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 Junior Sprint Car Racer a 'True' Competitor

February 6, 2008 - Sprint race car driver Addison True has compiled quite an impressive racing career. In 69 races, True has been dominating with an unbelievable 56 top-three finishes, including 25 feature race wins.

Adding to his portfolio of success, just last week he learned to master the letter “E” in cursive writing. The veteran junior sprint race car driver is also a second grader at Spiceland Elementary School.

True, who turned eight years old in November, is the son of David and Kelly True. He races junior sprint cars, which are a scaled-down version of the sprint cars seen on ESPN and the Speed Channel.

When young Addison is not learning to add and subtract is Mrs. Carmon’s second grade class, he’s on the race track going up against – and defeating – kids who are a foot taller and several years older.

“He doesn’t like losing,” Kelly True laughed.

“I like how fast I can go and it’s a lot of fun,” Addison said. His favorite race car drivers are Steven Kinser, who races the World of Outlaws, and local racing success story Jeff Lane, who is a close friend of the family.

“I don’t like it when other people cause wrecks and you can’t win,” Addison said. He had led most of a race at the “Rumble at the Dome” in Ft. Wayne before another driver’s mistake knocked him out of the race with two laps to go. But that doesn’t happen often.

In 2007, he ran in 25 races and won nine, finishing in the top three in 22 of those events. In two races he had mechanical failure, and in the third he actually won but was disqualified because his muffler had fallen off.

There are some financial rewards to performing well on the junior sprint circuit, but those do not out-weigh the costs. Addison won nearly $1,000 in purse money in 2007, but the cost of competing far exceeds the financial gains. There are plenty of other reasons to compete, however.

“This is definitely something that you don’t do for the money,” David True said. “It’s a pretty expensive hobby, but there have been nights that he’s won our pit pass money back for us. But we do this because he loves it and it’s a hobby the whole family can do together.”

The family involvement in racing extends to others as well.

One of Addison’s main supporters and sponsors is David True’s brother, Knightstown businessman Tom True. Uncle Tom, known as a serious, hard-working entrepreneur, becomes a giddy little kid when Addison hits the racetrack for some fierce competition. As part of the pit team, he nervously paces back and forth while offering coaching, guidance and support. Tom True, Lane, Rico Elmore and the I-70 Gas Grill are the primary supporters of his racing endeavors.

Addison has been racing since he turned five years old, when he started out in go-carts and won six cart races. He won four feature races at the age of five, 12 races at age six, and nine more when he was seven.

He’ll continue racing in the junior sprints until he reaches the age of 10, when he will switch to the 600 Micro-Sprints, which are real sprint racecars. The plan is to have him racing against adults when he turns 12.

Last year Addison finished second in the New Castle Motorsports Park Kart Racer’s of America (KRA) points chase at the age of six, losing the title by just one point. This season the True family will be competing at the U.S. 24 Speedway at Logansport, where Addison will be competing against fields of almost entirely older kids.

He more than holds his own against the older drivers simply because age doesn’t necessarily translate into more experience or talent.

The youngster said racing is hard at times, but it’s a lot of fun.

“I really like it,” Addison said. “You have to pay attention all of the time.”

And when he’s not on the race track, he’s just another second grader.

“I learned to write the cursive ‘E’ this week, and I’m getting good at the ‘L’. That’s one’s harder,” he said.

The youngster’s long-term goal appears to be within reach.

“I would like to race in the World of Outlaws,” Addison said. “Those are my favorite.”

The junior sprint racing season runs from April through October. The Trues said they plan to let their son race at Logansport, and at Linton against drivers 10-to-16-years old.


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