Cody and Jeremy Kay

CORONA, California (May 18, 2018) – Sometimes the slow and steady approach is the only one available. That’s the way it is for Cody and Jeremy Kay, two of the drivers competing for Downforce Racing Products Rookie of the Year honors in the Lucas Oil Modified Series presented by MAVTV.

The brothers live in Reno, Nevada, which is about 440 miles northwest of The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the only paved oval short-track in Nevada.

cody kay

That’s significant because the Lucas Oil Modifieds race on paved ovals and it’s hard to learn the skills required for that without being able to practice on a similar surface. So, the brothers options are to travel about 120 miles to All-American Speedway in Roseville, California, or 275 miles to Madera (California) Speedway.

Nor does it help, Cody said, that “we don’t get to do much in the off-season. We’re busy with work, and we get snow is what we get. We were shoveling snow to load up (for the season-opener at Havasu 95 Speedway March 10).

As a result, Cody said, the SpillVak 75 presented by Protect The Harvest at Madera Speedway June 9 “will be our sixth race and the seventh time we’ve been on the track in these cars.”

The cars, both STR Chevrolets, were purchased from Austin Barnes (Cody’s 2k) and Kyle Cline (Jeremy’s 1k), and the tentative plan for this season was to have Cody compete in the Lucas Oil series and Jeremy gain experience in the North State Series.

jeremy kay

“We kind of talked about that,” the 22-year-old Cody said, “because Jeremy (who is 17) moved straight out of go-karts into modifieds. I had a little experience on dirt. But we heard the competitive level was much higher and we didn’t know how Jeremy would do.”

The brothers knew Barnes and reigning champion Taylor Miinch from kart racing and talked to them and Tedd Barnes for some time during the race weekend at Rocky Mountain Raceways in Utah last July. They made their first starts by finishing 15th (Cody) and 16th (Jeremy) at Madera last October and followed that by finishing 14th (Jeremy) and 30th (Cody, who had engine problems) at Las Vegas in November.

The next step was to secure Jimmy Dickerson’s services as crew chief, driving instructor and all-around guru on both cars and put together a team. “The big thing is,” Cody said, “we did a driver development search with Ron Sutton a few years ago and one of the things they told us was that you’ve got to learn the track and find the line within the first five laps. Jimmy and Steve (Teets, of STR Race Cars) have both been a huge help in that department and a huge reason for our success so early on. Without them teaching us the right way to drive these cars we wouldn’t be doing half as well.”

Cody climbed the ladder through go-karts to Dirt Modifieds and did about 20 races over two years, then took a break when the economy dipped. In recent years both he and Jeremy have worked with father Chad in the family-owned High Voltage Electrical business. Now they’re working together on starting their racing careers.

After they shoveled enough snow to get everything loaded for the trip to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, in March Jeremy finished 14th and Cody a trouble-filled 21st at Havasu 95 Speedway. A month later, in Tucson, Arizona, Cody was fourth and Jeremy 12th, and in the most recent outing at Las Vegas May 5 Jeremy went out early and finished 21st and Cody was a frustrated ninth after making contact with Cameron Morga and being sent to the rear of the field with 21 laps to go.

“We’re just trying to learn right now and see where our path takes us in going further,” Cody said. “We’d love to be able to and if the timing is right and the money is right we definitely will. So far it’s going well for the most part.”