By: Lee Ramsey
Layne Clifton is already a racing star and he is only 14 years old. You will find him racing most any Saturday night at 411 Raceway.
Clifton won his first race at 411 last April at the age of 13. Winning a car race is something most adults have never done.
He is not too young to have won a race but he is way too young for a driver’s license.
Drivers in Clifton’s modified division reach speeds of up to 100 miles an hour.
The modified division consists of cars with older chassis and engines.
This is young Clifton’s first year to race at 411 in the modified division.
He began racing go karts at the age of six at Dumplin Valley Speedway on a dirt track for two and a half years.
His dad, Doug Clifton, said, “We had to get out of there because he had a real bad wreck. The (go-karts) don’t have any protection, any roll bar or seat belt.”
After racing go-karts, the eighth grader at Seymour Middle School moved on to a Bandoleros car on asphalt where the cars had more protection.
He raced them at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Kentucky Speedway.
Clifton raced Bandoleros on asphalt for a couple of years. The down side to that, according to his Dad, was the expense.
“It’s a traveling series. There are no asphalt tracks locally therefore we had to travel to race on asphalt,” he said.
The car young Clifton now races in is the second fastest car at 411. The fastest is the “late model” but you have to be 16 to race them.
Layne Clifton estimates he has over 50 wins in his entire career. He has one win and one second place finish at 411 in the past several weeks.
He currently stands in fourth place in the points but according to Doug, “he would be leading if he had not missed a couple of races because of school trips and he had at least a third place finish in the races he missed.”
Layne won the Tennessee State Championship in Nashville when he was racing the Bandoleros.
He also finished high in the summer shoot-out series with a third place finish out of 60 cars.
Asked about his future in racing, Layne said, “A lot of people ask me if I want to go to NASCAR and I tell them no; I want to keep racing dirt track. Racing means a lot to me even when I finish second or third.”
Clifton doesn’t get too much practice in. He learns mostly from each race according to his dad.
As far as goals, Clifton wants to step up to the late model division at 411 next year then late on super late models in a traveling series where the winning prize is $10,000.
Layne Clifton would like to thank his dad and mom, Brieson, Denton, Jarod and Chuck Hicks along with all his sponsors.
Doug Clifton said, “It’s just really exciting; good old Saturday night dirt track racing.”
Clifton Already a Racing Star
By: Lee Ramsey