MARYSVILLE — Teenagers play all kinds of sports in high school. Some play baseball, football or soccer. Others go off the beaten path in more individual sports.
Cody Day, 14, is one of those kids. He competes in car racing — “contact” car racing.
The fourth generation racer knew he wanted to race since day one, watching his dad and grandpa race as far back as he could remember.
“I was racing since I was seven,” he said. “But I was watching my dad race since I was a baby.”
Cody began racing in the quarter-midget category driving a go-cart. It became his favorite sport, even skipping peewee football to compete.
Whether it was playing racing games on his Playstation, or being taught racing tactics with hot wheels from his dad, racing has become one with Cody. It’s the adrenaline and thrill that entices him to race.
“He’s a crazy kid; he’s definitely cursed with racing,” said his father, Sam Day. “It’s in his blood.”
The father and son share a competitive bond, it’s part of why Cody wants to race — to beat his dad.
“It will be no holds barred,” Day said.
Day has raced contact since 1995 to 2006 and Cody’s grandpa, Doug, also had his fair share of racing.
Though racing runs in the family, it was Cody’s decision to carry on the tradition.
Cody plans to race next spring at the Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, where he could be competing with over 20 racers and racing up to 20 laps.
He plans to wear the number 59, the same number as his grandpa.
Contact racing, as the name suggests, is a form of racing where durable cars use any means necessary to get ahead — what Day calls “controlled chaos.”
Cars can “bump to pass” or spin out their opponents.
“We’ve redone the rules so people don’t lose their tempers,” Day said, but he insists the race will have plenty of contact.
Cody will wear protective gear but the dangers of the sport are present. Injuries that have occurred are concussions, missing teeth and broken arms.
“Truth be told, it’s not as dangerous as it appears,” Day said.
There are regulations as well, such as engine size and car strength. Cars can only reach peak speeds of 60-65 mile per hour.
Cody has modeled a 1977 Monte Carlo. The single-framed durable chases are ideal in contact racing. They are inexpensive and easy to modify, Day said.
“I feel ready for it,” Cody said. “I’m excited.”