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Hot Laps: Modified Kart Driver Cole Keatts

Tell us about your racing background and how you ended up at the Lucas Oil Regional Series:
I started racing 4 years ago in the Lucas Oil Regional Series. My dad and I went to a National race in Las Vegas in 2013. That night we ended up buying a JR 2 Kart and went the next weekend to Utah for a regional race. Granted we started late compared to my fellow competitors, but we have accomplished a lot so far. In 2015 we bought a new kart from BnD Performance and raced it that year. We won the National Championship and took 2nd in the AZ Regionals. We finished 4th in the Cali regionals.

Family seems to play a big role on most regional teams and we see your family at the track with you at every round. How important is your family to your success and what roles do each of them play on race weekends?
Family is a huge part of my success. My family is always coming to as many races as possible. It is amazing, even with living in Idaho all my family make time to go watch me race down south. You have to remember, it's not just a 45-minute drive to go watch me race. My grandparents will drive 26 hours down just to watch me race then drive back up after the weekend of racing is over. I'm so blessed to have this family and I wouldn't want to change any of it. My parents have done so much for me to get me where I am today. Between 4 years of racing my parents have put in so much time and effort it's amazing. I am so thankful for everything they have done.

What is your advice to someone looking to start out in short course off road racing?
My advice for someone trying to get started in short course would be, be patient not everything is just going to come easy. If you put in the time and hard work you will get the reward. You will notice when everything clicks and you know you're there and soon you will be on top of the podium consistently.

What is your favorite track and why?
My favorite track is Lake Elsinore. I was really bummed to hear that we were not going there in the Nationals this year, but I am glad we can still go there in the regionals. Elsinore is crazy fast with gnarly jumps. It shows the true concept of off road racing.

When you're not at the track, what can we find you doing?
When I am not at the track I am at school making sure to stay caught up on my academics. School is an important factor in my life. I plan to attend college and pursue for a mechanical engineer degree. Between these two things my life is super hectic but it's a blast to live.

How much time/work goes into preparing for each race weekend?
There is a lot of work put into getting ready for the race weekend. My team in Arizona is getting all the cars loaded and making sure all my stuff looks pristine while I am getting my school work done and packing for the weekend. My team works so hard to do what I love. They will have everything ready and when I fly in after school everything starts to be setup.

What/who is your biggest challenge on the track?
My biggest competitor in Mod Karts is for sure Trey Gibbs. This is his and my last year in Mods and we are both battling for the top step. We each have a new kart that is built way different than the past karts. Trey's and my driving style are completely different, yet we both come out with almost the exact same times.

Any goals for the next few years or beyond?
My goals for this upcoming 2017 year is to win the Modified Kart championship in the Nationals as well as the Cali Regionals. For the Mod kart, I plan to run for the Production Turbo Championship in the Cali Regionals. In the Pro lite I hope to get as much seat time as possible to be prepared for the Nationals in 2018.

We know it takes a lot of support to race and you seem to be backed by some great companies. Is there anyone you would like to thank for their support?
I would definitely not be in the position I am without Ultra Race Wheels, Mickey Thompson Tires, Peters & Keatts Equipment, Mod Kids USA, Kicker Audio, Tomar Lighting, Driven Steering, Rokbloks Rally Mud Flaps, Grizzly Coolers, Sure Cans, USA, Action Sports Canopies, Xtreme Machine & Fabrication, Kevin Fryar, Matt, Chris, Bradley, Zach, Logan, Tyler, Mikey and my spotter Jimmy Owens.

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