“The sport is time-consuming, expensive and often frustrating, and I probably wouldn’t still be in it if it wasn’t for Dylan,” Scott says. “He enjoys it, he’s is good at it, and I remember how I felt about racing when I was his age. It’s something we can do together, so we’ll keep going as long as he’s interested.”
That could be awhile. In addition to running another full season at Nashville’s Fairgrounds Speedway, Dylan plans some races this year at Montgomery, Alabama, and will enter the prestigious Snowball Derby this winter in Pensacola, Florida.
“I’ve loved to race as long as I can remember, and that hasn’t changed,” says Dylan, who began driving go-karts at age four.
“We’ve spent all winter working on our car and getting ready for a new season,” adds the Wilson Central High senior. “I can’t wait to get started.”
Dylan is considered one of the area’s top young talents. He finished an impressive fifth among 44 drivers in last season’s championship standings in the premier Pro Late Model division. That was just one position behind two-time Daytona 500 winner and four-time track champion Sterling Marlin.
(Another young Wilson County racer, William Hale, finished seventh and won Rookie of the Year.)
Reflecting on the past season, in which his best finish was one second-place, Dylan says:
“It wasn’t bad, it was all right, but I expect more this year.”
Dylan, who has won over 150 races in various divisions over the years and captured a Legend Series title at Highland Rim Speedway two years ago, says he intends to be more of a hard-charger this season.
“At times last season I wasn’t aggressive enough,” he says. “That’s one of the lessons I learned.”
Knowing first-hand that one crash can destroy a race car and wipe out a season, Dylan acknowledges that he has to walk – or drive – a fine line between aggressiveness and caution.
“That’s something every race driver has to do,” he says. “You can’t win races if you’re not aggressive, but at the same time you have to keep yourself out of trouble. Sometimes it’s not easy to do. That’s part of the learning process that comes with experience.”
Scott is owner of Fetcho’s Precision Auto Body Repair in Lebanon and, as he quips, that’s a good business to be in for a racer. Crumpled sheet metal goes with the territory, and one bad crash can demolish a $40,000, race car, for which there is no insurance.
“Racing has always been expensive, and gets more-so every year,” Scott says. “It requires a considerable investment.”
Helping pay the bills is a sponsorship by Big Machine Records, founded by Scott Borchetta, a long-time friend of Scott Fetcho and a fellow racer. Boasting some of the music industry’s top stars, such as Taylor Swift and Tim McGraw, Big Machine Records attracts attention to the team,
“Scott (Borchetta) is a former racer who knows the sport first-hand,” Fetcho says. “His support means a lot.”
Dylan says he is aware – and appreciative – of the support from his parents, and agrees with his father that racing forms a strong bond.
“My dad and I work on the cars together and he coaches me when I’m on the track,” he says. “He makes a lot of sacrifices to support my racing, and without him I couldn’t do it. He knows how much I appreciate it.”
Fairgrounds schedule: The season opens March 25 with the first of six local-division races, and concludes with the Oct. 6-7 All-American 400 weekend. Detailed information about the schedule is available on the track’s website.
Rim running: Highland Rim Speedway, which opened in 1962, is making plans for a new season that includes a new Late Model Division.
Lebanon’s Hunter Wright is the track’s defending Legends champion.
Updates are available on the track’s website.