116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
VINTON — Jacob Morris of Toddville has gone from wheelman to a spot behind the wheel.
“I always wanted to race and last year I shared this car with a buddy,” said Morris, a Kennedy High School graduate who made his debut last weekend at Benton County Speedway. “I bought him out this year and made it my own.”
The car itself is a bone-stock 2005 Chevy Cavalier that is part of Team BKG (Busted Knuckles Garage), started by husband and wife Chris and Kayle Claypoole and includes Brandon Schneider and Devin Coghlan.
“Last year I got my feet wet in the car,” Morris said. “This year I’m just trying to put everything I’ve learned into going faster.”
One good thing about being the lone driver of a vehicle is the ability to set it up how you like, something his previous partner disagreed with.
“I like more of a loose car,” Morris said. “The guy I was sharing it with liked it tighter and we would butt heads about that.”
Morris said it’s also no fun sharing a car when the other guy is driving, although splitting the costs helps.
“You learn to know what the cost is and taking care of it,” Morris said. “You kind of have to grow up and be an adult and realize you have to pay for it if you break it.”
That lesson was in full effect when the car ran well in practice, but failed to finish the first heat race.
“The first laps in it felt way faster than last year and I was excited to come here and see what I could do,” Morris said. “I was running second in the heat race, the car felt good and was coming out of turn four toward the white flag and the transmission blew up. I thought the car popped out of gear on me, so I shifted back to neutral and put it back in gear. There was nothing there.”
Team BKG now will get back to work. The 22-year-old Morris is planning on racing at Benton County on Sundays to round out his weekly plans.
“We’ll get it figured out this week and be back,” Morris said. “Our goal is to keep the car together and not loaded up before the feature so I can go out there and see what I can do. Take what I’ve learned from all of these guys and see if I can run up front with the big boys.”