DCHS sophomore has his eyes set on NASCAR

Sam+Butler+standing+by+his+car+after+his+win.

Sam Butler standing by his car after his win.

Emily Mears, staff writer

DCHS sophomore has his eyes set on NASCAR 

Most high school students look forward to getting out of school on Fridays and unwinding with a movie or maybe going to a football game, but not DCHS sophomore Sam Butler. On most Fridays, he makes the 10 hour drive to Hickory, North Carolina to practice for his upcoming race the following day. 

Sam’s racing journey started when he was only 9 years old and saw a commercial on TV for a Bandolero, a special kind of race car designed for young children, which sparked an interest that only continued to grow. Sam’s supportive parents proceeded to look up “racing for young people.” A few Google searches later, they learned about quarter midgets and it took off from there. Six months later he had his first race, and as luck would have it, he won, and his passion and love for racing only intensified. Now, nearly seven years later, Sam is driving a late model car and making a name for himself on the track. 

Delphi, being the small town that it is, doesn’t offer a lot of space to practice, but Sam and his family found a place and time at the Indianapolis fairgrounds for midgets and at the Speedrome in Indianapolis for legend cars. Now that his racing career has taken off, he has a long drive down to North Carolina for a 4 hour practice on Friday, followed by a race on Saturday. Having nearly 30 races a season, nine months out of the year, that doesn’t leave a lot of free time or time for school work, but Sam makes it work.

“School isn’t the easiest,” he said. “You can only miss so many days and it’s hard to distribute time.” Yet, he finds a way around it. When he can’t miss anymore days, he waits until after school to make the journey to Hickory. Using this method, he doesn’t get to practice until Saturday morning. This may be how his schedule starts looking if he keeps racing while in school.

With only three months off out of a year, he uses this time to enjoy other hobbies such as fishing or watching his friends compete in other races. He said, “I’ve made more than half my friends from racing,” mentioning how the majority of his social media followers are also from the racing community. 

Just like many other teens and kids, Sam tried other sports in his youth, including baseball and football, but “nothing clicked.” It wasn’t until he tried racing that he felt that click. While we may have thought our regular school sports took up a lot of our time, it has nothing on racing. Despite the huge time commitment, Sam doesn’t feel like he missed a part of his childhood or early teen years. “[My life is] still pretty normal, but you know, nobody’s life is normal.”

“Delphi is a really good school,” he said when asked why he lives here when the majority of his races are on the east coast. He elaborated by saying how if racing were to pause for a year, why risk moving when you never know the outcome. Moving would also mean leaving the friends he’s made over the past two and half years behind. But, he hasn’t ruled it out yet. If things keep going well for him, he may be moving in the future. 

The future is never set in stone, but things are looking good for Sam. Driving a late model stock car, he is ranked 7th in the nation and 3rd in North Carolina and in Hickory standings. On top of that he has leading rookie of the year points, and is likely to earn the title soon. 

“I don’t like to brag, but I’d say I’m pretty good,” he said after his win at Hickory nearly two weeks ago. With his eyes set on NASCAR, it is likely he will get there one day. Within the next five years, he says he will hopefully be in the ending stages of college, driving an Arca Car or Xfinity Series, one step below a Cupcar for NASCAR.

Sam is thankful for all the opportunities he has been given in his racing career and we are excited to see when he will achieve his dreams of driving for NASCAR. If you are interested in learning more about Sam Butler and his racing you can check out his website at http://sambutlerracing.com/ or his Instagram or Facebook at Sam Butler Racing.