A speedy hobby

West high school student picks up a racing hobby


Katie Giebelstein

Anthony Franklin smiles for a picture, sporting his own merchandise proudly.

Katie Giebelstein, Reporter

The bright lights, the excited cheering from the stands and the loud roar of an engine. When you read that sentence, you might have envisioned a racetrack, similar to the one that sophomore Anthony Franklin races on at the fairgrounds. 

Franklin had always been around racing when he was younger, which started his interest in the sport .

“My dad was always racing while I was growing up. Up until I started and he quit… It was just too difficult to manage multiple people,” said Franklin. 

Franklin didn’t start off in a racecar, however. Despite some racing leagues, such as NASCAR, allowing kids as young as 14 to drive in their races with a specialized license, Franklin stuck to go-karts up until last year.

“Last year was my first year racing racecar… years before that I just drove carts,” said Franklin.

Go kart races were originally done at the Mississippi Valley fairgrounds, but stopped last year after the fairgrounds voted to not renew a contract with Davenport Kartway. However, they are still continuing to do the car races, but when asked if he wanted to make a career out of it Franklin said no.

“Probably not, because of the budget… but if the opportunity did come up it’s definitely something I’d like to do,” Franklin said.

The budget is something many aspiring racers fail to realize, as race cars average a cost of $200,000, but even with car costs aside, just entering a race could cost up to $4,000. Franklin does seem to be making some money though, as he sells his own merchandise.

“We ordered it at the races… there’s a Facebook page and we sell them through there, or we bring it to the races… I’ve got a couple buddies who show up, always wearing the hats,” Franklin said.

The fairgrounds puts on car races mostly every Friday throughout the year, usually starting around 5 or 6 in the evening. 

“I do the Friday shows. There’s about thirty-five cars a night, at least in my part,” said Franklin. 

Throughout the year races are held on Fridays, but they are currently in an off season, which means you wouldn’t have much luck catching a show now. 

“We’ve got a season. It’s not set necessarily but it starts April,” said Franklin.