Since the coronavirus outbreak, it’s been well publicised about James McFadden not being able to take up his 410 Sprintcar ride with the Kasey Kahne Racing team in America, and another Australian racer to be affected by the current situation is Australian Late Model Champion Kye Blight.
Off the back of a career-best season in Australia, which saw him win seven feature races from seven starts including the Australian Title and the Western Australian Title, the Bunbury, Western Australia-based racer was excited about returning to America earlier this month.
“It’s unfortunate what has happened around the world with the coronavirus outbreak, and it has consequently stopped me from getting into America for the foreseeable future,” the 26-year-old racer explained, who has been travelling over to America for the past three years with Paul Stubber.
“The original plan was to head over this month and run the new car we had purchased for as many race meetings as we could, along with helping my boss (Paul Stubber) with his racing program over there, and then bring the car back to Australia and run the season here in Australia.”
With Blight’s 2020 American plans turned on its head, he remains optimistic about getting over there later in the year.
“At this current time, I’ve put a pause on my plane tickets and hopefully I can get over there in some capacity,” he enthused.
“We will be sending our new car back to here (Australia) as soon as possible, and I’d like to get back over there and do some pit crewing.
“Over the past three years, I have built up a lot of contacts and it’s important to build on them, so that is why I plan to still go over to America, even if I’m probably not going to get the opportunity to race.”
After two years of pit crewing for Paul Stubber with his Late Model racing activities, Blight last year got the chance to do some Late Model race meetings of his own for a total of four race meetings, which included running the World 100 at Eldora Speedway in the state of Ohio.
“I had so much fun racing over there last year and the goal for this year was to do a bit more,” said Blight.
“Competing in the World 100 was an amazing experience and to actually be competitive amongst the world’s best Late Model racers and pick up a heat race (the first Australian racer to ever do so) was something that well and truly exceeded my expectations. At the same time, it gave me the motivation to get back there and do some more racing.”
Despite currently being locked out of America and 2020 not going according to plan, Blight remains passionate about chasing his dream.
“My career goal is to become a full-time Late Model racer and I’m determined to prove that a young Australian Late Model driver has what it takes,” Blight added.
With the likes of fellow Australians Kerry and Ian Madsen in 410 Sprintcars and Peter Britten in Big Block Modifieds as current full-time speedway racers, Blight’s goal of joining them is far from just a pipedream.