116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Kacey Korsmo grew up around auto racing.
He watched his father, Kevin, race at Hawkeye Downs Speedway from an early age. One of his earliest memories is sitting in the stands with his twin brother, Kamron, racing cars with their hands during heats and features.
“I’ve kind of grown up here,” Korsmo said. “I’ve been here every Friday night my whole life.”
The younger Korsmo transitioned from spectator to competitor, running in the Legends division at the asphalt track. He is third in the season points standings, trailing leader Jacob Tiegen by 11 points and second-place Austin Slabaugh by nine.
Korsmo earned his ninth top-five finish Friday night and a heat victory. He recently recorded his first feature victory. Father has been a big help with the car.
“This year has been really good,” Korsmo said. “I think I have finished in the top five 80 percent of the time. It’s been a good season.
“I got a win a couple weeks ago. Legends Direct has been a big part of helping me gain some speed.”
Interestingly, Korsmo wasn’t always set on getting behind the wheel. Kevin was elected into the Hawkeye Downs Hall of Fame in 2010 and served as a past announcer and race director before he returned to the track, but the twins played baseball through high school at Benton Community.
Kacey started to visit race pits at 16 and realized he had the ability to do some of the work. The racing bug still didn’t bite until after he graduated high school. Now he’s in his fifth season.
“I didn’t know I wanted to race until it was 2018,” Korsmo said. “I was like, ‘why not?’ Now, being able to change the setups and work on them and being able to do it with my father is the most fun.”
Father and son prepare for races in the same hauler and loaded into their cars — both displaying a version of the number 52 — simultaneously before Friday’s hot laps.
Kevin actually sat one spot behind Kacey in the points standings. Kacey said he is a much more conservative driver than his dad, noting his team’s goal is to keep the car in one piece.
“We have two completely different cars,” the younger Korsmo said. “We have completely different minds and styles of driving, but I love racing with him and being able to go home at night and talk to him about the races. It’s a lot of fun.”
Fun and very busy. Kacey competes on the Hawkeye Downs quarter-mile oval and also runs on area dirt tracks. He has raced 25 nights already and expects to make another 10 to 15 dates, including races in Wisconsin.
“It’s fun to be able to race on two different surfaces,” Kacey said. “Not a lot of people can say they do that.”
Kacey has balanced the precision of racing on asphalt with the aggressiveness and looseness of dirt. Aspirations reach beyond Legends. Plans include a move to late models in the future.
“It’s turned into more than just a hobby the last couple years, doing it every weekend and traveling out of town,” Kacey said. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”