Regardless of the racing genre, the main attributes of a successful competitor are the same — passion, determination and consistency.
Devin Gilpin possesses all of those things and the Columbus, Ind., modified driver is barely out of his teens.
Gilpin’s age belies his experience. His career began at age 6 running a limited schedule in go-karts. By age 12 he was a regular at the local short tracks in a four-cylinder, winning 40 features in a two-year span before graduating to the No. 1 Dasco Race Supply modified prior to his 15th birthday.
“I grew up with my dad Todd and my grandpa’s Don Fleetwood and Chuck Gilpin racing,” he said. “It was just born and bred in me.”
It’s obvious that Gilpin has found his passion and is enjoying every second of it. “I just love to go racing all weekend and it’s special when you can do it with your whole family,” he said. “I work for my grandpa Don at Dasco Race Supply and get to race on the weekends, so I spend more time with him than anybody else in my life and that means a lot to me.”
Gilpin’s finesse on the track and knowledge off of it have made him one of the most respected drivers in the Midwest, and with his record it’s no wonder.
“This year we led the National points from April until early October, and though I am disappointed that we didn’t pull off winning the championship, I also know that I have nothing to hang my head low on this year as it was another good season,” Gilpin said. “In 2009, we finished second in UMP national points and had 21 wins. This year was a remake of last, once again winning 21 features and finishing second in the standings. I really couldn’t be more fortunate and blessed than to have what I have and be where I’m at.”
With some extremely stellar seasons already behind him Gilpin has made some great racing memories, including a $3,000-to-win show at Soggy Bottoms Speedway in Kentucky.
“It was a long night and we were still waiting for features to start at midnight and it started raining. I thought, ‘Shoot. We’re not going to get this deal in,’ but they worked that track in and we pulled out for the feature at 3 a.m. It was a 40-lap race with a pit stop at 20. When we all stopped to pit I was leading and then the fog set in and we ended up getting fogged out. They declared me the winner and I just figured that you take them whatever way you can get them and I was pleased and really enjoyed taking the money home to Indiana.”
Competing in the UMP modifieds has given Gilpin the opportunity to compete at several tracks, and already he is gearing up for 2011 starting with Speedweeks in February.
“The modified division is probably the toughest at any race track week in and week out,” Gilpin said. “Although it has always been my aspiration to race late models, or even sprints one day, if I don’t end up with the offer of a ride I will continue to enjoy racing the mods.”
Even though 2011 will not find Gilpin actively seeking a national title, this fan favorite will not be out of the spotlight anytime soon. The humble Hoosier is just enjoying the opportunity to be successful doing what he loves.
“I’m very grateful for what I’ve got and I try to work hard for what I do have,” Gilpin said. “I don’t take anything for granted and I’ve got to thank my grandpa because without him none of this would be possible. I’m just a regular 20-year-old kid who likes to hunt, fish, hang out with my friends and drive race cars really fast.”