Last season, Kyle Lucas put together one of the strongest rookie campaigns at Flamboro Speedway, and it showed at year end as he was took home the Rookie of the Year Award at the banquet.
“It was such a rush,” he told SHORT TRACK MUSINGS. “I was so happy about it, winning it. Words couldn’t even describe it. I’m really just trying to follow in my father’s footsteps.”
The success was certainly a large step from where he began the year.
“I remember the first night that I went out there and I just treated it like a video game,” he said. “I just drove. I knew roughly what was the speed that you wanted to go into the turns, and if I didn’t lose focus, I was fine. But I did lose focus a few times and spun out and got hit.”
As he gained confidence, Lucas was able to put up the numbers through the season, ultimately scoring 11 top-five’s and 26 top-10’s.
“I think it was a great year,” he commented. “I made friendships with people, I got closer with my family I’d even say. It really was such a great year and I can’t wait for next.”
The highlight of the season, though, was the four trips to victory lane, especially the first with his father Dale Lucas coming across the line in second.
“He came to victory lane with me,” Lucas recalled. “I remember it was a small night – it was a small crowd, but everyone went nuts. I remember hugging him – I can still remember it like yesterday.”
Now as he heads into his second season behind the wheel, he is hoping to continue building his talent behind the wheel, hopeful of breaking into the top-three in the standings. He feels it’s possible based on last year’s success, and a change in his style behind the wheel he noticed on the final night of 2019.
“There was a kind of thing when you’re being chased from behind, you get nervous with someone being there,” he explained. “But for me in my last race, I stopped looking behind and focused on chasing what was in front, pictured chasing after my dad.”
Despite his father being involved in racing, Kyle Lucas’ interest did not develop at a young age.
“I never really went to the track,” he commented. “I just saw NASCAR on the TV and it didn’t really hit me as much. But then I went to the track and you could see the cars, and hear the cars, and when it gets really loud, you can feel it in your chest. I just remember watching him and him fighting for a first-place finish one race with two other people, and it just made me really happy about it.”
Now with a year under his belt, his advice to those getting started is simple – don’t get intimidated by the other drivers and don’t lose belief in yourself.
“It can be bumpy at times as I remember I got bumped around quite a bit and I was told not only by my dad but other people as well that if you get hit like this often, it’s like your car will be no good and it shocked me,” he recalled. “I kept coming at the back and then eventually he came up to me and said, ‘Hey, we have a second car. If anything happens, we’ll just build you another.’
“So I guess I want to say don’t be afraid in a way, but don’t push it too far.”