CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Story by Race Chaser Online Managing Editor Jacob Seelman — Hale Motorsports photo —
Every young driver who grows up in motorsports dreams of breaking their way into the top levels of motorsports.
Tennessee’s William Hale is no different.
Hale, 15, is working to break into the spotlight by competing in the late model ranks at the Highland Rim Speedway, and is entering his second season of competition in 2016. He is also an accomplished iRacer, spending much time on the top motorsport simulation program in the country, and recently sat down with Race Chaser Online Managing Editor Jacob Seelman for this one-on-one interview.
JS: Tell us about your background and how you got your career to the point where it is right now.
WH: When I was about 12 years old, my grandfather bought me a quarter-midget and brought it home. We started racing at the local track around here for a bit and then started traveling a little. After about two years with that, we bought a late model stock car and here we are!
JS: Talk about 2015 for a minute, William. I know it’s had it’s ups and downs.
WH: Our goal for the first season was to concentrate on one track and learn. The Highland Rim Speedway was the closest track to us and we thought that was the best track to start on. We were brand new to this form of racing. I had no idea what I was doing (smiles) and basically our whole team was new to it so we just had to buckle down and learn what it took. I think by the end of the season we showed what we’d learned with some good runs.
JS: Highland Rim can be a tricky little track to get around on. Tell us about your experience in just trying to learn on the bullring.
WH: It is a little tricky, but it’s much like a lot of the other 1/4-mile short tracks I would say. There’s a certain line that you want to use to get around there to be fast, and I had to really learn that. I spent time talking to a lot of different drivers trying to get the knowledge and, again, I feel like our progress was showing by the end of this year. I hope it will really show when we start next year.
JS: Tell us about some of the tricks of the trade as far as little things that go into developing your driving style that you’ve learned from this season.
WH: For me the biggest challenge was learning to brake. In a quarter-midget, you just keep your foot down most of the time, but in the late model I’ve had to learn to use the brake, trail brake, hard brake and get completely off the pedals. Really it’s been about just learning the difference in how to drive a stock car versus the quarter-midget.
JS: What are you and your team doing in anticipation of improving for 2016, and tell us about those people and companies who help make it happen for you.
WH: We’re stripping the car down and basically putting everything brand new for next year. Our goal is to be competitive. I don’t necessarily expect to go out and win per se because I know there are a lot of more experienced drivers than me. But I do expect to be in the top five in most of the races. As far as sponsors, I really need to thank Hale Mechanical, as they were really our only sponsor this year. They’ve been unbelievable in helping to keep the program going. I also want to than Renegade Race Cars, and Bridges Performance as well. There are a lot of people who help make this what it is and I want to thank them all. I’m expecting a great 2016!
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network. Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 21-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for both the United Sprint Car Series and the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
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