The Wilson Central High sophomore has finished runner-up in the championship chase two years in a row at Highland Rim Speedway. He lost last season's down-to-the-wire title fight to Lebanon racing rival Dylan Fetcho.
"It's definitely disappointing," says Wright, who is making plans for another title chase this season. "We ran some good races last season and won four times, but we got involved in some wrecks and made some mistakes and that cost us."
Wright says if he had to lose the championship, at least he lost it to a good friend.
"Dylan and I started racing against each other in karts about 10 years ago, then we both moved up to the Legends Series," he says. "We've always raced each other hard, but we've raced clean, and we're friends when it's over."
The budding Wright-Fetcho rivalry is in its second generation. Years ago Hunter's dad Dwayne competed against Dylan's dad Scott in the Late Model Division at Fairgrounds Speedway.
In addition to running a full schedule at Highland Rim last year, Wright ran two races at the Fairgrounds and one in Owensboro, Ky. He didn't win at the two latter tracks, but still got some valuable seat time.
"I gained a lot of experience and feel like I learned a lot that will help me be a better drier in the future," he says. "My dad is a great coach."
Wright, who won Rookie of the Year in 2015, is looking forward to a fresh start in a new season. He plans to make another run for the Legends championship at Highland Rim Speedway, and also make limited appearances at Fairgrounds Speedway and Owensboro. He also hopes to do some winter racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway if things fall into place, including sponsorships. He is currently sponsored by Tennessee 811, Cook's Tire Repair and Sanders Lawn Care.
"Right now a lot of our schedule is tentative," Wright says. "I'll know more about the specifics closer to the season."
The Fairgrounds and Highland Rim seasons open in early spring, with practice sessions set up prior to the openers. The schedules will be posted on the tracks' websites, along with ticket information and other details.
Highland Rim Speedway's annual awards banquet is set for Jan. 28, at which Fetcho will be presented his championship trophy. Wright will accept the runner-up trophy. Another Lebanon racer, Cody Fredericks, finished seventh in the Legends standings.
Wright's family owns and operates Premier Sign & Trophy in Gladeville, site of their race shop. Part of the business involves engraving trophies. Hunter is determined to keep working until he sees his name engraved on the big one, instead of the second-place hardware.
Superspeedway limbo: Despite earlier reports that racing might eventually be resumed at Nashville Superspeedway, there have been no further developments, and the outlook remains bleak.
A development company is scheduled to soon close the deal for the purchase of the Gladeville property on which the track sets. The company has indicated it is open to leaving the racetrack intact if a buyer/operator can be found.