By ERIKA PALMAI WAGNER
Twenty-seven year old Joe Kay started his season on a positive foot two weeks ago at Bridgeport Speedway, finishing just outside the top five in sixth place at the 2017 opener for the Engler Machine & Tool Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series. After expressing his anticipation for the upcoming co-sanctioned PA Sprint Series/MASS events at Susquehanna Speedway Park this season, Kay will head to the first of two shows at the recently renovated speedway on May 20th with plenty of confidence and eagerness to capture another top finish.
“I feel like we’re off to a good start!” said Kay. “We are constantly adjusting and fine tuning our program. Susquehanna is an outstanding track, the racing surface is always top notch and we’re hoping to produce a great finish this upcoming weekend”.
With plans to run the entire MASS schedule this season, Kay is hopeful and positive that his first full-sized Sprint Car feature win will come this season.
“Seat time is very important, and after our motor blew up mid-season last year, we weren’t able to race that much in the 305,” Kay said. “But we still have our 600 Micro Sprint that I try to run as much as we can, mostly at Action Track Speedway in Kutztown, PA, and I like to think that helps me become a better driver because of the seat time I gain in that division. I never ran for points before because I like to be able to travel around to different race tracks where I can just show up and race, but with the flexible and diverse schedule that MASS has available, it enables my team to do just that, while having the opportunity to have a shot at the championship, which I think is awesome!”
Starting his career off like many in Quarter Midgets at the age of twelve, Kay went up the ranks, driving 270 and 600 Micro Sprints before purchasing a Racesaver 305 Sprint Car from Anthony Sesely at the end of 2014.
“When we were looking to change up our racing program a few years ago, I took notice of the fast growing 305 series that a lot of my Micro Sprint peers were moving into,” Kay recalled. “I still wanted to race 600’s but my dad and I were looking to move up into a full-sized sprint car, and the 305’s, which carry an affordable racing concept, seemed to be the way to go. I have a lot of fun racing with these guys, and I feel like people don’t give enough credit to the drivers in our series. There is some stout competition in this division, with drivers who come from all kinds of racing backgrounds. You have guys who ran Dirt Modifieds, veteran drivers who have raced with URC and 410 sprint cars, and then young drivers like me who are moving up the ranks from the very competitive Micro Sprint world, so with all the combined experience, I learn a lot each week that I’m out there”.
Sponsoring Joe this season is his family owned business, JWK Electric, K&B Trucking, RW Smith Trucking, and Demuse Brothers Construction. Joe credits his help each week to his dad and family and friends who come to help out when they can.
“Tim Tanner is someone who has helped me a lot since I’ve started racing Sprint Cars,” comments Kay. “He is great friend, a competitor that I like to learn from, and also someone who I know I can count on if I’m in a bind”.
Some MASS drivers who are heading to Susquehanna Speedway on May 20th along with Joe Kay are Tim Tanner, Jeff Geiges, Eddie Wagner, Stef Carberry, Tommy Carberry, Dave Brown, and Brendan Poff. They will take on top drivers from the PA Sprint Series on their home turf for this co-sanctioned event. Racing starts at 7pm.
For more info on what’s going on with the Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series, please visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/midatlanticsprintseries/ or visit our website at www.masprintseries.com.