GENOA, Ill. – Roughly a month ago, Jack Routson became the youngest driver to win a feature race in Badger Midget Auto Racing Ass’n history.
On top of the current series point standings, the 17-year-old racer from Genoa, Ill., is now hoping to become the youngest driver to ever win a Badger championship in the 83-year history of the Wisconsin-based midget organization.
Routson has won four feature races so far this year on the Badger circuit, two of which have come at Illinois’ Sycamore Speedway, where he won Saturday night.
“Running second, I knew I had the speed to beat him (Kevin Olson),” said Routson after his most recent win. “I had to be patient because he wasn’t slipping up an inch. It was really hard to get underneath him (using the bottom groove). I knew the top (groove) wasn’t quite as fast, but once he got held up by lapped traffic on the bottom, I could get a good run and keep my momentum on the top and get around him and beat him into the corner on the bottom.”
Routson began his speed career racing dirt bikes and, later, go karts. He followed his dad, Tim, into racing. Tim Routson was a late model stock car competitor and feature winner at Chicagoland’s long-closed Santa Fe Speedway.
“This is my fourth year in a midget,” said Jack Routson. “My goal is to be a professional race car driver. I’ve gone through some tough times learning the sport and building my skills to become a better driver. I try to cover every aspect of racing and make sure myself and the car are in the best shape we can be.
“I try to keep my head screwed on (straight) and stay focused and do my best.”
Prairie State Water Systems, Service Concepts and Midwest Sealcoat are among the sponsors of the Routson Boss Tech midget, which is powered by a Chevy Equatech engine.
“My dad owns the car and he and I do most of the work on the car during the week,” said Routson. “My mechanic is Dylan Tedzloff, my best friend.”
In a week or so, Routson will be starting his senior year at Genoa Kingston High School with him still competing for the Badger championship against the likes of Olson, Chase McDermand, Zach Boden, Ryan Probst and five-time Badger titlist Scott Hatton.
While he knows the road to the crown won’t be easy, Routson is hoping to stay the course.
“My goal is to stay consistent throughout the rest of the season and keep the momentum going and hopefully get a championship,” he noted.