Laguna Beach, California — Fourteen-year-old Dylan Cappello was fast from the start as he made his USAC Ford Focus Midget debut Thursday night, November 25, at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale driving the Nine Racing #9 Ford Focus midget.
The Peoria, Arizona, resident quickly adapted to the full-sized Ford Focus midget at the Monday test session. After just a few test session outings on the 1/3-mile paved Toyota Speedway at Irwindale track, Dylan began to record very competitive lap times. Then during the official USAC Thursday practice sessions, Dylan turned heads by being consistently in the top three positions at each of the three practice sessions.
“We knew that Dylan had the talent because he is already a seasoned veteran of open wheel racing at such a young age having won numerous 1/4 midget and micro sprint races and championships. I expected a strong effort from him right from the beginning and he didn’t disappoint,” stated Steve Lewis, Nine Racing team owner.
Dylan’s experience was put to the test when the 33 Ford Focus Midgets lined up to qualify. However, he calmly drove his #9 Ford Focus Midget onto the track and placed it on top of the qualifying charts with a stunning lap of 14.262 seconds, just a few hundredths off the track record, and earned the pole position in his very first USAC Ford Focus Midget race.
“I knew that Glenn Martin had prepared a good car for me. I want to thank everyone on the team who helped me with my line and the approach for qualifying, including Kevin Gerhardt, and I just tried to be smooth and calm,” said Dylan.
“This was a great accomplishment for Dylan,” added Steve Lewis. “Glenn Martin and Dave Steele gave Dylan a car that was fast from the beginning and the young driver did his job in impressive style.”
Because of Dylan’s pole position qualifying effort he earned the 6th place starting position for the 40-lap main event as USAC inverts the top six qualifiers for the feature event. However, the USAC officials decided to place Dylan toward the rear of the feature lineup because of his “rookie” status. That didn’t deter Dylan because at the wave of the green flag he then put on a true “passing clinic” as he came from the back of the pack to finish seventh in 30 laps The race was shortened from 40 to 30 laps because of time constraints.
“It was great fun coming from the back and passing all of those cars. I learned a lot and I look forward to next season when I hope I have the opportunity to race again for the Nine Racing team,” added Dylan.
Based in Brownsburg, Indiana, Nine Racing Inc. offers driver development programs in both the USAC Junior Focus and USAC Ford Focus Midget series, along with the USAC regional and national midget series events. For additional information and all the latest news on how to become a part of the Nine Racing Driver Development Program, contact Glenn Martin at 317/ 858-7503.
Fast Time Qualifier
Fourteen-year-old Dylan Cappello acted like a seasoned veteran during his Ford Focus Midget debut for Nine Racing by setting the fastest qualifying time of 14.262 seconds at the 70th annual Turkey Night Grand Prix at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on November 25.
Because of his rookie status, Dylan Cappello was put toward the back of the pack for the start of the USAC Western Pavement Ford Focus Midget Series event during the 70th Turkey Night Grand Prix at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, but made a game of passing cars and finished the 30-lap event in seventh place.