VINTON — If there is one thing that can brighten the day of 27-year-old Dale Kite of Shellsburg, it’s racing.
“If I’m not racing, I’m not really in a good mood,” said Kite, a married father of three who works on a dairy farm during the day before doubling as a diesel mechanic at night for Truck Country in Cedar Rapids. “It seems like when I have the car put together and ready to go to the track, my mood is a little bit chipper.”
The car Kite has been racing at Benton County Speedway this season is “a 2017 Harris (chassis) with a 350 and a three-speed,” that competes in the Sports Mod division most weeks.
“We’re working on getting it dialed in,” Kite said. “I kind of had some mishaps early in the year and some motor troubles midseason. I’m finally getting back out after four weeks off, but the car is in one piece so I can’t complain.”
Growing up with two brothers and parents who worked all of the time, Kite learned at an early age to appreciate any opportunity he got to race.
“We really didn’t have the income for it, but during my high school years my parents bought me my first Hobby Stock,” Kite said. “We got rolling that way.”
Kite also remembers how it felt once he finally got to race at Shelby County Speedway in Harlan.
“When you’re going into a corner, hiked up on three wheels,” Kite said. “It’s just an awesome feeling.”
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While embracing his beginnings, Kite is now working on building a future with his wife Chrystal and three kids — Nova, 5; Dale Jr., 3; and Bristol, 4 months.
“Someone pointed out that my kids are named after a car, a driver and a race track,” Kite said with a smile. “I didn’t plan it that way, it just worked out that way.”
While Kite is planning on doing some upgrades to his car in the offseason after going through the motor issues to make sure “she’s fine-tuned for next year,” he’s very thankful that this season wasn’t canceled.
“I love racing and I’ll always love racing,” Kite said. “It’s something to do and a feeling you can’t get doing anything else in life.”
That’s why Kite chooses to work two jobs while raising a family and maintaining his passion for racing.
“It’s worth it,” Kite said. “Every step of the way.”