Local kart racer just keeps winning

GREENWOOD – For 16-year old Cole Neibert, racing is all he’s ever known.

From a very young age, Neibert’s father had him around race tracks and karts.

“My dad had been racing since he was eight,” Neibert said. “So I have been at the race track basically ever since I was born. At two weeks old I was at the race track with him.”

At the age of five years old, Cole was finally old enough to race.

“When I was five I was old enough to race, so we went to a little backyard track in Milton, Del. and that’s where I started,” Cole said. “Then when I was eight my dad had finally gotten out of racing because he realized that’s where I wanted to go. My life goal was to become a racer.”

Not only is he passionate about racing, but he is good at it too.

In 2011, Cole’s life passion took the next step. He began traveling to race tracks all up and down the east coast that year.

Coincidentally, that year he also became the only person to ever win a state championship in two different states within the same year, capturing both the Delaware state championship and the Maryland state championship.

Cole says race weekends are a family affair, and he hopes to keep them that way (Special to The Chronicle).

Two years later, he moved up an age group and went through a learning curve facing steeper competition.

But during that learning year, Shane Bass of Richmond, Va. took notice of Cole’s skill-set as a racer.

“Shane called me and asked if I would actually drive for him, which gave me the opportunity to just travel and race instead of having to develop our own team and pay with our own funds,” Cole said.

“We pretty much just have to show up and show everybody what I can do. That just kind of lit a fuse and ever since then I’ve been traveling with Shane and his business and we’ve been winning all over the east coast this year.”

While the winning was taking place long before he joined Shane’s race team, it was truly a dream come true for Neibert when his opportunity came knocking. And he has taken full advantage.

The passion and determination was always there, but the move added extra fuel to the passion and hard work.

“A lot of my determination started when I was five,” Cole said of his racing passion. “I’ve always wanted to drive for somebody, and I’ve always looked up to people who have had the opportunity to drive for somebody. Getting the opportunity to drive for Shane is a major life accomplishment for me, and I think driving for him will actually get me more opportunities in the racing world.”

Cole’s most recent victories came last month at the Capital City Speedway in Virginia, as he took home two victories in the Turkey Trot race.

Although he’s been in kart racing for most of his life, it’s not where he’d like to stay for the long-term.

“For a little while I plan on staying in kart racing, and then when I get the opportunity to move up or when I feel like I’ve done everything I’ve wanted to do in karting, then yes I’d like to move up. But for now, I think kart racing is where I need to be,” he said.

In Delmar, there’s a larger race track built for cars, which is where Cole hopes to take his talents one day. He’d like to move up to modified car racing once his days in kart racing are in the rearview mirror.

Although his life revolves around racing on the weekends, the 16-year old Milford High School student still focuses on keeping up with his studies.

In order to round out his racing experience, he’d like to attend a technical school in Charlotte to become an engineer for NASCAR.

Since he’s normally racing every weekend, Cole brings his family along with him to races. Many of his family members assist Cole with his career and it has even helped keep the family close.

“It’s definitely a big family sport, and I’d like to keep it that way,” he said.

With 11 years of kart racing under Cole’s belt, it appears as though he’s already well on his way to enjoying a long and successful career as a race car driver in the years to come.

Sports editor Ben Heck can be reached at bheck@newszap.com

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