Grimes on the fast track

Vienna native dominating as ‘Legends’ car driver

Special to Tribune Chronicle Cale Grimes, of Vienna, won four times this past season and was in the top five in all nine Legends races.

When Cale Grimes was just 6 years old, his father knew what the youngster wanted to do for the rest of his life.

“When he was really young, my father-in-law couldn’t believe what Cale knew about racing,” said Robert Grimes, Cale Grimes’ father. “He knew so much about racing at such a young age. It was insane how much he knew. The rest was history I guess.”

That prompted Rob to try and figure out a way to get his son into the racing world. The older Grimes said he can’t believe where his son has gone already from that point.

Now, the younger Grimes, a 16-year-old Vienna native, is into Legends racing. Legends racing can be described as dangerous and very strange to other racing. Legends racing use cars that are nearly half the size of traditional 1930s or 1940s-style car.

“I thoroughly have enjoyed being able to share all of this with my dad,” Cale Grimes said. “This all started right when I was 6 or so. I started off with go-karts before anything else. After about a year or two, I moved onto midget car racing. Those are a tad bigger than the go-karts.”

The younger Grimes also said that he believes this is something he was meant to do in life.

“They are very difficult to drive. The cars are smaller and use much different tires that don’t have a lot of grip,” Rob Grimes said. “If you can drive a Legends car, you can drive any type of racing car.”

The younger Grimes has won over 50 features races with five Legends wins. Grimes was named the 2014 Rookie of the Year in the Lake Erie region.

In the 2017 racing season, Barberton Speedway was his home course. He raced nine times, finishing in the top five in each race while winning four of them.

“He’s been doing things a little different for a while. We had to go to Charlotte to get him certified to drive. He was only 12 years old and you need to be 14 for that level,” Grimes said about his son.

He also said that because of that, Cale has been able to do great things in the last four years.

The younger Grimes now has aspirations to move up into some sort of formula racing to move forward with his career.

“I think I’ve outgrown that level and really want to move up further,” the younger Grimes said. “I just want to continue to get better and this year was definitely a big key in that.”

For Cale, continuing to race has been just as important to him as it has his father.

“It’s a dream of mine to continue up the ranks of racing. I’m not totally sure how far I can take myself but I’d certainly like to try to see how far I really can go,” the younger Grimes said.

“The thing that makes this so easy is that he is so coachable,” Rob said. “I’ve always told him, ‘be you, not me’ and he lives by that. I asked him if it came down to it, would he pick school or racing. Without hesitation, he said he would pick racing.”

Grimes said that at the end of the day, he just wants Cale’s happiness and racing gives him that.

“He’s such a good kid. He’s smarter and more level-headed than I was at that age and even now. It was a really clean season car-wise,” the older Grimes said.