|Cole DuncanOhios Rising Sprint Car Star and RTR Track Record
By: T. J. Layne
LOCKBOURNE, OH-From the Wild Child Jac Haudenschild to the Blaney brothers
Dave and Dale, the state of Ohio has produced many star Sprint Car drivers. Many
people, myself included, believe the next big Sprint Car star to come out of the
Buckeye state will be Lockbourne, Ohios Cole Duncan.
At only 18 years old, Duncan already has a long list of accomplishments that includes
feature wins at K-C, Skyline, Rocky Top, and Lernerville among other tracks along
with many strong runs with the All Stars and World of Outlaws. Duncans stats at RTR
are phenomenal with one win, a second, and a third in the three 410 Sprint races held
at the track. Duncan also turned the fastest lap in RTR history as he holds the track
record with a lap time of 12.080, which translates to a blistering 111.75 mph average
Duncan is coming off his best career season in 2010 with several big feature wins
Among Duncans 2010 wins were the $3,000 Tecumseh 30 at K-C, the $3,000
OVSCA Nationals at Skyline Speedway, and the Gene Comstock Memorial at
Rocky Top. He also picked up a heat race win on national television with the World of
Outlaws at the Dirt Track at Charlotte.
I had the privilege to get to sit down with RTRs most successful Sprint Car driver and
discuss topics ranging from his 2010 season, future plans, driving for Danny Smith,
and his sponsorship from former NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Bobby Labonte.
Lets now take you to the interview as we introduce you to rising Sprint Car star Cole
T. J. Layne: Your dad Rodney was a very successful and very well known Sprint Car
driver. How much has your dad had an influence on your racing career?
Cole Duncan: My dad is definitely the biggest influence on my racing career.
Without him I would have never got started in this sport.
Layne: You are a college freshmen and already have many years of experience
under your belt. Tell us about how you started your racing career and eventually moved
up into the 410 Sprint Car ranks.
Duncan: Well I grew up at the races watching my dad. I went to my first Sprint Car
race when I was just two weeks old, so racing always has been and always will be in
my blood. At age 4 my parents bought me a quarter midget and I actually started
putting my first sprint car together when I was 13.
Layne: I have always been fascinated with Sprint Car racing. The speed the cars
have and the moves you guys make out there are just unreal. What type of skills do
you think it takes to be a successful Sprint Car driver?
Duncan: The most important ability to me as a Sprint Car driver would have to be
reaction. Everything happens so fast and the cars are so quick that there is no time to
really think about your next move, you just have to make it.
Layne: Your stats at Rocky Top are just unreal. In three races you have a win, a
second, a third, and have the overall track record. What is it about RTR that fits your
driving style so well?
Duncan: Rocky Top is such a fun little track, I like how intense and how demanding it
can be. It really puts the driver back into the race car, you definitley have to get up on
the wheel and hustle the car.
Layne: As everyone knows, Danny Smith suffered a season ending injury in an
accident at the Attica Raceway Park earlier this year. You got the call to drive Dannys
famous #4 in the late summer. You were fast from the get-go winning races at K-C
and Skyline and even winning a heat race with the World of Outlaws at Charlotte. How
awesome has that experience been getting to drive for Danny?
Duncan: The experience was unreal. When Danny called me to drive his car, I
answered "Absolutely!" almost before he was done talking. Our first night out together
we won a big race at K-C and at one point had won 3 out of 6 races. I can't thank
Danny, his family and his crew enough for such a tremendous experience.
Layne: One of the sponsors on your #22 machine is Bobby Labonte Motorsports.
How did everything come about with getting connected with the 2000 NASCAR Sprint
Duncan: When I ran Quarter Midgets, I ran for Robbie Stanley Racing Inc. out of
Concord, North Carolina. Bobby had a son that wanted to get into racing so he went
to my car owner, who was also a chassis manufacturer. Somewhere along the line we
got hooked up and Bobby has been great to us ever since.
Layne: This is a question that we have asked every driver interviewed. What type of
track surface do you prefer to race on, wet/tacky or dry/slick?
Duncan: It really doesnt matter to me, a race is a race. But if I had to choose I either
like a really slick track or a wet and rough track, because both kind of tracks put the
driver back into the car.
Layne: At only 18 years of age, you have already accomplished more than a lot of
drivers accomplish in their entire career. I think the sky is the limit with where you will
go in your racing career. Where would you like to see yourself in racing five years from
Duncan: Five years from now I would love to be with the World of Outlaws. They are
made up of the best drivers in the world and I could also make a good living out on
Layne: We know it is pretty early in the offseason, do you have any definite plans put
together for the 2011 season?
Duncan: Right now I plan on running the family owned 22 car again but that definitely
doesnt mean I'm not open to suggestions or getting into different cars.
Layne: 2010 was just an incredible season for you with several $3,000 wins, wins at
several tracks, and setting the track record at our track. As we move forward to 2011,
what are your goals for the 2011 season?
Duncan: Obviously any drivers goal is to get better and top what they did the year
before. My team has proven that we can compete with anyone so next year, we are
going for more wins, and more higher profile wins than we had this year. We just ran
our last race this Saturday and I'm already excited about starting next year!
Duncan added, "First off, I would like to thank my sponsers, Bobby Labonte Racing,
Motorcity Auto Transport, Wolfden Carbon Fiber Products, ISPC Powder Coating,
Simpson Race Products, Chesnut Trucking Inc., and Hoosier Tires. Also, I really want
to thank Danny Smith, his family and his crew for giving me such a tremendous
opportunity to drive that #4 machine. Most importantly I have to thank my family/crew.
Without them none of this would be possible. Thanks to everyone who helped make
2010 a successful year! "