Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – MIDDLETOWN, NY – After having a successful 2021 in the Orange County Fair Speedway’s Rookie Sportsman division, Kasey Hufcut moved up into the Sportsman division in 2022.
He did well racing with the very competitive OCFS Sportsman racers. He finished 12th in points. Kasey had 3 top 5 feature finishes with two 3rd place finishes as his best showing. That’s pretty good for a first year Sportsman racer.
For 2023, Kasey is returning to the Sportsman division. And the team has plans for traveling around this season.
“We will be running Sportsman all year. We have a 2nd car to travel with. We will definitely be going to Accord Speedway this year. We are also going to try to make as many of the Short Track Super Series that we can. We are going to Hagerstown this weekend. And the following week is Selinsgrove. And in the fall, we plan on going to Oswego.”
While he did fairly well at Orange County in 2022, Kasey feels that he can do better this year.
“We had our ups and downs at Orange County. This year, we are looking for a comeback. Hopefully, we can pull off a couple of wins and maybe even finish in the top 10 in points.”
Like many teams, it took time for Kasey and the team to adapt to the new clay that was put down in June 2022.
“It was tough for us setting up the car for that new clay. And we switched to coils too, so we had to learn those. It was tricky for sure.”
Of what he accomplished in 2022, Kasey was very pleased to qualify for the biggest Sportsman race of the year.
“Last year, I qualified for the Eastern States Sportsman race. I definitely want to do that again. That was a really cool experience. Maybe this year, I can get a podium or even a win.”
Like many other racers, Kasey watches the driving styles of racers in other divisions, studying their racing lines and their throttle control. Kasey carefully studies one of the best in the Northeast.
“I look at Stewart Friesen when he races at Orange County. I watch the way he uses his throttle control. I try to always take the same steps in the corners and look for consistency.”
Like so many racers, Kasey enjoys being around the atmosphere of being at the track and on the track.
“The thing I love best about racing is not only the people that I’ve met along the way, I tell you what, that adrenaline rush when the green flag drops is crazy.”
Kasey has been racing since 2017 when he got his start in a Slingshot at Oakland Valley. He raced touring events and at Hamlin Speedway. After racing some in a Stage 1, he moved into the Rookies at OCFS in 2021. He captured his first OCFS checkered flag on May 27, 2021 as he made a last lap pass of Tyler Banks to grab the win.
“I had never won a race on the last lap. Honestly, I was not expecting that one. I hope to re-create that moment this year.”
Kasey has aspirations of moving up to higher divisions in the future.
“Eventually, one day I do want to venture into the 358’s. And then one day, down the road, maybe even get into a Big Block. But for right now, we are going to stay in the Sportsman.”
Hufcut Concrete is the primary sponsor for the team. Kasey’s dad, Steve Hufcut, is extremely grateful for the help that the team receives from Hig Fab and Jerry Higbie.
“We definitely want to give a shout out to Jerry and all his guys there,” Steve said. “Those guys are just incredible. They always take the phone calls. In fact, Jerry will even come to our shop when I’m jammed up with something on the car that I can’t figure out. Just a great family and super atmosphere with the Hig Fab group.”
The team is also grateful for the help they get from Jerrod Moore and BK. And Kasey’s grandfather, Michael Enright, is one of the team’s biggest supporters.
The Hufcut name has been around the racing scene at OCFS for many years. Steve raced in the Street Stocks along with his cousin, Mark Hufcut who won an OCFS Championship. And now, Kasey carries on the Hufcut name. He has the potential to become one of the stars in the Sportsman division in 2023. And the young driver is grateful for the support he receives.
“I would also like to thank all the fans who come out and support their local racetrack. They are the ones keeping us going.”
Good Luck to Kasey Hufcut and their team with their busy 2023!!