Cade Cater, 8 year old son of Tim and Dawnna Cater of Manila, is on a winning streak bringing home six trophies from the Atoka Raceway Park in Brighton, Tenn., north of Raleigh.
(Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)
Every other weekend, unless it is raining, the Cater family travels to Atoka with Cade's Champ Racing Cart where Cade runs the 1/8 mile dirt track race with other young drivers in his age division. On average there will be seven to 10 racers in his division.
Cade calls racing fun and has been very successful his first year and has a goal to keep on winning.
The go-carts are modified for speed at different age divisions. In Cade's junior division the restrictor plate regulates the go-carts to run a maximum of 38-40 miles per hour. Cade said when he first started it seemed fast, but it doesn't seem as fast anymore.
This is his first year but Cade said he was not nervous even the first time he was on the dirt track. Cade has been a spectator at races all of his life as his dad has raced for over 10 years.
"In all of the years I've been driving, I have never been nervous in a race car," his dad said. "The first night Cade was out there with 15 other carts, I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. My hands were shaking a bit and then I realized I was nervous."
Cade said on his first race, he spun out and another car hit the back of his and went to the wall but no one was hurt. That has been the only mishap he has experienced so far.
Safety is a big factor for the Caters and they heed to all of the rules. When Cade races he is strapped in using arm restraints, a 5-point safety harness, neck brace and helmet. The go-cart has roll bars. He wears the full racing suit or the racing jacket.
Atoka Raceway Park has a family oriented atmosphere. When they are not racing, the kids play ball and have fun. If anyone is having a birthday, they get together for hot dogs and birthday wishes.
"The people are very friendly and we have made a lot of good friends," Mrs. Cater said.
People are there from Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, and other places.
The season starts in March and runs through November.
Cade has raced seven times this season and brought home six trophies. He has two third place wins, three second place wins and one first place win. Cade said he also wins cash prizes, which he likes. He has averaged $32 a weekend throughout the year.
The Caters stay busy with their racing activities. Tim races on Friday nights when he can and Cade takes the track most every other Saturday.
Cade's goal is to race in the Indoor Kart Nationals held every year in Batesville, Miss., during Thanksgiving weekend. The Caters enjoy going and watching the 1,100 to 1,200 go-carts in all classes race for two days. Cade would like to race there this year but his parents have not made a decision yet. This is Cade's first year to be old enough to compete in the Indoor Car Nationals.
In addition to racing, Cade plays baseball and basketball. He will be playing on a basketball traveling team sponsored by the Kiwanis in Kennett this year.
Cade's older sister Callie is a fan and has been cheering on her dad and brother during their racing, but she prefers cheerleading to racing for herself.