments

Comments closed.

Business

‘It’s our big time’: Salisbury Farmers Market reopens Saturday

Education

Schools capital funding still frozen as RSS sends local budget to county

Business

Shields, Cheerwine Festival receive N.C. Main Street Awards

Kannapolis

Duke University launches kidney disease study in Kannapolis for people of African descent

Education

Horizons Unlimited will hold in-person summer camps

Education

Education briefs: Catawba planning for more in-person activities, free summer school tuition

Coronavirus

County’s full COVID-19 vaccinations top 22,600

High School

High school golf: With Merrell, Mustangs back on top

Local

Spencer investigating rat problem on South Iredell Street

News

Livingstone, Mission House Church to host national ‘Black Voters Matter’ listening session

Education

Shoutouts

Business

Groundbreaking on Pennant Square signals next phase in downtown Kannapolis revitalization

Nation/World

J&J vaccine to remain in limbo while officials seek evidence

Nation/World

Prosecutors: No charges for officer in Capitol riot shooting

Nation/World

Biden to pull US troops from Afghanistan, end ‘forever war’

Nation/World

Former Minnesota cop charged in shooting of Black motorist

Crime

Blotter: April 14

Elections

Former North Carolina Gov. McCrory enters US Senate race

Crime

Salisbury woman arrested in Myrtle Beach for abducting child

Health

County updates health director job description, will advertise for position

High School

High school tennis: East beats Carson, still hopes to share NPC title

Elections

Board of Elections to purchase upgraded voting equipment using federal grant

Kannapolis

Kyle Seager drives in winning run in first game as Mariners split doubleheader with Orioles

Local

City exhausts this year’s funds for Innes Street Improvements, Municipal Services District grant programs