It takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a well-oiled machine to race successfully year after year.
Seven-year-old Deekan McRoberts is the freshest hot-shoe in a legacy of speed racers four generations long from Dodge City.
That legacy is part of a serious team that’s always on-call when the smell of burning rubber and gasoline is in the air.
Deekan was the most winningest racer in this inaugural year of junior racing at Dodge City Raceway Park.
Between the local track and Garden City’s Airport Raceway he won 11 of 13 races, and will be recognized by Raceway Manager Tommie Estes for his achievements in the novice junior sprints category at DCRP’s first awards banquet Jan. 25.
“You never know when new talent’s going to come along,” Estes said. “He’s gonna get a trophy almost as tall as he is.”
This is just the beginning for the second-grader from Minneola Elementary School who clocked his first lap in September of 2018.
Kids like Deekan are the future of the sport said dad Randle McRoberts, Jr.
Randle owns Poor Boy Kustomz, 613 Sunnyside Ave. Working together with crew chief Randle McRoberts, Sr., and hired wrench Tanner Brunson, he builds junior sprints and custom cars.
What brings the finish line faster to Deekan and others on his 5-member team is the chassis dynamometer, or chassis dyno “rolling road” service, the shop provides.
“It’s what helps us win races,” Randle said.
Plus 30 to 50 hours of pre-race prep time, 30 spare tires, a spare motor for every car and long days spent test driving on any one of the private tracks Randle and others like him have built in obscure back yards.
“It feels good when you get in your car,” Deekan said at a recent test run. “It’s fun being on teams helping each other get fast.”
Deekan began racing at a younger age than his forefathers, but he said his mother Nancy still worries.
“Mom doesn’t like it because she’s worried I’ll flip,” Deekan said. “I tell her I’m not scared.”
Deekan said the last lap is his favorite.