Scotty Kincaid of Red Hog Pike: racing brings fun in the fast lane

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Scotty Kincaid had always been interested in racing, but on a family trip to Lake Cumberland in 2005, he really felt the pull to get into a sport he knew very little about. Now, three years later, the Red Hog Pike resident and Switzerland County native spends nearly 50 nights a year racing on area tracks.

“We had been down at Lake Cumberland and we watched some races there a couple of times,” Scotty Kincaid said. “We had also watched Harold Hayes’ grandson race a couple of times at Lawrenceburg, and it was something that we decided to get into.”

Along with his father and crew chief Charlie Kincaid, Scotty Kincaid, a 1988 graduate of Switzerland County High School, began looking around for a car that might allow him to get into racing.

It didn’t take long.

“We were working on this job and my dad saw this car for sale,” Scotty Kincaid said. “The guy had a car, trailer, fire suit, helmet – everything we needed to go racing. Dad told me about it and I went and we drove it up and down the road and bought it.”

When your hobby is racing on small tracks around the area, there isn’t much of a training ground – so learning to drive a race car is a “trial by fire” for many drivers.

“The first place that we went was to North Vernon,” Scotty Kincaid said with a chuckle. “We had no idea how it worked or anything. We just started from there.”

One of the highlights – or lowlights – of that first year of racing was when the Kincaids took the car to Lake Cumberland over the July 4th weekend. Right in the action, a wreck caused Scotty Kincaid’s car to flip four or five times before coming to rest. Scotty Kincaid escaped the accident without a scratch on him, but the family purchased a new chassis to complete the season.

“It’s been a long learning experience,” Scotty Kincaid said.

There are various types of race cars and drivers who show up at area tracks on weekends. Cars are placed into groupings for heat races based on a variety of rules and regulations.

Scotty Kincaid drives an open wheel modified.

“We’ve always driven a modified,” he says. “There are all types of rules and stuff, but the biggest one is that you have to run a steel block engine, no aluminum blocks are allowed.”

The car itself must weigh at least 2,400-pounds to be eligible to run in the modified class. Cars are weighed when they are checked in at the track; and are then weighed again at the conclusion of the race by means of a scale right at the track.

Miss weight, and your car is disqualified.

For fans of NASCAR and IndyCar racing, there are many differences when it comes to the type of racing that Scotty Kincaid and his competitors do. From speed to expenses to the type of track that the cars run on; weekends for Scotty Kincaid continue to be a learning experience.

“Our cars can run about 100 miles per hour, depending on the track,” he says. “Every track that we run on is dirt. There are asphalt tracks, but we run all on dirt.”

Although there is a lot of expense to having a race team, smaller tracks don’t bring big paydays for drivers.

“In a typical race, first place pays around $800,” Scotty Kincaid says. “Then it drops off from there. If you make the feature, you’re going to get like $60 or something. Some tracks may pay if you make the consolation race. Most people spend that or more just getting to the race track. It’s all different. We just do it for the fun.”

Scotty Kincaid’s racing effort is helped by the sponsorship of Bar-Tie – which is the family business owned by his father and him.

Even with sponsorship, it’s a long season.

Weekly expenses like fuel and tires are always there, with some teams changing to a full set of new tires before every race. Scotty Kincaid said that he averages a new tire every race, usually replacing the right rear tire – which he says takes most of the wear and tear during a race.

His weekends are filled with traveling and racing at area tracks: Florence; Lawrenceburg; Liberty; Junction City, Kentucky; Somerset, Kentucky; and other venues. He has also traveled to Florence the past two winters for the Winter Nationals, so it’s a long season.

“The normal season is Memorial Day to Labor Day,” Scotty Kincaid says. “But some tracks run a fall schedule. The guy at Lake Cumberland will run all the way up to Thanksgiving, so the season can drag on. Usually you’ve got two to three months of down time, but you’re always working on the car.”

The dedication to racing for Scotty and Charlie Kincaid was apparent at the Winter Nationals in Volusia County, Florida in 2007, when Scotty Kincaid’s car flipped over the first night of the races, but was ready to race the next night – and Scotty Kincaid responded by winning his heat race.

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A typical race day for Scotty Kincaid and his family crew begins early, with he and his dad working to prepare the car for a night of racing. Once they arrive at the track, the Kincaids change the oil in the race car, and also change tires if needed.

“We spend a lot of time working on getting our tires together and checking all of the suspension parts and greasing everything and making sure it’s ready to roll,” Scotty Kincaid said. “Then we have to take the car through technical inspection.”

It’s during the tech inspection that race track officials weigh the car to make sure that it meets requirements for the class it is going to race in – and then it’s time to “draw a pill”.

“Each of the drivers ‘draw a pill’ to determine our starting position for the heat race,” Scotty Kincaid said. “Then it’s back to the car to keep working on it until it’s time for our race.”

Traditionally there are 8-10 cars in each heat race, with the number of heats being determined by the number of cars that are entered at the track that night. Normally there are 30-40 cars entered in Scotty Kincaid’s class, so the heat races can be very competitive.

“When we were down in Florida there were 90 cars in our class,” Scotty Kincaid said.

Once the heat races start, depending on the number of cars, the top three or four cars in each heat advance on to the feature race, with the cars from each heat that don’t advance getting a second chance in the night’s consolation – or ‘consy’ – race.

Again the top three or four cars in the consolation advance to the feature; which typically has 20-24 cars in it. Although making the feature through the consolation race is a positive, starting from the back of the field provides it’s own challenges.

“When you have to start at the back, it really makes things difficult,” Scotty Kincaid said. “It’s hard to work your way up through the field when you start at the back.”

So far this year Scotty Kincaid has been having some success, winning four heat races and earning a top 10 finish in eight features. He has already raced 21 times this season, and the year isn’t halfway over.

He’s still looking for his first feature win.

And moving up through the field can also mean getting into some scrapes with other drivers. Again, fixing the car is a family affair.

“We do everything to the car,” Scotty Kincaid said. “We buy new sheet metal, and if the body gets beat up during a race, we take it off the car and lay it on the ground and hammer it back straight. If it gets too bad, we put on new metal. We do it all.”

And it’s a hobby for the entire family.

Along with dad, Charlie Kincaid; Scotty Kincaid’s “crew” also features mom Mary Jane, wife Ginger, son Keegan, daughter Kelly, and step-daughter Karsen Cook. With the whole family involved in the race team, spending nearly every weekend on the road is much easier for the driver.

“My dad and I do all this together, which is nice for us,” Scotty Kincaid said. “We’re trying to train Keegan, and he’s been helping out some. Once he learns to work on the car, then we’ll let him start racing it. It means a lot to me when my family goes with me, because I’m not off running races and not spending time with them.”

Tomorrow (Friday) night will find Scotty Kincaid behind the wheel of the K-12 car at the Lawrenceburg Speedway; and he may also be racing at the Florence Speedway on U.S. 42 near Union, Kentucky on Saturday.

Either way, Scotty Kincaid will continue to climb into his car and race his competitors every weekend throughout the summer. He won’t do it for the prize money or because he’s trying to move up the racing ladder to bigger events.

“We’re just doing it for fun,” he says. “We wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t fun.”

– Pat Lanman