Editor’s Note: Fifteen-year-old Lucas Ashe is the latest California racer to advance from winged outlaw karts to eventually race sprint cars as did Kyle Larson and Rico Abreu. Ashe was featured in the April issue of SPEED SPORT Magazine. Here’s an excerpt from that story.
Larson and Abreu are where Ashe wants to be in several years — the top echelon of motorsports. He’s not the type to rush into things before he’s ready, though. One great thing about Ashe is he’s always been prepared for whatever ride he’s given —even if he lacks lots of experience. He’s a detail-oriented person with a passion for getting the most out of whatever he does.
As talented as Ashe is, his father, Richard, initially noticed his son’s potential when Lucas, then 11, was out of his box stock class kart’s cockpit.
“When other kids were playing after races, Lucas Ashe was working on his kart, cleaning, tuning and helping others in the pits,” Richard Ashe said. “(He was) focusing on basically being his best. (He’s been) living and breathing racing since he started.”
Not long after his first race in an asphalt flat kart at age 10, Ashe competed in three different outlaw kart classes at the same time. Not much fazes him.
This year, he’s breaking into the 360 sprint car ranks as the driver of the No. 33 Kaeding Performance machine. He plans to make 15 starts at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, Calif. The opportunity to align with the renowned Kaeding family came about suddenly. During one 24-hour period in January, Ashe went from hoping to secure a part-time seat to having landed a full-time 360 sprint car affiliation with an accomplished sprint car racing team.
He couldn’t believe his good fortune.
“We talked to Mike Larson (Kyle Larson’s father) and he called us back and he knew we were interested in getting a sprint car,” Ashe told SPEED SPORT. “He gave us Kaeding’s number and the next day we were down there lining something up for 2016.”
Ashe was excited, but he couldn’t tell anyone for nearly a month while the deal was finalized. Once it was official, though, he took advantage of the opportunity to express his gratitude.
“It feels good to have that ride and to know that Kyle Larson and Rico Abreu came from his cars, so you know he’s a good guy and he creates a lot of opportunities for young drivers,” Ashe said. “The toughest thing for me will probably be adjusting to a new car and a new engine. There’s a lot more horsepower, so it’s probably going to be tough.”