Looking from afar, Logan Seavey’s ascent into professional open-wheel racing could not have been predicted.
Seavey wasn’t born into the sport. In fact, he admits his parents “weren’t into racing at all.”
But it’s funny how chance events can have an indelible impact on our lives. It was a simple family trip with friends to the race track that turned the tide.
Within weeks, Seavey’s older brother Tyler was in a kart, and when Logan reached the age of five, he followed suit.
In recent years, one thing has become increasingly clear; if you can survive the outlaw kart wars at places like Red Bluff Speedway and Cycleland Speedway in Northern California, you have a chance to make a mark in the sport.
Following in the footsteps of stars such as Kyle Larson, Seavey spent nearly a decade honing his craft. It was an endeavor his parents could support, but all knew it would be too great of a burden for the family to try to help him make the jump forward from there.
By the time he turned 15, Seavey had earned a ride with QRC, a well-established outlaw kart manufacturer, and from that point forward he has largely been a hired hand.
His work in the outlaw karts had turned plenty of heads and an intermediary helped forge a connection with Austin Brown and Flea Ruzic of Boss Chassis, who were interested in fielding a car for Seavey in POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League competition.
Everything was pointed forward until Seavey encountered a significant yellow flag. He was born with a congenital heart condition called scimitar syndrome. Late in the 2016 season, the symptoms, which included fatigue and shortness of breath, were too strong to ignore.
The solution was open-heart surgery. Although it was a scary time, Seavey said the operation improved his health immediately and within months he made his first appearance at the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals.
For many teenagers, the challenge of leaving home and traveling halfway across the land to pursue a dream can be overwhelming. Nonetheless, Seavey says the move from California to the Midwest was relatively painless.
“It wasn’t as bad as I was expecting,” he said. “When I first came out here, most of my teammates were people I grew up racing go-karts with, and now it was midgets. When you got down to it, it was just different land.”
Underscoring that he was unfazed by the entire experience, his first full season in the midgets could not have gone better.
As POWRi headman Kenny Brown sums it up, “Austin got with him because he wanted someone who could win and promote his chassis, and boom, he wins the championship.”
This outcome alone seemed to leap right out of a storybook, but with a significant title on his résumé, Seavey was now in position to take another leap forward.
If you are an aspiring and ambitious young racer, there are few places better to land than Keith Kunz Motorsports.
“Everything just lined up,” Seavey said. “We had been running well and I had heard there was an opening on their team. So I contacted Keith and asked him about his plans for the 2018 season and within a week or two they got back and said they wanted to race with me. So we got together starting at the Chili Bowl. It was a pretty cool deal.”
While getting a chance with Keith Kunz is a dream come true for many, there are also heavy expectations to perform. While some can struggle in this environment, Seavey excelled.
“Initially, before we really went racing, there was some pressure,” he said. “But once we got together it was a relaxed situation. KKM is going to provide you with championship-quality race cars and as long as you do a decent job, you should be able to win some races. That’s what we were able to do the first year.”
That’s a bit of an understatement.
Seavey posted three USAC National Midget Series wins and 10 podium finishes on the way to his second major midget championship. For good measure, he also added six POWRi wins to his ledger.
With the brass at Toyota Racing Development fully engaged, more opportunities came Seavey’s way.
He mustered an eighth-place finish and led more than 50 laps in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway. He then won an ARCA Menards Series race at the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds.
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