ORRVILLE, Ohio — Cole Macedo’s last name quickly rings bells within the sprint car community, but the 20-year-old wants his first name to stand out as well.
After all, Cole is the younger brother of reigning World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series rookie of the year Carson Macedo and is trying to forge his own path.
To do so, the younger Macedo moved from his native California to Ohio this season to drive Jay Kiser’s No. 23 sprint car, hoping to cut his teeth in one of this country’s hot beds for the discipline.
While the early portion of the season was nothing to write home about — in part because of a two-month stoppage in the action due to the COVID-19 pandemic — Cole Macedo seems to be finding his footing with the Kiser racing operation.
That improved stability was on display during the 38th Cometic Gasket Ohio Sprint Speedweek round at Wayne County Speedway on Monday, when Macedo not only made the main event, but raced from 20th to finish 11th — outpacing drivers such as Tyler Courtney and Buddy Kofoid in the process.
It was a run through the field that bolstered Macedo’s confidence amid his first year racing 410 sprint cars in the Midwest.
“I was actually pretty pumped up after the main because we hadn’t really had much success yet (prior to Monday),” said Macedo. “We missed a few features and I was pretty bummed out about that, but then we snuck into the one at Wayne County and our car was actually really good.
“It was a lot of fun running up on the fence and we passed some really good race cars, so I was happy with the end result, that’s for sure.”
Monday night’s run gave Macedo “a sense of direction” in his first year living away from home, he noted. He also added that he’s looking forward to finding his own way in racing, much like his brother has with Kyle Larson Racing on the World of Outlaws trail.
“I’ve always been a pretty independent person, so moving away from home wasn’t the toughest for me, plus I moved over here (to stay) with the Linders … and they make me feel right at home,” he noted of the home of Matt and Stephanie Linder, joked by several in the racing community to be “a California orphanage” in Ohio.
“That part of it isn’t bad at all; the competition and tracks are just way different than what they were in California. I didn’t think it was when I first moved here, and then racing on them every week, I started to understand,” Macedo continued. “They just have totally different surfaces and we’re on different tires here too, so that’s another thing I’m trying to grasp on to. We just can’t use the same setups and stuff that we do in California.
“There’s some really good talent here … but we’re getting better and moving in the right way, I believe.”
Of his older brother, Cole Macedo said that it’s a balancing act between wanting to follow a similar blueprint to the one Carson used to reach the pinnacle of dirt racing and still doing things his own, unique way, with his own flair and distinction to them.
“Carson’s had a lot of success at a young age and got to a lot of places where he needed to go pretty quick. To be honest, I kind of wanted to follow in his footsteps,” admitted Macedo. “Sometimes it isn’t exactly what I want it to be, but he also helps me with a lot. I wouldn’t have as many relationships or know as many car owners and people like the Linders without him, you know what I mean?
“Yeah, sometimes it sucks hearing, ‘Oh yeah, that’s Carson’s brother,’ but it also helps me a majority of the time, so I can’t really complain about that,” he added. “I call him probably once every couple of days and we have good talks where I can ask him what I need to do … and he has some pretty valuable information for me to get to that next step I’m wanting to take, as well.”
Cole Macedo will return to Ohio Sprint Speedweek action Friday night when the Buckeye State tour visits Portsmouth Raceway Park for the $15,554-to-win Dean Knittel Memorial.
But after Speedweek ends and the All Star travelers leave Ohio for other pastures, Macedo will remain focused on continued growth with Kiser as he targets a long-term future in the sport.
“We’re just going to keep chugging along and hopefully still be making features to where we can keep improving and eventually be able to pick off some wins,” he said. “I came out here to make a name for myself and I feel like we’re a little bit behind schedule on that … but we’re making some gains and hopefully that good run with the All Stars Monday night will help us out with confidence and with me being comfortable in the car.
“Hopefully, soon we can have some even better runs and that’s how you pick off a few wins, which is my main goal,” Macedo continued. “Every time we get to the track is just focusing on win, win and win because that’s what turns heads. So that’s my goal for the rest of this season and we’ll go from there.”
SPEED SPORT’s Ohio Sprint Speedweek coverage is presented by Cometic Gasket Inc., a leading worldwide supplier of gaskets and engine sealing solutions for the automotive performance, powersports, original equipment and remanufactured engine industries. No matter what you ride, Cometic Gasket can seal your machine so you can focus on the finish line.
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