Phenomenally talented driver Kyle Weatherman is taking the racing world by storm. Consistently running out front on the track, people wonder how such a young driver made his way to this arena with all of the experience needed to make him so successful.
As with every overnight success, it didn’t really happen overnight. Years of competing came before Kyle grew into the polished and level-headed driver he is today. And his start in this sport wasn’t thoroughly planned out either. In fact, Kyle’s introduction to competitive racing began with a trip to a go-kart shop that didn’t go as planned. His love of racing was at first an extension of his father’s passion for the sport. His dad, Daryn Weatherman, is close friends with Brian Maine, who is related to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Ragan. As Kyle explains it, “We all went to a go-kart shop when I was eight-years-old and my brother was six-years-old. We were not really thinking about getting into it at that point – we just wanted to look at some things. That day we ended up leaving with two go-karts and tires. We started racing the very next weekend.” With a laugh, he adds, “My dad blames Brian.”
Around the same time, another family was getting started in the sport as well. Daryn Weatherman was passing his passion for racing down to Kyle and his younger brother, Clayton. They met and quickly became friends with Gary Stray and his sons, Keegan and Charlie. “We did a lot with the Stray family,” Kyle shares. “The four of us did everything together. Our dads shared the same philosophy that we should know everything we could about our vehicles and how to take care of them. At eight-years-old, instead of being outdoors on the playground, I spent time in the shop with Clayton, Keegan, Charlie, and our dads learning everything we could about how to clean the go-karts, change out the gears, and keep our go-karts running at their peaks. It was time that I cherished.”
Kyle takes a long view of how that shaped his career and his own racing philosophies today. He still works in the shop and spends a lot of time working side-by-side with his crew team. He says, “One of the keys to success is that I work in the shop with my team. That gives us the opportunity to not only fine-tune the car together, but it gives us a great working communication. I can give my feedback, they can give me theirs. My being there shows them my level of dedication. I will work as hard as they do. I love working in the shop and I know a lot about the car and I know changes that need to happen with the car.” Additionally, that helps him build a trust bond with his crew chief. When it comes down to race day, that communication becomes invaluable. “Let’s say on race day, for whatever reason during the race I lose focus. I need my crew chief to help get me back on track. I take racing very seriously because it’s my future. He keeps my head in the game. He knows my reactions and keeps my head in the right direction, I guess you could say. That bond was built in the shop. We have learned to deal with each other in a very real way outside of just race day.”