By Jim Clarke
FOXBORO, ON-Talented young racers like Cole Perry don’t come along every day. The 15-year-old from Foxboro, Ontario has turned laps in several different divisions and a variety of sanctioning groups since the age of 7 and has shown himself to be equal to any challenge the sport has to offer.
Fresh from recording a 5th place finish in the 2022 Limited Sportsman-Modified standings at Can Am Speedway and 2nd in the final Pro Late Model running order at Evans Mills Raceway Park, the second-generation speedster who attends grade 10 at Centennial Secondary School and his family loaded the team’s No. 23 DIRTcar Sportsman ride into the hauler and headed to the World Short Track Championship at the Charlotte Motor Speedway dirt track.
“It was great to cross a special event like racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway off my bucket list so early in my career,” said Cole Perry. “Being able to compete at one of the best known tracks in the sport was very exciting, but it was also a terrific experience to tour some of the NASCAR team shops in the area with my family during the down-time between our events.”
On the Thursday, October 27th opening night Cole Perry time-trialed 16th in a field of 21 cars. After the qualifying heats, all teams went a redraw for the feature, with the driver of the No. 23 machine selecting the 19th starting spot. Even though he made it up to 12th in the running order, mechanical issues sidelined his charge and he was credited with a 20th place finish. In qualifying for the Saturday night finale, Perry again timed 16th out of 21 cars and was 8th in his heat race. Unfortunately, when the green flag waved the car had issues under the hood and was scored 20th in the running order. Although disappointed by the outcome, the youngster says he is far from discouraged by the experience.
“It wasn’t a win or lose proposition for us; more of a learning experience,” Cole Perry said. “It was a new track for our team and we came into town with our eyes wide open. I would have liked to have some better luck in the main events but we gained some confidence and picked-up some important set-up knowledge for the next time we’re here.”
Cole Perry and the Wildchild Racing No. 23 team would like to thank his parents, along with Greg and Shari Belyea for their support and encouragement throughout his career. Special thanks to Excess Storage, Rhino Linings, Belleville Transmission & Auto Service, APC Auto Parts Centre, Mac Tools, The Vinyl Solution, Lee Starter & Alternator, Custom Automotive, Number 1 Speed, Clarke Motorsports Communications and Lambert Race Engines for backing his lifelong dream of racing in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Photo attachment: Rick Young, www.rickattheraces.com