FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Trey Osborne may be only 14 years old, but he stands tall, despite the fact that he’ll be making his debut start at the Allen County Memorial Expo Center this weekend during the 20th annual Rumble in Fort Wayne.
Not only is that a literal statement, the teenager has the family to back it up, too.
“My dad stands at six-ten,” Osborne pointed out. “People always tell me I’m young, but I don’t look it.”
Osborne, the fourth 14-year-old in the last six years to compete in Fort Wayne, will be making his Rumble debut this weekend, driving for legendary Hall of Fame team owners Mel and Don Kenyon in the No. 61 Kenyon-Gaerte national midget for 3K Racing.
“This is such a great opportunity for me to be able to show my skills on a bigger stage,” said Osborne. “I can’t thank the Kenyon family enough for giving me this chance to compete in Fort Wayne.”
The teenager from Columbus, Ohio is a graduate of the Kenyon Midget Series, picking up two wins with the series and finishing third in points this past year, as well as being a former Kenyon Rookie of the Year.
However, he admitted that running a full midget during Thursday’s practice sessions was a “whole different world.”
“It was a lot different running the big car than anywhere I’ve ever ran in the K-car,” Osborne explained. “Especially with the extra power; that’s something I’m still trying to get used to … I don’t quite know what to do with it just yet,” he laughed.
“Racing indoors really is different … you have to use the brakes a lot more here than what I’m used to anywhere else in the Kenyon Series. I don’t think I’ve gotten any more than half-throttle the entire time. It’s crazy compared to what I’ve raced in the past.”
One of the biggest things that Osborne noted was how special it is to be making his Rumble debut for a team as steeped in history and tradition as the Kenyon group.
“It means a lot to drive for Mel and Don … everyone knows their history in the sport and to be a part of this team is amazing. They’re people I’ve looked up to ever since I started racing. To make my first Rumble appearance with them is a dream come true.”
“As far as being one of the youngest to race here (inside the Expo Center) … it’s not that big of a deal for me because I come to the race track to race, no matter the circumstances, but it’s a nice feeling, for sure.”
And Osborne is keeping his goals realistic, even though his competitive fire burns as bright as ever.
“I’d like to make the A-Main both nights; that why we all come here,” Osborne said. “If we can do that, I think it would be a great accomplishment for me … and Kyle showed last year that these cars definitely have the speed. It’s going to be really important for me to get up to speed quickly and get a good lap in qualifying, because that sets you up for the rest of the night.”
“All in all, this is just a special moment for me. I can’t want to get started and I’m so blessed to be here.”
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 23-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
Email Jacob at: [email protected]
Email Race Chaser Online: [email protected]
Follow RCO on Twitter: @RaceChaserNews