Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Local young drag racer named junior sportsman champion

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SULPHUR, Okla. — Paradise drag racing youngster Lane Swift keeps coming home with hardware and cash.

Lane, 9, won the 2023 award for Junior Sportsman Champion at the Feb. 3 Ardmore Dragway Racer Appreciation Banquet in Sulphur, Oklahoma. This honor came with a trophy, jacket with his name embroidered on it, a hat and $500 check. He also won a gold card, which means all his entry fees are paid for in 2024 at Ardmore Dragway. Lane and his mother Courtney Swift estimated the value of the Gold Card is about $300-$350.

Lane, who comes from a racing family, took pride in being able to achieve the Junior Sportsman Champion award and reaching a new height for himself and his family.

“Nobody else in the family has done it,” he said.

Junior Sportsman Champion is earned by competing at races in Ardmore and earning points. Therefore, Lane won the award by having the most points in his division of 6-9 year olds. He has won second and third place in previous years but has never been the champion until this year. Lane also recently was the runner-up for the junior sportsman title at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis.

This past racing season has been successful for Lane because he has been practicing his reaction time, which is important to helping racers win, and his family has been keeping his racecar in good working condition, Courtney Swift said.

Ardmore Dragway was already one of Lane’s favorite places to race, and now, the raceway is even more special after winning this recent honor. Courtney Swift pointed out Lane also won his Wally Award at Ardmore, which is described by the National Hot Rod Association as “drag racing's most prestigious trophy.”

Because he has the gold card for Ardmore Dragway, Courtney Swift said Lane is free to turn his attention and resources toward racing at other tracks using the $500 he won to cover entry fees. Lane also wants to use his award money to repay his dad for his assistance.

“My dad helped; I think I might want to help with him on his stuff,” Lane said.

Lane’s racing season starts up at the end of the month, and he doesn’t plan to slow down anytime soon.

Lane thanked his 2023 sponsors — 156 Metal Recycling, Winstead Paint & Body, RDL Tires, Carson’s Garage and Gaston's Automotive And Tire Center.