DSC_1676 story by Chris Roy

This race season, Casey Call from Pembroke, NH has made the move from racing karts and quarter midgets to racing Bandoleros in the Gifford’s Ice Cream Bandolero Series at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS).

The first step for most race car drivers is racing in karts, and according to Casey: “When I was 4 ½, my dad bought me my first Quarter Midget and we started racing it at Route 106 Race Park every weekend. It was a big learning curve for me but I loved every minute of it. In our first year we won seven times and I won the track championship! Since then, I have moved up the karting ranks and have won a total of five Championships between two tracks and was also awarded with Driver of the Year at Twin State Speedway last year!”

This season, the Bandolero Series has 12 races at NHMS. Casey is off to a good start with two top three finishes in the first three races. Casey explains: “We actually were planning to continue running karts for a few more years until we were approached by Mark MaCoo and Dick Kruger about racing a Bandolero. They already owned a car that no one had been racing and wanted to put me in it. So, they gave us the car to race and here we are! I really need to thank them for this opportunity to do this because without them I probably wouldn’t be here!”

Along with his fellow racing competitors, Casey is getting use to the Mini Magic Mile. “The track itself is like no other I have raced at. It’s got a transition entering turn one and turn three that really upsets the car. I’m still learning the track and trying to figure out where the car runs best. I am trying new lines and just trying to figure out what works best and every week we get a little faster!”

In the first race of the season, Casey was sitting in fourth place when the yellow flag came out setting up a green-white checker. As the leaders get together coming out turn four, the 51 of Eddie Fatscher didn’t make the turn and went into the tires. Casey was able to avoid the wreck and cross the finish line for a third place finish. “I just keep trying to hit my marks. Try to just be as smooth as I can which can be very hard with these cars. It’s really easy to over drive the turns. The last lap can be intense!”

This weekend, the Bandoleros are back at NHMS as part of the Loudon Classic Weekend. Casey said: “Yes I am ready. I really look forward to climbing behind the wheel. We still have some tuning to do on the car but I know my dad will get the car where I want it. Each week, I am able to tell him a little more of what I am looking for and he does a good job of making the changes!”

Even though Casey is racing a full Bandolero schedule, he is also racing karts this season. “Yes, we are running a full season of kart racing at Route 106 Race Park and Twin State Speedway. We are also planning to run at a few other tracks along with making the trip to the WKA Nationals. In total, we are running over 30 races in just the kart alone, plus all the Bandolero races which puts me at over 40 races for the season. The weekends are really crazy but I really enjoy it a lot!”

Knowing how the race car works can help a driver and crew chief work together, as they set up the race car. “I do some stuff, like set the toe and check camber and, if needed, change a spring or gear. My dad shows me how to do a lot of it and I’m learning, but it’s a lot to take in. I’m just glad my dad knows as much as he does about this stuff!”

NASCAR will be racing at NHMS, so who is Casey’s favorite cup driver? “I don’t really have one favorite driver. I like Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Kasey Kahne. I’ve had the opportunity to meet each one of them and they took the time to talk with me which really meant a lot. If you look at the dash of my car there is a piece of advice I got from Jeff Gordon last year and I use it as motivation! It says “Always accept a challenge!”