The constant whir of the motors in the woods off Midland Road drivers young and old were back at it Saturday at Pineora Kartway.
Saturday night’s races were part of the Maxxis Series, and the winner of the overall points championship will go to the 3rd Annual Maxxis national championship Sept. 11 at Thunder Valley Motorplex in Neeses, S.C.
“We have 4-year-olds up to 61-year-olds registered,” race director Jimmy Morris said.
Bobby Taylor, who races in the No. 29 car, has won the most track championships and continues to race.
Seven-year-old Shane Chapman, from Faulkville, has been racing since he was 4. He races on the rookie level and has a full-time paper plate, but for the Maxxis Series he races at his age level.
When a friend of his started racing, Chapman got interested.
“When Shane got of age, we decided to use one of their cars,” said his dad, Shane Chapman. “He picked it up pretty well.”
The younger Chapman drives the No. 43 cart, inspired not by “The King,” NASCAR legend Richard Petty, but by local driver Lonnie Brant. Brant, who competes at Oglethorpe Speedway Park, drives the No. 43 in the Southern Eagle Budweiser Late Models. Brant is the Late Models points leader this season.
The elder Chapman, who worked on Brant’s crew for about eight years, wasn’t a racer, but his father was. The younger Shane Chapman has been around racing and the track “since he was brand new,” his dad said.
What the younger Shane Chapman enjoys is “winning,” he said. “Chappy,” as he’s called by his fellow competitors, has hit 62 mph at the Alma track.
The Chapmans race all over southeast Georgia, going to Hurricane Speedway in Alma and Dexter Raceway in Dexter. But Pineora is their home track and it draws drivers from throughout the Coastal Empire and the Lowcountry.
Before the races and even as practice laps and heats go on, the teams work on their cars. The Chapmans have a race shop at home, working on the tires during the week.
“It consumes a lot of our time,” the elder Chapman said.
The younger Shane flipped his ride in a Maxxis race last, the first time that’s happened at Pineora in 12 years, his father said. He came back in a heat race and broke the track record. He’s also in tune with his car, and the younger Chapman already knows he prefers it to drive a little tighter.
“If the car’s not set up right,” his dad remarked, “he’ll tell me.”
Like many of the others, including the Marshes, Taylors, Burnses and Esteps, who traveled from Summerville, S.C., gathered under tents and awnings as they worked on their cars, the Chapmans make racing a family endeavor.
“This is what we do,” Chapman said. “We are a racing family.”
The next points races are set for Aug. 21 and Sept. 18 at Pineora Kartway