Leader Blues

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

SPORTS>> Young making it a hobby

IN SHORT: McRae native building points lead

Beebe’s Jason Young is the man to beat in the Hobby Stock class at Beebe Speedway in 2005. Young holds a very comfortable 40 point lead over closet rival Dennis Fisk in the championship point standings. Young has also won five of the nine feature races held at Beebe so far this year, and has led in all but one feature this season.

This is Young’s fifth season in the Hobby class, and his years of learning the ropes are starting to pay off. Young scored his very first career feature win just last season in 2004.

Much of his ’04 campaign was marred with mechanical failures and less experience than a lot of his competitors. This year is a completely different story altogether. A brand new car for 2005, and a much talked about maturity as a driver has propelled Young into the position of being one of the most feared drivers on the track.

Young belongs to one of the most recognized teams in local racing, the Fox Racing team. Led by Steve Fox and his mother, Carol, the Fox team holds an incredible stable of talent including Young, modified guru Randy Weaver, and hobby class rookie contender Blake Jones. Though Weaver has been the headline grabber for the Fox team in recent years, this season appears to be Young’s time to shine.

“The car has felt really good all season,” Young said. “It really helps when you have a car that runs this well.”

Although some competitors like to hint that the success is all due to the car, anyone who has followed local racing for a number of years remembers a sloppy Jason Young whose inexperience led to collisions and torn up race cars.

That Jason Young is gone, and in his place is an aggressive, precise, and clean driver who can make his car work in any groove on the track, regardless of conditions. Though he now has one of the strongest cars in the field, he also has the talent to match. Young carries more than love of racing to the track every weekend, he also carries the legacy of a fallen friend. Young was best friends with local racing legend Scrapp Fox.

The two discovered racing together in the early nineties, as Young helped his friend turn wrenches on his race car.

“I moved here from Memphis in 1993,” Young recalls, “ Scrapp was the first person I made friends with, so anything that one of us got into, the other was right along with him.” After Scrapp’s death in 2001, Young decided that his friend would want nothing more than for Jason to carry on. “I didn’t know much about cars at first.” Young said. “The more I helped work on the cars, the more I started to learn about handling and setups. When Steve asked me if I wanted to drive the car, I figured it would be a good way to help keep Scrapp’s memory alive.”

Young is more than just a driver to the Fox family, he is almost like family. Aside from his childhood friendship with Scrapp and driving Scrapp’s first race car, Jason also works in the family business at Fox Quality Pools in Beebe.

“I do a little bit of everything there. From running machines to running errands or what have you, just wherever I’m needed.” Young also lives close by, just outside of Beebe with his wife of three years, Kristen.

Though Young’s sights are set on his first track championship in the hobby division this year, he also has his plans for the future figured out as well.

“I really want to try in run in the E-mod class next year.” Young said. “I really hope that class makes it. Maybe they can get their car counts up. It just looks like a lot of fun to run one of those things.”

Jason takes his racing seriously, but also realizes what is truly important when it comes to local racing.

“We’re all like a big family out here. We may get out on the track and beat and bang on each other, but if anyone needs help or ever has any trouble, everyone is always there to help out. This is a big hobby for all of us, so we all want to see each other do well.”

Young has gone from underdog to favorite in less than one year’s time at Beebe Speedway.

Anyone with as much determination and positive outlook on life deserves to be where Jason is now, at the top.