Racer Storer takes big steps
Making the progression from go-karts to competing on a full-size race track is a big challenge for any young driver.
Davenport’s Jared Storer is taking that step as he pursues his goal of racing in the big leagues.
Storer, the son of Mike and Kasara Storer, has built quite a resume at Sunset Speedway in the junior karting ranks where main-event victories and championships have been a staple since he debuted on the one-fifth-mile clay oval.
Research and inquiries over the winter led to a once-in-a-lifetime chance to race midget cars in Northern California for racing teacher Ron Sutton.
“I learned about Ron’s program from my dad,” the 16-year-old said. “He had sent out emails looking for different sponsorship programs and he got an email back with a link to Ron’s website. We filled out the application and I was chosen to try out at the shootout.”
The shootout involves testing in midget cars at a selected track in California with grading and coaching provided by Sutton’s race team. If an aspiring driver shows promise, he is selected to drive one of Sutton’s cars in selected events that build experience toward full-season competition.
Being nervous or lacking faith in one’s ability is not a key to success, Storer said. Going into the shootout process relaxed and ready to face all challenges was the approach used to gain the team’s attention.
“I was nervous, but at the same time excited,” Storer said. “I looked at it like a challenge, which I enjoy. At first it was tough, but by the third test run of the day I was feeling more confident and getting more and more comfortable with the car and the track.”
Turning fast lap times while showing talent and the ability to dissect the race car’s needs are a few of the things Sutton examines.
“Going from go-karts to midgets is a huge transition,” Storer said. “I was dealing with 20 horsepower in the go-kart compared to 200 horses in Ron’s midget. The two biggest adjustments for me were the switch from racing dirt to asphalt and the difference in steering. Someone said driving a midget is like sitting on a bucket trying to steer a bus, because in the midgets you sit directly over the steering wheel while sitting straight up.”
Sutton selected Storer to race a limited schedule of USAC Ford Focus Midget events this summer.
“I am hoping to run the second half of the NorCal USAC Ford Focus Midget Series,” Storer said. “It all depends on how the sponsorship pulls together. Ultimately, I want to apply what Ron has taught me and learn more about these cars for a full-season run next year.”
As he prepares for the NorCal series, Storer will continue to compete at Sunset Speedway and other regional karting tracks.
“I like to look at (kart racing) like good practice sessions, because whether it is in a kart or any form of oval track racing, it provides me seat time and allows me to try new things.”
Jumping from karts to midgets is the first step toward a five-year plan, Storer said.
“In five years I can see myself in an ARCA series ride with progression toward my goal of racing the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series,” he said. “My ultimate goal, though, is to be a World of Outlaws sprint car driver.”
Follow racing coverage online at spokesman.com/blogs/ keepingpace. Email Doug Pace at racingnewssource @gmail.com.