Racing is in Jaycee Fitch’s blood.
His father has raced for decades, and Jaycee grew up watching him. His sister started racing a few years ago as well, and it just gave Jaycee even more of itch to drive himself.
He wanted a go-kart to drive around his parent’s land, at age 7.
“I always asked for go-karts growing up,” Jaycee said. “Finally, I got one just for around here, then I started racing dirt bikes at the track two years ago when I was 10.”
Jaycee’s passion only grew when he started racing, and he moved up to more advanced divisions as quickly as he could.
“Last year I moved up to go-karts. This year I was planning on racing go-karts again but then my dad got me this stock car,” said Jaycee, now 12. “They let me race at the raceway because I have a waiver even though I am technically still too young.”
The season did not start out in the best way for Jaycee, as he lost his first two races in the Economy-Modified (E-Mod) class. But, after making adjustments to his car, he has won his past three races.
He makes these adjustments to his car before every race, his mother Kelly Fitch explained.
“He has to put in a new seat, change the oil, wash it, clean it, and he does all of that himself with his dad,” Kelly Fitch said. “It takes a lot of work.”
While winning the past three races, Jaycee gained a substantial lead in the Texana Raceway standings, with the next closest competitor being 37 points behind.
Winning races gave Jaycee confidence.
“I didn’t realize this might be something I am good at until I started winning,” Jaycee said. “I would always watch my dad and see how good he was and hope I could be good, but now I know.”
Kelly Fitch, on the other hand, never had a doubt.
“I am so proud of him and how much success he has had so quickly,” Kelly said. “I knew he was going to be good. Jaycee is so competitive and set on winning in everything that he does that I knew he would be great at it.”
Racing can be a nerve-racking sport, and although Jaycee may not feel nerves on the racetrack, Kelly does from the stands.
“It definitely can scare you sometimes, Kelly said. “My adrenaline is probably pumping just as much as his when he is pulling out on that track, anything can happen out there. But I remind myself that these cars that they’re in with the protective gear actually are safer than just driving down the highway in a regular car.”
Racing also gives Jaycee a chance to honor a friend.
Just before Jaycee started his winning streak, one of his friends died in a tragic accident. To remember him, Jaycee put a decal on his car. The close friend’s death has been hard to deal with, but Jaycee thinks that racing helps.
“I just feel like I am racing with him,” Jaycee said. “Ever since I put his decal on my car, I have won every race. It just feels like he is there with me and helping me through everything.”
Through everything, Jaycee said the biggest thing he can do is race for his lost friend.
“I never expected anything like that to happen to one of my friends, but the decal helps. I think it helps me remember my friend and feel like a part of him is with me.”