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Sonny Reese Advances to a New Division

5/19/2021
Sonny Reese Advances to a New Division

DANVILLE, Ala. (April 10) — When Booneville, Miss., driver Sonny Reese pulled into the pit area after a Crate Racin’ USA Modified Sportsman heat race on a rain-threatened Friday night in early April at Moulton Speedway, the youngster’s grin told the story. Wearing a smile nearly as wide as his open-wheeled machine, the 13-year-old driver had just finished third in the preliminary event that helped set the field for the night’s feature event.

Not bad for just his second night in the division, following his first full season in a Mini-Stock car. The Open Wheel division is a tough class that continues to grow in car count numbers each week, and Reese has jumped into the frying pan with both feet. The previous weekend, he had registered a top-10 finish at North Alabama Speedway in his first feature start. On this particular weekend, Reese went on to post a sixth-place finish in the night’s main event.

“I’m still trying to learn the car, so a sixth-place finish made me happy enough considering we’re just getting started in this class,” Reese said. “Driving in the Mini-Stock class, you’re not using a lot of brake. These cars here…you’ve got more power so you need to learn a lot more brake and throttle control. I’m still getting used to it. My other car had 250 horsepower and this one has 450, so that’s a very noticeable difference.”

Reese’s family has been involved in motorsports a long time, but his father escaped the clutches of the sport during the ’08 season, and the family got away from the game for a few years. It was Christy Reese—Sonny’s mother—who put them back into the racing industry.

“She bought me a race car for my 12th birthday, and that’s basically how our family got deeper back into racing again,” Reese said. “My father [Josh Reese] helps me with the car, and we moved to this new division for the ’21 season. My papaw [Bub Reese] is also a big part. It’s still pretty much a learning process for me.”

That sixth-place finish is Reese’s best showing in seven starts on the Crate Racin’ USA Weekly Racing Series. Competing at both Moulton and North Alabama, his performance card also includes a ninth, 10th, 11th, 12th and two 14th-place finishes through May 16. It’s a tough division with solid car counts, but Reese is gaining experience and laps in his early progression, and after showing much promise in his Mini-Stock efforts at several different tracks (including appearances with the KMSA circuit), he has shown golden flashes of brilliance for such a young driver.

“We’ve just got to learn the car and get more consistent,” the well-spoken youngster said. “We’re happy with the season we’ve had so far, and especially that night at Moulton. We’re taking it one step at a time, and I think we’ll continue to improve as we go.”

Article Credit: Brian McLeod
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