Column By: BILLY HODGES / RPW – NEW BERLIN, NY – Zack Welch has been racing since he was five years old with a fire and desire to win.
To be fair, however, that was only seven years ago, but he’s been able to hold plenty of checkered flags.
Welch, the 13-year-old affectionately known as “Wild Child,” is currently the youngest driver in the Limited Sportsman division at Utica-Rome Speedway. Last season, his first in full-sized race cars, he finished second in points at his Friday night home, just 52 markers behind the champion Seth Martin. That is pretty good for a rookie.
As stated, Welch has been racing on dirt since the age of 5 and the sport is huge in his family. He absolutely loves everything about it, and even competes in iRacing events during the off-season to practice.
This coming year, the 67W team will once again call Brett Deyo’s facility in Vernon, NY home on Friday’s. They also have desires to hit up some bigger shows along the way.
During his rookie season in 2022, Welch was simply spectacular. The youngster was able to win on five different occasions. He took home three big wins at his Friday night home as well as two victories at Skyline. What makes the latter more impressive is that he only visited the track twice, so he was undefeated.
The lineage of the Welch family runs deep. Zack’s father, Travis, use to race Pro Stocks at Utica and won the championship in 2018.
Travis then retired at the end of 2021 to focus on his son’s budding career.
“This is his time,” the elder Welch said. “We have some big plans for the team.”
After last year was complete at Utica, ‘Dad” said he believes they should have won the championship. Their downfall ended up being three DNF’s they incurred during the season. However, those are the breaks.
Once the regular season was complete, the team went to Port Royal at the end of the season with the Short Track Super Series, but missed the big show by two spots. They experienced a broken steering box during their trip, but still time trailed 20th out of 80 cars.
For a freshman driver, that’s something to be proud of.
Look out for Zack Welch in 2023. This kid has shown what it takes to get to the top in very little time. Championships and more wins are on the horizon!