It takes a lot to intimidate Kolby Weight.
The 16-year-old racer from Gillette, Wyoming, is used to having to battle drivers who are more experienced than him, and Thursday at the Black Hills Speedway he faced another challenge.
It was his first time racing on a half mile track, and Friday he was back in action as a part of a two day series at BHS which continues today. It is an IMCA sponsored event with a higher than normal payout.
"It can be but I don’t let it get in my head most of the time. I just do what I do," he said. "This one is a lot longer and it’s low bank. In Gillette it’s shorter and we’re high bank. When we come into the corner we high set the cars and throw them into the bank, here you have to drive a little bit before you set them, There’s a lot more speed, it’s way different."
To Weight, it's a good kind of different. He said he enjoys the added speed of the longer track.
Thursday he finished 11th in the 'B' modified division.
He got his start in racing the same way plenty of drivers do, by racing go-karts.
He won 215 feature races during his go-kart career, including state championships in multiple states.
He decided to make the jump to 'B' modified cars when he was old enough not only because he wanted to increase his speed, but also because he had forged on a bond with his family through racing.
"It’s something me and my family do together," he said. "I’m the one who drives but Friday and Saturday night we all hop in the truck, load the trailer and have family time."
Of course, he admitted that his family isn't the only reason he made the jump to the 'B' modified class.
"It’s a really big adrenaline rush," he said smiling.
The series continues at Gillette Speedway Saturday, and Rapid City-based driver Brent Nielson doesn't mind having more drivers from out of town.
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Nielson also drives a 'A' modified which also had some drivers from out of town as part of the series.
He said he is always happy to see drivers come from Wyoming and Nebraska because it's a new challenge.
"It’s always fun when new people come to race," he said. "I think people like coming here because they don’t get to race on a half mile very often."
Thursday Nielson finished second to Eric Mass, who he said was his biggest concern going into Friday night.
He's new to the 'A' modified series, but said rain and snow have made it difficult to get into a groove.
Rain moved into the region again Friday night, delaying the start of racing action, which has been the story on most nights when races are scheduled at BHS.
"We’re just trying to get it growing a little bit more, but really it’s getting some racing in," he said. "We’ve been rained out a lot this year. When you work on your cars all winter long you’re wanting to race so when it’s supposed to start you kind of hope it does. It’s a long ways between tracks so we can’t hop in and go somewhere else."
Action starts at 7 p.m. Saturday in Gillette. Following the weekend BHS will host the Lucas Oil ASCS National Sprint Cars Friday starting at 7 p.m.
On the track, only three races ran through the main event before rain moved into the area and caused the racing to be called early.
In the hobby stock feature, Alan McNeil got a challenge from Klayson Jager for the entire race, but Jager wasn't able to get by him and McNeil took home the win.
In the street stock, Leonard Ferguson took control of the race on the third lap and didn't look back, earning the win.
In the midwest modified feature, Kyle Harkin was the winner.